Some people expressed surprise that there could be thousands of sites running on Windows Server 2003 before it went on sale
. The main reason for this is that some shared hosting providers who were part of the Windows Server 2003 beta program were prepared to run part of their sites on Windows Server 2003 prior to launch. The three providers with the largest number of active sites on Windows Server 2003 are all Microsoft Certified Partners while the fourth largest is Microsoft itself. No one else had more than 1000 active sites running on Windows Server 2003 at the start of May.
For comparison, Schlund and Interland [primarily due to its acquisition of Dialtone Internet] are also two of the largest Linux hosting providers, along with specialist Linux hosting providers Rackshack and Alabanza.
Ironically, Richard Stallman best known for the creation and relentless advocacy of the General Public Licence, has for many years run his own site using software produced under the more generous BSD licence. www.stallman.org switched from FreeBSD to Linux during April.
PC Magazine has awarded Netcraft a place in its 2003 Top 100 Classic Web Sites
. Classic sites are defined as "perennial favorite, category leading sites", which one would most miss if stranded on a desert island.
PC Magazine is one of the world's leading computer publications with 6 million readers.
In the past two months, there has been significant new research into the security of OpenSSL, the open source implementation of the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL). OpenSSL is the standard SSL implementation included with most Linux distributions, and as such is the most common choice for running secure websites with Apache. At least one quarter of public SSL sites use OpenSSL according to our most recent SSL Server Survey
Over the last two years the most common reason for a Hosting Provider making the news was when the company went bust. Hoswever, outside of the mainstream newsflow, some companies have been growing strongly.
A table of the Hosting Providers who grew the fastest during 2002 is provided as an excerpt from our Hosting Provider Server Count.
Companies are included in the filter if they started 2002 with more than 500 servers,
finished with at least 1000, and grew at a rate of better than 33% year on year. This removes hosters which can show a significant percentage increase simply by virtue of starting small.
Fastest Growing Hosting Providers by % Increase in Web Visible Servers|
December 2001 to December 2002
|Parent Company||Dec 01||Dec 02||% Change||Main Business Area|
|1&1 Internet AG
||999||2,049||105%||Telecoms & Colocation|
|Tele Danmark Communications
|Global Media Online Inc||642||1,190||85%||Mixed Hosting|
|Advance Technology Works||1,161||1,681||45%||ISP|
Of the top 4 companies in the table 3 have recently issued their financial results for 2002 which confirm their continued growth. (1&1 Internet , Colt , HostEurope ).
The top of the table shows that fast growth in the hosting industry is closely linked to providing good value at a low price. 1&1 and Host Europe both offer extremely cheap shared hosting packages, while Rackshack has more or less defined the market for low-cost dedicated servers. Colt is often amongst the cheapest quotes for bandwidth in the cities in which it operates.
Several of the leading dedicated server companies have produced annual growth over 40%. Additionally, many of the larger telecoms companies are showing good rates of growth of web servers on their networks, in part from Hosting Resellers and DSL and Cable connections as well as their own hosting operations.
Limitations of the Hosting Provider Server Count include the following;
Only sites found by the Web Server Survey will be included. The number of hosts found running internet web sites by the Web Server Survey is large [over 40 million in April 2003], but not exhaustive.
- Sites are attributed to companies by performing a reverse DNS lookup on each responding ip address in the Web Server Survey. If reverse DNS lookups have not been configured or otherwise fail, the count for the company will correspondingly reduced. To mitigate this we provide an additional view of the data compiled by Netblock registration. In practice the most successful hosting companies seem to set up reverse DNS correctly.
- Backend machines such as database servers not running web sites will not be counted, as they are unseen from the Internet.
- At most one server will be counted for each site. Round robin DNS, reverse web proxies, load balancing products like Cisco Local Director and BIG-IP and some connection level firewalls hide multiple web servers behind a single hostname.
Full details of the Hosting Provider Server Count are available.
The Netcraft Web Server Survey is a
survey of Web Server software usage on Internet connected computers.
We collect and collate as many hostnames providing an http service as
we can find, and systematically poll each one with an HTTP request for the
In the April 2003 survey we received responses from
Market Share for Top Servers Across All Domains August 1995 - April 2003
|Developer||March 2003||Percent||April 2003||Percent||Change|