1. Busiest Sites Hosting Provider Switching Analysis

    Netcraft has developed a dataset which tracks the changes in the hosting locations of the million busiest websites. Each month we determine the busiest sites by the number of visits from users of the Netcraft Toolbar. This is then combined with detailed hosting information gathered by our Web Server Survey, and compared with the equivalent information from the previous month.

    Many sites' location will be unchanged, but some will have moved from one hosting provider to another during the course of the month. Additionally, hosting companies may gain new sites that were not previously in the top million, and lose sites which are no longer present.

    The dataset gives a guide to the market share of companies hosting the sites responsible for the great majority of web traffic, and is largely uninfluenced by parked domains, personal sites, shared hosting accounts or the majority of blogs.

    Excerpts from March to April 2010

    Hostnames Change Gained Lost
    Hosting Company Mar 2010 Apr 2010 +/- % Not Ranked Competitors Not Ranked Competitors
    ThePlanet.com 34,342 34,714 372 1.1% 3,087 835 2,839 711
    Rackspace 21,504 21,740 236 1.1% 1,719 467 1,573 377
    GoDaddy Inc 15,617 15,721 104 0.7% 1,641 362 1,522 377
    Peer1 Networks Inc 8,394 8,512 118 1.4% 815 910 635 972
    Layered Technologies 5,987 5,905 -82 -1.4% 524 873 566 913
    iWeb Technologies Inc 4,511 4,662 151 3.3% 446 127 307 115
    iomart group plc 2,675 2,771 96 3.6% 271 137 239 73

    Gains from Not Ranked indicate that a site has entered in to the top million this month. Losses from Not Ranked indicate that the site is no longer in the top million.

    Although the top 1000 sites are concentrated amongst the web superpowers, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and eBay, the hosting locations of the top million sites are widely fragmented, with a little over 3.25% sufficient for top spot.

    Site Detail

    An advantage of this dataset over the Hosting Provider Switching Analysis is the ability to analyse movement between competing hosting providers on a per-site basis. With this feature, current and previous hosting locations, netblock, operating system and server software for each site is shown.

    Site Host First Seen New Rank Old Rank New Hosted By Hew Hoster Old Hosted By Old Hoster
    http://www.gwebtools.com 01/11/2008 96322 99144 server4you.net Intergenia AG global-datacenter.com Softlayer Inc
    http://obeus.com 01/10/2001 261523 248751 intergenia.de Intergenia AG global-datacenter.com Softlayer Inc
    http://www.mmistanbul.com 01/07/2004 302629 280276 intergenia.de Intergenia AG global-datacenter.com Softlayer Inc
    http://www.automotoportal.com 01/04/2006 315713 315920 intergenia.de Intergenia AG global-datacenter.com Softlayer Inc
    http://www.xxproxy.com 01/05/2007 406833 395720 intergenia.de Intergenia AG global-datacenter.com Softlayer Inc
    http://www.houselife.gr 01/06/2007 438654 486241 intergenia.de Intergenia AG global-datacenter.com Softlayer Inc

    Posted by Tom Robertshaw on 27th May, 2010 in Netcraft Services

  2. Symantec buys large share of SSL market

    Symantec has agreed to acquire VeriSign's Identity and Authentication business for an aggregate purchase price of $1.28 billion. It had previously looked as though Symantec was setting itself up to become a direct competitor of VeriSign following its recent acquisition of PGP Corporation, which also has trusted root certificates in browsers through its own acquisition of TC TrustCenter.

    Symantec's acquisition will include VeriSign's SSL and trust services. Netcraft's most recent SSL survey shows that VeriSign is the largest SSL certificate authority, with around half a million valid and distinct SSL certificates in use on the web, giving it a market share of 38%.

    Overall growth trend in the SSL certificate market (all companies)

    The widespread use of VeriSign certificates is also evident from handling more than 2 billion Online Certificate Status Protocol lookups in a single day last month, less than a year after hitting 1 billion per day. These OCSP checks allow web browsers to determine whether a certificate has been revoked.

    In recent years, VeriSign has been keen to evangelise Extended Validation SSL certificates. These certificates cause the browser's address bar to turn green, which indicates to a customer that the identity of a site has been authenticated according to the most rigorous industry standard.

    VeriSign holds a significant 71% share of the Extended Validation market. Although this market itself only accounts for 1.5% of all SSL certificates, it has typically been a high value market, with VeriSign currently selling individual certificates from $995 for 1 year.

    Symantec's announcement cites $408 million revenue for VeriSign's business during the twelve months leading up to the end of March, much of which is likely to have come from SSL certificate sales alone.

    Despite several other companies selling Extended Validation certificates at lower prices, VeriSign's market share has only fallen by 2 percentage points over the past 12 months. However, competitor Go Daddy's aggressive new pricing of $99.99 earlier this year has already resulted in a noticeable growth increase at Go Daddy over the past few months.

    Symantec recently acquired PGP Corporation for approximately $300 million. PGP had previously made its own agreements to acquire the privately-held TC TrustCenter, along with its parent company, ChosenSecurity. PGP now sells organization validated, wildcard and extended validation certificates under the PGP TrustCenter brand.

    The SSL certificate market continues to thrive, with our last SSL survey finding a total of 1.3 million distinct valid third-party SSL certificates.

