In the September 2012 survey we received responses from 620,132,319 sites, a decrease of 8M sites since last month's survey.
A large portion of this drop was caused by a large network of linkfarmed domains disappearing from under the .com TLD, causing Apache numbers to suffer the most, with a loss of 10M sites. This resulted in a small drop in Apache's market share to 58%. Google also saw losses of 1M sites, but both Microsoft and nginx gained, with 840k and 1.5M new domains respectively.
Server headers for IIS 8.0 – the latest version of Microsoft's server software – were returned by 1,723 sites this month. This is an increase of 1,445 sites (+519%) over the six months since the public beta release of Windows Server 2012 in April, which uses IIS 8.0 as its default web server. However, only twelve of the million busiest sites were found to be using the software, seven of which are within Microsoft's own iis.net.
Amazon reached a significant milestone this month, with its strong and continued growth in the web hosting market now making it the world's largest hosting location by number of web-facing computers. The previous leader was China Telecom, which now has 116k web-facing computers against Amazon's 118k.
Netcraft's hosting provider server count uses a set of heuristics to identify individual computers, regardless of how many web-facing IP addresses each may have, or how many websites they serve.
Amazon has nearly doubled its count of web-facing computers within the past year, and this growth does not look set to slow down any time soon. The majority of these computers are located in the US (77%) and Ireland (13%), although smaller numbers of servers have started popping up in other locations within the past year, including the Netherlands, Singapore, Brazil, and Japan.
Although Amazon has the largest number of web-facing computers, these are used to host a relatively modest sum of 6.8M websites. 2.9M of these sites are served by nginx, which is closely followed by 2.3M served by Apache. A further 410k are served by Polyvore Web Server, which is used by sites within the Polyvore fashion social-commerce network. Only 2.4% (163k) of the sites hosted at Amazon are running Microsoft IIS.
Although Amazon's scalable, pay-as-you-go EC2 service supports Microsoft Windows, Linux is by far the most popular operating system to be found amongst all of its web-facing computers, including those used by CloudFront and S3. Nearly 97% of Amazon's web-facing computers were running Linux during September's survey.
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