January 2011 Web Server Survey

In the January 2011 survey we received responses from 273,301,445 sites.

nginx once again saw the largest increase in market share amongst the top web servers, gaining 0.88 percentage points or 3.59M hostnames. nginx now controls 7.50% of hostnames in the survey, though only 6.12% within the top 1 million sites. 2.4M of the additional nginx hostnames are hosted by Ecatel, which appears to have migrated from Apache to nginx this month. nginx's growth in active sites is more modest, adding 429k active sites, leaving nginx with a 8.23% share.

Lighttpd was the only other web server to increase its share of hostnames this month, increasing by 558k hostnames, 531k of which are hosted by Secure Hosting Limited.

Apache remains the dominant force, commanding a 59.13% share and an increase of 10.1M hostnames. The majority of the Apache growth was in the United States and Germany, together adding 9.9M hostnames. The growth in the United States is concentrated in AmeriNOC and Softlayer, together accounting for 7.34M hostnames. Germany's growth, on the other hand, is concentrated at a single hosting company, United Internet AG, adding domain holding pages for fhe3rz.net.

Microsoft made modest gains this month, adding 669k hostnames despite losing 1.2 percentage points in market share.

Total Sites Across All Domains
August 1995 - January 2011

Total Sites Across All Domains, August 1995 - January 2011

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

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

DeveloperDecember 2010PercentJanuary 2011PercentChange
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Blackout protests against Hungary media law

Popular BitTorrent site The Pirate Bay is one of many joining in with today's "blackout" protests against a new media law approved in Hungary. The law allows Hungarian publications to be fined for violating public order, which could require journalists to reveal their sources.

The blackout campaign is being publicised through blackout4hungary.net, which encourages other sites to take part in the protest by adding black banners or stylesheets to their sites. The blackout4hungary.net site appears to have taken the blackout concept a step further and is currently offline, although this may just be a consequence of the large amount of traffic being driven to the site through hyperlinks and hotlinked stylesheets.

The Pirate Bay is currently hosted in Germany and uses the lighttpd web server. The site has nearly 5 million registered users and claims to be "the world's most resilient BitTorrent"; however, the site's availability has been somewhat choppy since Tuesday.

Most Reliable Hosting Company Sites in December 2010

Rank Company site OS Outage
DNS Connect First
1 Swishmail FreeBSD 0:00:00 0.012 0.223 0.099 0.198 0.495
2 ServInt Linux 0:00:00 0.015 0.487 0.102 0.207 0.514
3 www.logicworks.net Linux 0:00:00 0.015 0.247 0.106 0.400 0.609
4 Hosting 4 Less Linux 0:00:00 0.015 0.188 0.113 0.228 0.448
5 Multacom FreeBSD 0:00:00 0.023 0.205 0.113 0.230 0.584
6 iWeb Technologies Linux 0:00:00 0.035 0.302 0.095 0.226 0.226
7 www.singlehop.com Linux 0:00:00 0.035 0.420 0.105 0.582 0.966
8 www.dinahosting.com Linux 0:00:00 0.035 0.184 0.106 0.213 0.213
9 Rackspace F5 BIG-IP 0:00:00 0.043 0.193 0.092 0.186 0.186
10 Iomart plc. Linux 0:00:00 0.046 0.186 0.102 0.212 0.492

See full table

The most reliable host this month was Swishmail which responded to all but three of Netcraft's requests. Swishmail ranked ninth last month and has been present in the top ten since October. They primarily offer business level email and web hosting solutions.

In second place this month was ServInt which responded to all but four of our requests. The company specialises in offering managed hosting and has climbed from tenth position after entering the top ten last month. This good performance could perhaps have been a factor in the decision to host WikiLeaks.org with ServInt a fortnight ago.

Ranking third this month was Logicworks which also failed to respond to four requests. The host was last present in the top ten in October when it came in at number seven. Logicworks provide a variety of cloud and managed hosting solutions.

Seven of December's top ten hosting company sites run Linux, two run FreeBSD and one runs 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.

4chan boards fall to second attack

4chan's popular message boards are under another distributed denial of service attack. Many members of Anonymous inhabit the site's boards, although it is unknown whether the current attack is related to any of the previous DDoS attacks purportedly carried out by Anonymous.

'sup /b/?

Shortly after the attack began, an update on status.4chan.org quickly stated, "Another day, another DDoS! Right on the eve of /b/'s 300 millionth post." 4Chan was also subjected to a similar attack last week, whereupon it quipped, "We now join the ranks of MasterCard, Visa, PayPal, et al.–an exclusive club!" These payment companies had previously been targeted by Anonymous in a series of attacks last month.

Real-time performance graphs for websites that have been involved (or may become involved) in the WikiLeaks and Anonymous attacks can be monitored at http://uptime.netcraft.com/perf/reports/performance/wikileaks

BestBuy.com hits problems in run up to Christmas

Many Christmas shoppers have been denied access to the BestBuy.com website this week. None of our performance monitors has been able to visit the site in the past 24 hours, while some locations have been denied access for more than 3 days. Some Twitter users have reported problems accessing the site as early as 18th December.

BestBuy.com offered guaranteed Christmas delivery for orders placed before 11am ET time on Tuesday, although many shoppers have apparently been unable to use the website ahead of the deadline.

The BestBuy.com website is served from the Akamai content distribution network, and has been using the AkamaiGHost web server since 19th December. A Best Buy employee said "The website is acting a little weird right now, for US customers or otherwise. Technicians are working on it 24/7".

At the time of writing, the site still returns a 403 Forbidden response, saying "You don't have permission to access "http://www.bestbuy.com/" on this server." Live performance graphs for www.bestbuy.com can be viewed here.

WikiLeaks.org moves next door to the CIA

The WikiLeaks.org website has moved again and now appears to be hosted within walking distance of the CIA's headquarters. The site was previously hosted by Silicon Valley Web Hosting, but has now switched to ServInt, whose offices are adjacent to the CIA in McLean, Virginia.

A = ServInt headquarters, B = CIA headquarters (both approximate)

Hosting the WikiLeaks.org site within such close proximity of the CIA headquarters is surprising given that earlier this year, WikiLeaks asked the CIA to stop spying on it, though it will presumably be helpful for the CIA's WikiLeaks Task Force (WTF!)

The recent hosting history for www.wikileaks.org can be viewed here.