1. Faulty switch sends BBC offline

    The whole of the BBC's public-facing network disappeared from the internet late last night. Although the outage only lasted for around an hour, the unavailability of popular sites such as BBC News and iPlayer caused an eruption of comments and complaints on Twitter and other social networking sites.

    Tony Ageh, the Controller of BBC Archives, broke more than 4 months of silence on Twitter to express his frustration. Fellow employee Mo McRoberts responded, saying that "somebody responsible for our routers did something very silly indeed. took out the whole lot." He later confirmed that the outage was not caused by a denial of service (DoS) attack. (McRoberts' tweets are his own, and not necessarily those of his employer).

    The BBC's technology correspondent, Rory Cellan-Jones, summarised the widespread impact: "Love the terse bulletin on last night's BBC web failure. Cause of issue: faulty switch. Services impacted: Everything.."

    The BBC News website suffered similar outages back in 2007 when a routine software deployment caused some unforeseen performance issues.

    Posted by Paul Mutton on 30th March, 2011 in Performance

  2. Most Reliable Hosting Company Sites in February 2011

    Rank Company site OS Outage
    hh:mm:ss
    Failed
    Req%
    DNS Connect First
    byte
    Total
    1 Datapipe FreeBSD 0:00:00 0.004 0.100 0.021 0.051 0.076
    2 Swishmail FreeBSD 0:00:00 0.009 0.098 0.027 0.056 0.162
    3 New York Internet FreeBSD 0:00:00 0.009 0.129 0.029 0.081 0.218
    4 www.westhost.com Linux 0:00:00 0.009 0.291 0.076 0.163 0.502
    5 ServInt Linux 0:00:00 0.013 0.157 0.031 0.065 0.163
    6 www.serverbeach.com Linux 0:00:00 0.017 0.071 0.010 0.024 0.084
    7 iWeb Technologies Linux 0:00:00 0.017 0.098 0.044 0.089 0.089
    8 www.singlehop.com Linux 0:00:00 0.026 0.135 0.074 0.498 0.676
    9 www.navisite.com Windows Server 2003 0:00:00 0.030 0.188 0.043 0.220 0.380
    10 www.poundhost.com Linux 0:00:00 0.030 0.259 0.089 0.189 0.369

    See full table

    This month's most reliable hosting company is Datapipe. Datapipe was ranked first last month, and has now been in the top ten for 11 of the last 12 months. Datapipe offers managed hosting and IT services from six data centers distributed across the globe and has recently started to offer managed cloud hosting through a product called the Datapipe Managed Cloud. This new service is backed by Amazon Web Services, and Datapipe say it's the "first Managed Services Provider of significant scale and size to offer Amazon Web Services to enterprise clients in a comprehensive, all-inclusive managed services program."

    In second and third place this month are Swishmail, which offers managed email and web hosting, and New York Internet which offers various services, including dedicated servers, colocation and web hosting. Swishmail and New York Internet also frequently appear in Netcraft's top ten most reliable hosting company sites.

    This month, the three most reliable hosting company sites are being served by FreeBSD. Of the remaining seven sites, six run Linux and one runs Windows Server 2003.

    Netcraft measures and makes available the response times of around forty leading hosting providers' sites. The performance measurements are made at fifteen minute intervals from separate points around the internet, and averages are calculated over the immediately preceding 24 hour period.

    From a customer's point of view, the percentage of failed requests is more pertinent than outages on hosting companies' own sites, as this gives a pointer to reliability of routing, and this is why we choose to rank our table by fewest failed requests, rather than shortest periods of outage. In the event the number of failed requests are equal then sites are ranked by average connection times.

    Information on the measurement process and current measurements is available.

