March 2012 Web Server Survey

In the March 2012 survey we received responses from 644,275,754 sites, giving a rise of 31.4M hostnames (5.1%) since last month.

Apache continued to gain hostnames this month with a growth of 22.5M and, contrary to last month, was able to increase its market share by a third of a percentage point. nginx had another good month and experienced an increase of 4.7M hostnames or 7.82%. With all other major web server vendors showing higher growth than Microsoft's 761k increase, Microsoft recorded a drop in market share of half a percentage point. The gap between Microsoft and nginx now stands at 23.6M hostnames.

Amongst the Million Busiest Sites, Apache again suffered a small drop in market share this month, losing 1,700 sites, extending a trend that dates back to August 2011. Microsoft gained 110 sites making this the first time it has recorded an increase since June 2010. nginx continued to increase its market share and gained 1.2k sites, whilst Google suffered a small loss of 289 sites.

Total Sites Across All Domains
August 1995 - March 2012

Total Sites Across All Domains, August 1995 - March 2012

Market Share for Top Servers Across All Domains
August 1995 - March 2012

Graph of market share for top servers across all domains, August 1995 - March 2012

Developer February 2012 Percent March 2012 Percent Change
Apache 397,867,089 64.92% 420,337,139 65.24% 0.32
Microsoft 88,210,995 14.39% 88,971,973 13.81% -0.58
nginx 60,627,200 9.89% 65,369,149 10.15% 0.25
Google 19,394,196 3.16% 21,150,938 3.28% 0.12
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Most Reliable Hosting Company Sites in January 2012

Rank Company site OS Outage
DNS Connect First
1 Swishmail FreeBSD 0:00:00 0.004 0.100 0.073 0.147 0.330
2 INetU Windows Server 2008 0:00:00 0.007 0.063 0.045 0.172 0.314
3 Multacom FreeBSD 0:00:00 0.007 0.186 0.093 0.188 0.398
4 Server Intellect Windows Server 2008 0:00:00 0.007 0.074 0.093 0.189 0.471
5 iWeb Technologies Linux 0:00:00 0.011 0.084 0.048 0.098 0.098
6 ServInt Linux 0:00:00 0.011 0.287 0.078 0.158 0.291
7 XILO Communications Ltd. Linux 0:00:00 0.015 0.151 0.036 0.194 0.275
8 New York Internet FreeBSD 0:00:00 0.015 0.115 0.072 0.145 0.392
9 Pair Networks FreeBSD 0:00:00 0.015 0.232 0.076 0.155 0.534
10 Virtual Internet Linux 0:00:00 0.022 0.122 0.058 0.121 0.159

See full table

Top of the table this month is Swishmail, which offers a variety of managed web hosting plans in addition to their core service of enterprise-grade email hosting.

INetU is at second place this month, which offers dedicated managed hosting services from data centres with resilient networks, backup power, and strong physical and network security. INetU also offers compliance and consultancy services to customers around the world and has recently received PCI DSS certification for their cloud service.

In third place is the California-based Multacom, which provides web hosting, dedicated servers, colocation, and managed services. Multacom's data centre is in downtown Los Angeles and offers fibre-optic links to many other carrier buildings both in Los Angeles and worldwide.

Within the top 10, Linux and FreeBSD were used by 4 hosting companies each, and Microsoft was used by 2. For the first time since July 2010, Linux was not used by any of the hosting companies in the top 4.

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.

February 2012 Web Server Survey

In the February 2012 survey we received responses from 612,843,429 sites. Compared to January, this represents an increase of 30M hostnames or +5.2%.

nginx was the only server to experience a non-negligible market share increase this month, gaining 0.27 percentage points. Apache did experience a growth of 19M hostnames, but its market share has remained static, while Microsoft and Google had a small drop in market share despite gaining 3.9M and 450K hostnames respectively.

Within the Million Busiest Sites nginx continued its steady growth; gaining just over 12K new sites. Apache saw the biggest loss this month with a drop of 18K hostnames.

The Resin application server has been experiencing strong growth over the past 12 months; seeing an almost tenfold growth from 480k hostnames in February 2011 to 4.7M or 0.77% of the market in February 2012. Resin is a Java application server from Caucho which is used on a number of the Million Busiest Sites, including Bebo — now recovered from its outage last week.

Total Sites Across All Domains
August 1995 - February 2012

Total Sites Across All Domains, August 1995 - February 2012

Market Share for Top Servers Across All Domains
August 1995 - February 2012

Graph of market share for top servers across all domains, August 1995 - February 2012

DeveloperJanuary 2012PercentFebruary 2012PercentChange
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Citrix NetScaler Serves More Than Ten Million Sites

Netcraft has been tracking Citrix NetScaler in the Web Server Survey for more than a year. In the latest survey, more than ten million sites were found using Citrix NetScaler.

Citrix bought NetScaler Inc. in 2005 for approximately $300M in cash and stock, acquiring an already maturing network appliance platform. NetScaler provides load balancing, an application firewall, and application acceleration to improve the performance and security of large web applications. NetScaler can run on a variety of dedicated hardware platforms, or it can be run as a server-based virtual appliance. BIG-IP is a competing product from F5 with similar features which reached 10 million sites back in May 2009.

1.71% of all websites found this month were served using the Citrix NetScaler platform; but within the top 100k busiest websites NetScaler's share is much higher at 9.24%. The country distribution of the installed base has a few peculiarities: almost 30% of the websites hosted in Turkey and 20% of the websites hosted in Korea are using NetScaler. In Turkey, the network is using Citrix NetScaler and in Korea more than 50% of the subdomains were found to be using the platform. Worldwide, Microsoft, eBay,, CNET, and MasterCard are among the busiest sites using Citrix NetScaler.

Bebo outage causes shutdown rumours

Social network Bebo is still inaccessible after an apparent technical error took the site offline yesterday.

Bebo was previously hosted on the Akamai content delivery network, which generally increases a site's resilience to network outages and traffic spikes, but DNS lookups for the website are currently not resolving:

$ ping
ping: cannot resolve Host name lookup failure

$ dig
; <<>> DiG 9.5.1-P3 <<>>
;; global options:  printcmd
;; connection timed out; no servers could be reached

Twitter is currently awash with self-propagating rumours that Bebo has been shut down for good; however, this has been debunked by TechCrunch, which reports a Bebo spokesperson as saying the site went down due to "a technical clusterf**k". Michael Birch, who originally founded Bebo with his wife Xochi, also tweeted that the site should be coming back in a matter of hours.

Attacks resume against US Department of Justice

The United States Department of Justice appears to be under attack for the second time since the popular Megaupload file sharing site was taken down. The group Anonymous appears to be carrying out this latest attack in protest against the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)

In its Mega Song music video, which was released last month, Megaupload claimed the site had 1 billion users and accounted for 4% of all traffic on the internet. was the 77th busiest site according to the Netcraft Toolbar. The company's main website was hosted by Carpathia Hosting, but now displays an FBI anti-piracy warning hosted by Amazon. The warning explains, "This domain name associated with the website has been seized pursuant to an order issued by a U.S. District Court." Despite the static nature of the warning page, it appears to have struggled with the amount of traffic it was receiving over the weekend: