August 2011 Web Server Survey

In the August 2011 survey we received responses from 463,000,317 sites.

This month there has been a large increase in the number of sites found by the survey, which is now approaching half a billion hostnames. There were particularly large increases in the numbers of sites hosted by Softlayer, AmeriNOC, China Telecom, and the social networking communities Tumblr, Skyrock and Hyves.

Amazon also showed substantial growth and now hosts several million sites at its EC2 facility. EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud) is Amazon's cloud computing platform, allowing website owners to quickly rescale resources to meet demand. It has expanded significantly with a new data center recently opened in Tokyo, and is expected to have a revenue of $750M (Source: UBS via Business Week) this year.

However, even with the large increase in sites, the market share of the different server software has changed only a little. Of the leading web servers, just nginx gained share this month, whilst Apache, Microsoft and Google each showed small losses.


Total Sites Across All Domains
August 1995 - August 2011

Total Sites Across All Domains, August 1995 - August 2011


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

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


Developer July 2011 Percent August 2011 Percent Change
Apache 235,326,985 65.86% 301,771,518 65.18% -0.69
Microsoft 60,086,346 16.82% 73,415,916 15.86% -0.96
nginx 23,357,497 6.54% 35,533,439 7.67% 1.14
Google 15,641,574 4.38% 17,061,003 3.68% -0.69
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Most Reliable Hosting Company Sites in July 2011

Rank Company site OS Outage hh:mm:ss Failed Req% DNS Connect First byte Total
1 Hosting 4 Less Linux 0:00:00 0.015 0.128 0.064 0.130 0.185
2 www.poundhost.com Linux 0:00:00 0.015 0.286 0.096 0.203 0.440
3 Datapipe FreeBSD 0:00:00 0.019 0.121 0.017 0.037 0.048
4 INetU FreeBSD 0:00:00 0.019 0.064 0.035 0.097 0.223
5 www.logicworks.net Linux 0:00:00 0.022 0.056 0.044 0.106 0.238
6 iWeb Technologies Linux 0:00:00 0.022 0.085 0.059 0.119 0.119
7 www.qubenet.net Linux 0:00:00 0.026 0.128 0.053 0.105 0.105
8 www.micfo.com Linux 0:00:00 0.026 0.135 0.055 0.304 0.462
9 www.netcetera.co.uk Windows Server 2008 0:00:00 0.030 0.051 0.102 0.207 0.416
10 www.westhost.com Linux 0:00:00 0.034 0.051 0.102 0.207 0.416
See full table

Both of the top two hosting companies had the same number of failed requests this month and they are therefore ranked by average connection time.

Top of the table this month is Hosting 4 Less. The company guarantees 99.9% uptime, with its own OC48 Sonet Ring connecting their secure data center to the internet. Hosting 4 Less has been running since 1998. They offer both Linux and Windows hosting as well as e-commerce hosting.

The second most reliable hosting company for July was PoundHost who are based in the UK and offer a range of hosting solutions, including dedicated servers, co-location and virtual hosting.

Third this month was Datapipe, which offers a range of services including managed hosting, compliance, security and cloud computing. Datapipe offers a 100% network uptime guarantee.

Seven sites in the top 10 this month were running Linux, two were running FreeBSD and one was running Windows Server 2008.

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.

Most Reliable Hosting Company Sites in June 2011

Rank Company site OS Outage
hh:mm:ss
Failed
Req%
DNS Connect First
byte
Total
1 Datapipe FreeBSD 0:00:00 0.004 0.107 0.007 0.015 0.021
2 INetU FreeBSD 0:00:00 0.004 0.169 0.039 0.103 0.248
3 New York Internet FreeBSD 0:00:00 0.004 0.198 0.062 0.124 0.374
4 Hosting 4 Less Linux 0:00:00 0.008 0.136 0.075 0.153 0.337
5 www.logicworks.net Linux 0:00:00 0.012 0.128 0.068 0.152 0.366
6 www.micfo.com Linux 0:00:00 0.019 0.130 0.052 0.291 0.410
7 ReliableServers.com FreeBSD 0:00:00 0.023 0.232 0.069 0.144 0.352
8 aruba.it Windows Server 2003 0:00:00 0.023 0.119 0.095 0.191 0.191
9 Kattare Internet Services Linux 0:00:00 0.023 0.132 0.097 0.194 0.348
10 www.qubenet.net Linux 0:00:00 0.031 0.102 0.046 0.094 0.094

See full table

Each of the top three hosting companies had only one failed request this month and they are therefore ranked by average connection time.

Top of the table this month is Datapipe, which offers a range of services including managed hosting, compliance, security and cloud computing. Datapipe is committed to customer service and offers a 100% network uptime guarantee.

The second most reliable hosting company in June was INetU, which offers dedicated managed hosting services from data centers with resilient networks, backup power and strong physical and network security. InetU also offers compliance and consultancy services to customers around the world.