    Posted by Matt Foster on 1st March, 2011 in Hosting, Performance

  3. Most Reliable Hosting Company Sites in January 2011

    Rank Company site OS Outage
    hh:mm:ss
    Failed
    Req%
    DNS Connect First
    byte
    Total
    1 Datapipe FreeBSD 0.000 0.061 0.015 0.031 0.042
    2 iWeb Technologies Linux 0.000 0.077 0.038 0.077 0.077
    3 www.codero.com Linux 0.000 0.129 0.040 0.291 0.484
    4 Multacom FreeBSD 0.000 0.156 0.068 0.138 0.402
    5 INetU unknown 0:00:00 0.004 0.049 0.021 0.063 0.135
    6 Kattare Internet Services Linux 0:00:00 0.008 0.152 0.083 0.170 0.342
    7 www.cwcs.co.uk Linux 0:00:00 0.008 0.248 0.115 0.464 0.871
    8 New York Internet FreeBSD 0:00:00 0.013 0.061 0.020 0.052 0.130
    9 Swishmail FreeBSD 0:00:00 0.013 0.051 0.021 0.043 0.117
    10 Rackspace F5 Big-IP 0:00:00 0.013 0.067 0.024 0.049 0.049

    See full table

    Four of the hosting companies sampled this month experienced no failed requests at all to their websites, and these four are therefore ranked by average connection time. Top of the table is Datapipe, which has been in the top ten in ten of the last twelve months, and in the top three seven times in the same period. The company offers a variety of services including colocation, cloud computing and hosted servers from datacentres in the U.S., the U.K. and China.

    Second this month is iWeb Technologies, which has also appeared in the top ten regularly over the last year. iWeb have been offering hosting services for over ten years with a range of products which includes shared web hosting, managed hosting and dedicated servers.

    www.codero.com ranked third this month. The company is a relative newcomer to the hosting industry, having begun life as a division of aplus.net in July 2009. It now offers dedicated and managed hosting services aimed specifically at small businesses.

    In terms of operating system, the top ten hosting companies are evenly split between Linux and FreeBSD this month with four of each and one company running F5 Big-IP.

    Netcraft measures and makes available the response times of around forty leading hosting providers' sites. The performance measurements are made at fifteen minute intervals from separate points around the internet, and averages are calculated over the immediately preceding 24 hour period.

    From a customer's point of view, the percentage of failed requests is more pertinent than outages on hosting companies' own sites, as this gives a pointer to reliability of routing, and this is why we choose to rank our table by fewest failed requests, rather than shortest periods of outage. In the event the number of failed requests are equal then sites are ranked by average connection times.

    Information on the measurement process and current measurements is available.

    Posted by Jennifer Cownie on 1st February, 2011 in Hosting, Performance

  4. Most Reliable Hosting Company Sites in December 2010

    Rank Company site OS Outage
    hh:mm:ss
    Failed
    Req%
    DNS Connect First
    byte
    Total
    1 Swishmail FreeBSD 0:00:00 0.012 0.223 0.099 0.198 0.495
    2 ServInt Linux 0:00:00 0.015 0.487 0.102 0.207 0.514
    3 www.logicworks.net Linux 0:00:00 0.015 0.247 0.106 0.400 0.609
    4 Hosting 4 Less Linux 0:00:00 0.015 0.188 0.113 0.228 0.448
    5 Multacom FreeBSD 0:00:00 0.023 0.205 0.113 0.230 0.584
    6 iWeb Technologies Linux 0:00:00 0.035 0.302 0.095 0.226 0.226
    7 www.singlehop.com Linux 0:00:00 0.035 0.420 0.105 0.582 0.966
    8 www.dinahosting.com Linux 0:00:00 0.035 0.184 0.106 0.213 0.213
    9 Rackspace F5 BIG-IP 0:00:00 0.043 0.193 0.092 0.186 0.186
    10 Iomart plc. Linux 0:00:00 0.046 0.186 0.102 0.212 0.492

    See full table

    The most reliable host this month was Swishmail which responded to all but three of Netcraft's requests. Swishmail ranked ninth last month and has been present in the top ten since October. They primarily offer business level email and web hosting solutions.

    In second place this month was ServInt which responded to all but four of our requests. The company specialises in offering managed hosting and has climbed from tenth position after entering the top ten last month. This good performance could perhaps have been a factor in the decision to host WikiLeaks.org with ServInt a fortnight ago.

    Ranking third this month was Logicworks which also failed to respond to four requests. The host was last present in the top ten in October when it came in at number seven. Logicworks provide a variety of cloud and managed hosting solutions.

    Seven of December's top ten hosting company sites run Linux, two run FreeBSD and one runs F5 BIG-IP.

    Netcraft measures and makes available the response times of around forty leading hosting providers' sites. The performance measurements are made at fifteen minute intervals from separate points around the internet, and averages are calculated over the immediately preceding 24 hour period.