    Posted by Paul Mutton on 20th May, 2010 in Around the Net

  3. The Pirate Bay returns to the internet

    Popular BitTorrent search engine The Pirate Bay has just come back online, around a day after it was apparently forced offline by a German court injunction filed a week ago.

    The Motion Picture Association subsequently made a press release [pdf] about the injunction against CB3Rob Ltd & Co KG (Cyberbunker) and its operator, Mr. Sven Olaf Kamphuis, "restraining them from connecting The Pirate Bay site to the Internet".

    However, the site is already back online — hosted at the same place as before — and now presents a defiant 'lolcat' message, presumably aimed at those who are trying to get the site shut down:


    The Pirate Bay publishes many of the legal threats it receives, but proudly boasts that no torrents have ever been removed from the site.


    The Pirate Bay website runs Linux and uses the lighttpd webserver.

    Posted by Paul Mutton on 18th May, 2010 in Performance

  4. Faulty Flash app brings XSS to Content Management Systems

    More websites may be exposed to attack following a Ukrainian security researcher's discovery of a cross-site scripting vulnerability in a widespread Flash application. This week, the researcher announced two more content management systems which use insecure versions of the affected Flash file.

    Earlier this year, the author also claimed to have found a similar vulnerability in Flash files used by tag cloud plugins for WordPress, Joomulus, JVClouds3D, Joomla and Blogumus.

    Eugene Dokukin, posting as MustLive, noted this week that the same problem also affects the Cumulus tag cloud widget for BlogEngine.NET and Kasseler CMS.

    The vulnerability allows arbitrary HTML tags to be injected into the tagcloud.swf Flash application. This makes it possible to inject malign JavaScript into the Flash application, although this can only be executed if a victim clicks on the injected content:


    If an attacker is able to convince someone to click on the Flash application, the injected JavaScript would be able to run in the context of the site hosting the Flash application. This could be particularly harmful for content management systems, potentially allowing an attacker to launch cross-site request forgery attacks, or even propagate XSS worms through comments or blog posts.

    A simple Google search returns many websites which use vulnerable versions of the Flash tag cloud application. Netcraft provides a range of security testing services to identify and eliminate vulnerabilities such as cross-site scripting.

    Posted by Paul Mutton on 14th May, 2010 in Security

  5. May 2010 Web Server Survey

    In the May 2010 survey we received responses from 206,026,787 sites.

    Four of the five major web servers gained hostnames since last month. Google lost for the second month in a row with a drop of 1.4M hostnames, predominantly caused by expired sites in its blogging system.

    Although Microsoft served 780K more hostnames this month, it actually lost 235K active sites. As with Google, this was due to a significant loss of blogging sites.

    The biggest change this month was a 1.9M increase in hostnames served using Apache. The largest contributor to this was a growth of 561K sites by Next Dimension Inc, but the majority of this consisted of parked sites on a single IP address.

    Rackspace recently reported that cloud computing sales were predicted to hit £8.5 billion ($12.6 bn) by 2014. Netcraft has seen significant growth in this sector. The number of sites hosted on Amazon EC2 increased for the eighth month in a row. There were 365K Amazon cloud sites in this month's survey, a growth of 33% since December 2009.

    One of the busiest sites hosted on Amazon EC2 as determined by visits from the Netcraft Toolbar is www.farmville.com. With over 75 million users, Farmville is a game available through Facebook in which players can grow crops and raise livestock.

    Total Sites Across All Domains
    August 1995 - May 2010

    Total Sites Across All Domains, August 1995 - May 2010

    Market Share for Top Servers Across All Domains
    August 1995 - May 2010

    Graph of market share for top servers across all domains, August 1995 - May 2010

    DeveloperApril 2010PercentMay 2010PercentChange

    Posted by Netcraft on 14th May, 2010 in Web Server Survey

  6. Most Reliable Hosting Company Sites in April 2010

    Rank Company site OS Outage
    DNS Connect First
    1 DataPipe FreeBSD 0:00:00 0.015 0.031 0.027 0.057 0.083
    2 GoDaddy.com Inc Windows Server 2003 0:00:00 0.023 0.161 0.092 0.196 0.781
    3 New York Internet FreeBSD 0:00:00 0.027 0.106 0.051 0.113 0.312
    4 iWeb Technologies Linux 0:00:00 0.031 1.187 0.063 0.127 0.127
    5 www.dinahosting.com Linux 0:00:00 0.031 0.178 0.128 0.256 0.256
    6 www.navisite.com Linux 0:00:00 0.035 0.353 0.102 0.683 0.896
    7 www.netcetera.co.uk Windows Server 2003 0:00:00 0.039 0.084 0.050 0.107 0.212
    8 Virtual Internet Linux 0:00:00 0.039 0.173 0.054 0.162 0.329
    9 ServInt Linux 0:00:00 0.039 0.162 0.063 0.146 0.331
    10 www.acens.com Linux 0:00:00 0.046 0.298 0.129 0.440 0.845

    See full table

    The most reliable hosting company site in April was DataPipe, once again responding to all but four of Netcraft's requests.

    DataPipe provides custom managed hosting solutions for businesses with complex Internet facing infrastructures with over 1,000 customers in seven data centres across the United States, Europe and China.

    The second most reliable hosting company site in April was GoDaddy, responding to all but six of Netcraft's requests.

    GoDaddy is the world's largest domain name registrar, managing more than 40 million domains.

    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.

    Further information on the measurement process and current measurements are available.

    Posted by bjb on 13th May, 2010 in Hosting, Performance