Third this month was New York Internet. NYI offers colocation, dedicated servers and virtual hosting from data centers in New York. The company focuses on reliability and technical support that is responsive round the clock.

Half of the sites in the top ten in June were running Linux, four were running FreeBSD, and one was running 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.

July 2011 Web Server Survey

In the July 2011 survey we received responses from 357,292,065 sites.

Apache gained a further 10.8 million sites this month, taking its total up to 235 million and increasing its leading market share by nearly a whole percentage point to 65.9%. OVH, who saw massive growth of 8.7M hostnames last month, gained a much smaller but still significant 1.5M this month. The largest growth was exhibited by Softlayer, gaining 3.5M.

Microsoft IIS is now used by more than 60 million websites, a growth of 1.9M hostnames, capturing 16.8% of the market. Though most of these sites are served directly from Windows computers, fronting Windows machines with an F5 BIG-IP load balancing device remains a popular option and is used on around 8% of Microsoft IIS sites. Microsoft themselves serve nearly half a million hostnames on IIS through BIG-IP, for example http://windows.microsoft.com. VPLS, Inc., who saw a big drop of 1.5M last month, saw the biggest growth this month, adding 800k hostnames and more than doubling their total.

Despite gaining 689k sites, nginx's share fell slightly this month to 6.54%. Google suffered a slight loss last month, and also experienced the largest loss this month, with its total falling by a further 317k sites.

Total Sites Across All Domains
August 1995 - July 2011

Total Sites Across All Domains, August 1995 - July 2011


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

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


DeveloperJune 2011PercentJuly 2011PercentChange
Apache224,484,65764.88%235,326,98565.86%0.98
Microsoft58,213,39116.82%60,086,34616.82%-0.01
nginx22,668,7606.55%23,357,4976.54%-0.01
Google15,958,1064.61%15,641,5744.38%-0.23
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StartSSL suspends services after security breach

StartSSL has suspended issuance of digital certificates and related services following a security breach on 15 June. A trademark of Eddy Nigg's StartCom, the StartSSL certificate authority is well known for offering free domain validated SSL certificates, but also sells organisation and extended validation certificates.

More than 25 thousand websites in Netcraft's SSL survey use certificates issued by StartSSL. These are recognised by Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome and other mainstream browsers.

StartSSL is not alone in offering free certificates. AffirmTrust recently trumped StartSSL's one-year certificates with its own offer of free three-year domain validated SSL certificiates. Coincidentally, AffirmTrust announced its launch on the same day as the StartSSL security breach.

StartSSL is also not the only certificate authority to come under attack this year. In March, Comodo came under attack through three of its resellers. By compromising a GlobalTrust website, the so-called ComodoHacker managed to fraudulently issue several valid certificates, including ones for the login pages of Yahoo and Skype. These certificates were subsequently revoked and browser software was updated to explicitly blacklist them.

LulzSec fuels growth at CloudFlare

Nine months after its launch, content distribution network CloudFlare is now used by more than 40 thousand sites in Netcraft's web server survey. The company announced its public beta at TechCrunch Disrupt in September 2010, where it came in as a close runner-up. Despite not winning, CEO Matthew Prince later described how Disrupt brought his team together and resulted in an increase in signups without having to carry out any additional PR or marketing.

CloudFlare also gained customers after recent praise from LulzSec, who use the service to run their website at lulzsecurity.com. LulzSec have accrued more than 200 thousand followers on Twitter as a result of their attacks against high-profile targets such as Sony, Fox, PBS and the X Factor.

When a website uses CloudFlare, client requests are made to a global network of edge nodes rather than to the website itself. This can increase performance, particularly when an edge node is located somewhere that can respond faster than the website's original hosting location.

By monitoring site traffic, CloudFlare can also offer some protection against denial of service attacks. When malicious traffic is detected, it can be automatically blocked at the edge nodes, before the traffic hits the website. Matthew Prince reported some DDoS attacks against CloudFlare yesterday, but noted that the service had not been impacted.

However, AnonNews used to be a prominent user of CloudFlare until the service was disabled after a DDoS attack affected the CloudFlare network. With traffic instead being routed directly to the server hosting anonnews.org, it has been seemingly unable to withstand the current series of attacks against it. The domain is registered to Sven Slootweg, who told Netcraft, "They had to turn it off on my domain for the past few days because of a really large DDoS attack." He added, "It apparently seriously affected their network. There is one or more Turkish patriot hacker groups constantly attacking AnonNews."

Nonetheless, CloudFlare's growth is continuing at a strong rate. The accessibility and cost of the service is undoubtedly playing a large part in this success – no contracts are required, and users can either sign up for free, or pay only $20 per month for a Pro account which offers better performance, advanced security protection and real-time stats. CloudFlare will also be offering an enterprise service soon.