    From a customer's point of view, the percentage of failed requests is more pertinent than outages on hosting companies' own sites, as this gives a pointer to reliability of routing, and this is why we choose to rank our table by fewest failed requests, rather than shortest periods of outage. In the event the number of failed requests are equal then sites are ranked by average connection times.

    Information on the measurement process and current measurements is available.

    Posted by Peter Roberts on 5th January, 2011 in Hosting, Performance

  5. Netcraft monitors WikiLeaks and Operation Payback targets

    Netcraft is now monitoring the performance and uptime of websites which are involved in the ongoing WikiLeaks cyberbattle. Real-time graphs for all of these sites can be viewed here:

    http://uptime.netcraft.com/perf/reports/performance/wikileaks

    Please contact us if you know of any new sites which have come under attack: webmaster@netcraft.com

    WikiLeaks has been subjected to several denial of service attacks, and has also had to deal with its name servers, hosting accounts and payment services being suspended. In retaliation, WikiLeaks supporters have targetted some of the companies who have decided to terminate relationships with the whistle-blowing site.

    MasterCard is the latest target, and there have also been successful attacks against PostFinance, the Swedish prosecutor's website, and the official PayPal blog.

    Despite a French minister declaring war on WikiLeaks, French hosting company OVH allowed the site to continue using its servers, stating that it was neither for nor against WikiLeaks. OVH sought an emergency decision from a judge over whether or not it was illegal to host the WikiLeaks website. The judge subsequently declined to force OVH to shut down the site.

    Meanwhile, SWITCH (the registry for .ch domains) has clarified the circumstances under which the wikileaks.ch domain would be deleted, and is keen to point out that it is not responsible for the contents of the Wikileaks site.

    Posted by Paul Mutton on 8th December, 2010 in Performance

  6. Most Reliable Hosting Company Sites in November 2010

    Rank Company site OS Outage hh:mm:ss Failed Req% DNS Connect First byte Total
    1 INetU FreeBSD 0:00:00 0.012 0.126 0.053 0.129 0.337
    2 Rackspace F5 Big-IP 0:00:00 0.019 0.118 0.056 0.113 0.113
    3 www.codero.com Linux 0:00:00 0.019 0.197 0.063 0.348 0.616
    4 www.singlehop.com Linux 0:00:00 0.023 0.178 0.074 0.520 0.852
    5 Virtual Internet Linux 0:00:00 0.027 0.207 0.048 0.099 0.099
    6 Server Intellect Windows Server 2008 0:00:00 0.027 0.066 0.080 0.163 0.404
    7 Multacom FreeBSD 0:00:00 0.027 0.141 0.105 0.217 0.595
    8 www.netcetera.co.uk Windows Server 2008 0:00:00 0.031 0.105 0.045 0.094 0.190
    9 Swishmail FreeBSD 0:00:00 0.031 0.102 0.051 0.102 0.268
    10 ServInt Linux 0:00:00 0.035 0.208 0.062 0.129 0.321
    See full table

    INetU was this month's most reliable hoster, failing to respond to only three of Netcraft's requests. The hoster has a consistently good record, last month ranking third and regularly appearing in the top ten. INetU offers managed hosting services and prides itself on its high level of customer service.

    Second place this month is Rackspace, which offers managed, cloud and application hosting from its nine datacentres in the U.S., the U.K. and Hong Kong. Rackspace offers "Fanatical Support" allowing customers to contact the company 24 hours a day.

    Codero ranked third this month, with only five failed requests in November. Codero appeared in the top ten hosters in September and October but this is the first time it has been in the top three. The company offers dedicated and managed hosting aimed specifically at the needs of small businesses.

    Netcraft measures and makes available the response times of around forty leading hosting providers' sites. The performance measurements are made at fifteen minute intervals from separate points around the internet, and averages are calculated over the immediately preceding 24 hour period.

    From a customer's point of view, the percentage of failed requests is more pertinent than outages on hosting companies' own sites, as this gives a pointer to reliability of routing, and this is why we choose to rank our table by fewest failed requests, rather than shortest periods of outage.

    Information on the measurement process and current measurements is available.

    Posted by Jennifer Cownie on 3rd December, 2010 in Hosting, Performance

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