Price Competition Emerges in Grid Hosting

This year's hot trend in web hosting is grid computing, which employs server clusters to bring the advantages of enterprise-level infrastructure to affordable web hosting plans. As with any trend in web hosting, it hasn't taken long for a price war to break out.

On Tuesday Los Angeles hosting firm Media Temple unveiled GridServer, offering industrial-strength specs for just $20 a month. The account comes with 100 gigabytes of disk space, 1 terabyte of monthly data transfer and the ability to host up to 100 domains. Two other prominent grid initiatives launched this year by dedicated hosting companies, ServePath's UtilityServe and Rackspace-backed Mosso, price their grid hosting plans at $99 a month. Media Temple's pricing could also prove disruptive to shared hosting providers with clustered hosting plans, including NetFirms and Cartika Hosting, which offer cheaper monthly pricing ($9.99 and $14.99, respectively) but much lower allowances for disk space and bandwidth.

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September Phishing Site Competition Winners

Netcraft's September competition saw many internet users battling it out to gain a top spot in our phishing site reporters list.

To show our appreciation to the community, Netcraft will be sending a top of the range "Thanks for all the Phish" commemorative iPod to the five people who reported the largest number of phishing reports accepted during September.

The winners are: Leo, Giovanni, David, Patrick and Jerrid. Many thanks for your efforts! Each phishing site that is reported vastly reduces the number of victims falling prey to fraudulent activity on the Web. Netcraft has now received, reviewed and blocked more than 200,000 unique URLs reported to us as phishing sites.

The Netcraft Toolbar, which is available for both Internet Explorer and Firefox, serves as a giant neighborhood watch scheme for the Internet: members who encounter a phishing fraud can act to defend the larger community of users against the attack. Once the first recipients of a phishing mail have reported the target URL, it is blocked for toolbar users who subsequently access the URL and widely disseminated attacks simply mean that the phishing attack will be reported and blocked sooner.

In recent reviews Ziff-Davis comments "In testing on live phishing sites, IE 7 RC1 failed to identify as many phishing sites as Netcraft's free IE toolbar. " while the Washington Post remarked "I've visited countless phishing sites in the past few months, and Netcraft's toolbar has done its job almost unfailingly."

Rackspace Most Reliable Hoster in September

Ranking by Failed Requests and Connection time,
September 1st - 30th 2006


Rackspace is the most reliable hosting company for September 2006, followed closely by managed hosting company Datapipe and Katarre, a colocation and dedicated hosting provider based in Corvallis, OR.

Rackspace, a managed hosting provider based in San Antonio, Texas, has been a mainstay in our reliability rankings since we began tracking hosting company performance in 2003. This is the fifth time this year that Rackspace has been the most reliable hoster, compared to six times in 2005. The home page for the web site did not have a measurable outage from March 2004 through November 2005, when it experienced three minutes of downtime.

Eight of the 10 most reliable hosters run their sites on Linux with the two remaining having Unknown OS.

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October 2006 Web Server Survey

In the October 2006 survey we received responses from 97,932,447 sites, an increase of 1.08 million from last month. That moderate growth follows four straight months of blockbuster gains, guaranteeing that 2006 will surpass 2005 in the record books for largest single-year hostname growth. The survey has added nearly 23.9 million sites in the first 10 months of 2006, well above the previous record for annual numerical site growth of 17.1 million from last year. At its current 2006 growth rate of 2.3 million-plus sites per month, the Web Server Survey could top 100 million sites before the end of the year.

There are only small shifts in market share for web server software. Windows' share improves slightly this month, as gains at Go Daddy offset some slippage among sites hosted at Microsoft.

Total Sites Across All Domains August 1995 - October 2006

Total Sites Across All Domains, August 1995 - October 2006

Graph of market share for top servers across all domains, August 1995 - October 2006

Top Developers
DeveloperSeptember 2006PercentOctober 2006PercentChange

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Globix Sells US Unit, Exits Hosting Business

Globix has exited the hosting business by selling its U.S. operations to Quality Technology Services for $20 million. In August the company sold Globix UK and its European network to Telecity Redbus for $62 million. The U.S. deal provides Quality with managed hosting customers in Santa Clara, Calif. and New York to supplement its existing operations in Atlanta, Kansas and Indiana. The sale is expected to close within the next month.

The history of Globix closely tracks broader industry trends, as it built big during the dot-com boom, commissioning 400,000 square foot data centers in New York and Boston to accommodate an expected flood of hosting customers. The company later filed for bankruptcy protection, emerging as a leaner competitor. Earlier this year, the company reviewed its operations and decided to focus on its network connectivity business.

Quality Technology Services was formed in September 2005 when the Quality Group of Companies purchased the assets of the former e^deltacom, including a 376,000 square foot data center outside Atlanta. Quality said today that it has acquired an existing 960,000 square foot data center facility in the Atlanta market, and plans to announce a New York data center site shortly.

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HostGator: cPanel Security Hole Exploited in Mass Hack

HostGator says hackers compromised its servers using a previously unknown security hole in cPanel, the control panel software that is widely used by hosting providers. "I can tell you with all accuracy that this is definitely due to a cPanel exploit that provides root access and all cPanel servers are affected," said HostGator system administrator Tim Greer. "This issue affects all versions of cPanel, from what I can tell, from years ago to the current releases, including Stable, Release, Current and Edge."

cPanel has just released a fix. "Running /scripts/upcp will fix the vulnerability in all builds," cPanel said in a message on its user forums. "Please note that this is a local exploit which requires access to a cPanel account. ... If you believe you have been exploited through this vulnerability, you are welcome to submit a support request for assistance."

Hackers gained access to HostGator's servers late Thursday and began redirecting customer sites to outside web pages that exploit an unpatched VML security hole in Internet Explorer to infect web surfers with trojans. The existence of the new "0-day" exploit of cPanel leaves a large number of hosting companies vulnerable to similar attacks until they install the patch. The riusk is mitigated somewhat by the fact that it is a local exploit, meaning any attack on a host must be launched from an existing account with cPanel access.

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