1. Sustained DDoS attack against 4chan

    A sustained distributed denial of service attack against 4chan has kept the site's message boards mostly offline since the weekend:

    4chan's status page, which is hosted on Google's Blogger platform, announced on Sunday 13 November that the site was down due to a large DDoS attack. 4chan today revealed that the ongoing DDoS attack consists of a UDP packet flood on port 80. Such attacks typically aim to disrupt normal operation of a website, either by saturating all available bandwidth, or by exhausting the processing capacity of a web server, thus denying service to legitimate users.

    The attack also affected 4chan's main page at www.4chan.org, which has been intermittently unavailable during the same period:

    Many popular internet memes are believed to have originated from 4chan's message boards, including Lolcats and the practice of rickrolling. The boards were also used to recruit volunteers when the group Anonymous carried out a series of DDoS attacks against MasterCard, Visa and PayPal last year. When 4chan itself subsequently suffered a similar attack at the start of this year, 4chan made light of the fact that it had joined "the ranks of MasterCard, Visa, PayPal et al.–an exclusive club!".

    Posted by Paul Mutton on 15th November, 2011 in Performance

  2. November 2011 Web Server Survey

    In the November 2011 survey, we received responses from 525,998,433 sites, giving a rise of 22 million (+4.3%) since last month.

    Once again, all of the major web server vendors gained sites this month; however, Apache showed a greater rise of 15.9 million sites this time, allowing it to claw back some of the market share it lost last month. Microsoft showed the second largest absolute gain of 2.3 million sites, although this was not enough to prevent its market share falling by 0.21 percentage points. nginx also suffered a small loss in market share after reaching its all-time high of 8.54% last month.

    In terms of active sites, Microsoft was the only major web server vendor to show a loss. Conversely, nginx made the largest gain, rising by 0.86 million active sites and bringing it to within 0.66 percentage points of Microsoft's market share. The total number of active sites in our survey now stands at 172 million.

    Total Sites Across All Domains
    August 1995 - November 2011

    Total Sites Across All Domains, August 1995 - November 2011


    Market Share for Top Servers Across All Domains
    August 1995 - November 2011

    Graph of market share for top servers across all domains, August 1995 - November 2011


    DeveloperOctober 2011PercentNovember 2011PercentChange
    Apache326,008,43264.67%341,880,66265.00%0.32
    Microsoft78,937,06515.66%81,261,09915.45%-0.21
    nginx43,037,0798.54%44,731,7808.50%-0.03
    Google17,487,9243.47%17,749,7483.37%-0.09
    (more...)

    Posted by Netcraft on 7th November, 2011 in Web Server Survey

  3. Most Reliable Hosting Company Sites in October 2011

    Rank Company site OS Outage
    hh:mm:ss
    Failed
    Req%
    DNS Connect First
    byte
    Total
    1 Rackspace F5 BIG-IP 0.000 0.109 0.040 0.116 0.249
    2 Kattare Internet Services Linux 0.000 0.174 0.124 0.250 0.449
    3 Qube Managed Services Linux 0:00:00 0.004 0.104 0.045 0.092 0.092
    4 ReliableServers.com Linux 0:00:00 0.004 0.097 0.047 0.097 0.133
    5 www.micfo.com Linux 0:00:00 0.004 0.316 0.083 0.361 0.581
    6 New York Internet FreeBSD 0:00:00 0.007 0.133 0.044 0.089 0.248
    7 Server Intellect Windows Server 2008 0:00:00 0.007 0.189 0.075 0.152 0.388
    8 ServInt Linux 0:00:00 0.011 0.294 0.047 0.099 0.228
    9 www.logicworks.net Linux 0:00:00 0.011 0.108 0.052 0.123 0.262
    10 www.poundhost.com Linux 0:00:00 0.011 0.337 0.091 0.207 0.431

    See full table

    Rackspace had the most reliable hosting company site in October, responding to each and every one of Netcraft's requests throughout the month. Rackspace also had the most reliable site in April, despite failing to respond to two requests that month.

    Rackspace provides managed and cloud hosting from nine datacentres in the US, UK and Hong Kong. The company is well known for the "Fanatical Support" it offers to its customers, including those who have chosen to move to other hosting companies. Rackspace serves its own website from an F5 BIG-IP device.

    Kattare Internet Services also responded to all requests, but had a slower average connection time than Rackspace. Kattare's primary focus is on Java hosting – using Tomcat with private Java virtual machines – but also hosts PHP, Ruby, Perl and Python applications on shared hosting, managed servers and collocated machines in Corvallis, Oregon.

    Seven of October's top ten hosting company websites used Linux, while the other three used FreeBSD, Windows Server 2008 and 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 Netcraft on 1st November, 2011 in Hosting, Performance

  4. Staples website knocked offline by demand

    Office product company Staples.co.uk has been knocked offline by the popularity of its own discount voucher codes. The UK website became flooded with traffic after a £20-off voucher code appeared on several popular bargain-hunting sites, including HotUKDeals and the MoneySavingExpert.com forums.

    The £20-off voucher code – which did not require a minimum spend – allowed customers to claim up to £20 worth of items for free, leaving only the delivery charge to pay. Although the code could only be used once per customer, several users successfully bypassed that restriction by placing several orders from multiple accounts. Larger discounts and free delivery were available on more expensive items by adding one of several other voucher codes on top of the existing £20 reduction:

    A large volume of HTTP requests originating from many different locations can often have the same effect as a deliberately planned distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, but it is clear that no such attack took place; the site was simply swamped with legitimate requests from its own customers, who were keen to snap up some bargains. It is not yet clear whether orders placed using these vouchers will be honoured – order confirmations have been emailed to customers, but such orders remain subject to approval.

    Several other technology retail websites, including Staples, were affected by similarly huge demand in August, when the price of the 16GB HP TouchPad tablet was slashed to only £89. That was also viewed by many as an unmissable opportunity, with a single HotUKDeals forum post alone attracting more than 60,000 comments while its members discussed where they could buy one. The demand continued long after they were sold out, with some TouchPads being resold on eBay for more than twice the original cost.

    The Staples UK website became responsive once more around lunchtime today, following the deactivation of the original £20-off voucher code:

    Posted by Paul Mutton on 27th October, 2011 in Performance

  5. October 2011 Web Server Survey

    In the October 2011 survey we received responses from 504,082,040 sites, a growth of nearly 3.8% or around 18M sites on last month.

    All of the main web server vendors gained hostnames this month with Apache again showing the largest increase of just over 10M; however, it continues to lose a small amount of market share. A gain of just over 4M hostnames sees nginx increase market share to an all-time high of 8.5%.

    This month Apache lost 86k active sites, less than 0.1% of its total. However, this translates to a more significant loss in market share of 1.09% due to all three of the main competitors gaining sites. The largest gain was seen by nginx, where an increase of just over 1.6M active sites resulted in its market share rising to 11.28%. If current trends continue nginx will soon overtake Microsoft to have the second largest number of active sites.

    Across the million busiest sites Apache and Microsoft each lose market share this month whilst nginx and Google see small increases.

    Total Sites Across All Domains
    August 1995 - October 2011

    Total Sites Across All Domains, August 1995 - October 2011


    Market Share for Top Servers Across All Domains
    August 1995 - October 2011

    Graph of market share for top servers across all domains, August 1995 - October 2011


    DeveloperSeptember 2011PercentOctober 2011PercentChange
    Apache315,605,33565.05%326,008,43264.67%-0.38
    Microsoft76,323,01815.73%78,937,06515.66%-0.07
    nginx38,970,6838.03%43,037,0798.54%0.51
    Google17,265,3083.56%17,487,9243.47%-0.09
    (more...)

    Posted by Netcraft on 6th October, 2011 in Web Server Survey

  6. Most Reliable Hosting Company Sites in September 2011

    Rank Company site OS Outage
    hh:mm:ss
    Failed
    Req%
    DNS Connect First
    byte
    Total
    1 Datapipe FreeBSD 0:00:00 0.004 0.088 0.019 0.044 0.066
    2 Swishmail FreeBSD 0:00:00 0.004 0.123 0.041 0.084 0.221
    3 ServInt Linux 0:00:00 0.004 0.156 0.047 0.097 0.208
    4 aruba.it Windows Server 2003 0:00:00 0.004 0.179 0.127 0.250 0.250
    5 Qube Managed Services Linux 0:00:00 0.008 0.077 0.041 0.083 0.083
    6 INetU Windows Server 2008 0:00:00 0.008 0.095 0.041 0.167 0.432
    7 New York Internet FreeBSD 0:00:00 0.008 0.107 0.043 0.087 0.306
    8 www.micfo.com Linux 0:00:00 0.008 0.147 0.063 0.312 0.460
    9 www.peer1.com Linux 0:00:00 0.012 0.109 0.019 0.042 0.142
    10 www.catalyst2.com Windows Server 2008 0:00:00 0.012 0.286 0.086 0.178 0.359

    See full table

    Datapipe was the most reliable hosting company in September, giving it an impressive six victories so far this year. Note that the top four hosting companies had the same number of failed requests, so they have been sorted by average connection time.

    During September, Datapipe augmented its range of hosting services by announcing the public availability of the first PCI DSS 2.0 Level 1 Service Provider certified cloud computing platform, and also partnered with Alert Logic to release a fully managed advanced network security solution for Amazon Web Services. Next month, Datapipe will be sending a four person team from their Hong Kong team to run 100km in the Oxfam Trailwalker.

    In second place was Swishmail. Primarily an email provider, the company also offers several managed web hosting plans. Both Datapipe and Swishmail run their company websites on FreeBSD, which was used by half of the top ten hosting companies in the previous month.

    Not far behind in third place, ServInt offers managed dedicated servers and scalable virtual private servers. Founded in Northern Virginia in 1995, over 25% of its employees have served for more than 10 years.

    Fourth-place Aruba is an Italian hosting company, whose parent group operates several offices and data centres across Europe. Aruba offers Windows and Linux hosting solutions, some of which have 'unlimited' disk space and traffic.

    Four of September's top ten hosting company websites used Linux, while three used FreeBSD, two used Windows Server 2008 and one used 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 Netcraft on 4th October, 2011 in Hosting, Performance

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