New CEO Mulls Future Path for The Planet/ EV1Servers

Doug Erwin has a big job ahead of him. As the new CEO of The Planet and EV1Servers, Erwin must blend the operations of the world's two largest dedicated server providers and position the new entity to compete in a rapidly-evolving sector of the hosting industry. But Erwin, an IT industry veteran, is used to large challenges. And GI Partners, the new owner of The Planet and EV1Servers, has plenty of ambition and a track record of building big.

The two Texas-based companies, which were acquired by GI Partners in early May, are plenty big already. The Planet and EV1Servers have more than 2.7 million hostnames between them, and between Dallas and Houston operate seven data centers and 370,000 square feet of web hosting space.

Customers of both companies are eager to hear what changes lie ahead. As he settled into his new position last week, Erwin said they'll need to wait a little longer. "In the next 30 days I'm going to put together the new management team, and I've committed to everyone that in the 30 days they'll know where their job is," said Erwin. "Within 90 days from today I intend to have our strategy completed. We don't even have a name for the company yet," he added, saying that all options remained on the table, including choosing between the two brands or adopting an entirely new name.

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IPowerWeb Most Reliable Hoster in June

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


iPowerWeb is the most reliable hostinig company site in June, followed closely by Hostway, as budget hosts continue to demonstrate that their networks can compete with those of high-end managed hosting providers.

iPowerWeb's shared hosting accounts start at $7.95 a month for packages that include a free domain and 10 gigs of disk space. Hostway, which ties for second with this month, offers "SuperPower" shared hosting accounts that include 150 gigs of disk space and 1,500 gigs of data transfer (no, those aren't typos) starting at $9.95 a month.

Leading managed hosting providers continue to turn in strong performance, with Datapipe, Navisite, Rackspace and New York Internet all among the top 10, which included four sites on FreeBSD, three on Linux and two using Windows Server 2003. Of the 50 major hosts we monitor, 34 had no measurable outages in June.

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July 2006 Web Server Survey

In the July 2006 survey we received responses from 88,166,395 sites, an increase of 2.87 million (3.25%) from last month. The Internet continues to see strong hostname growth, and has now gained 14.1 million hostnames (19%) in 2006 for an average increase of more than 2 million per month.

It was a good month for the Apache web server, which gains 3.2 million hostnames. The improvement boosts Apache's market share by 1.8% to 63.25%, gaining back some of the ground it lost during several months of strong gains for Windows servers. The largest gains for Apache was at Oversee.Net, which added more than 0.58 million hostnames on the Linux/Apache platform. But Apache's growth in the hosting sector extends beyond Oversee.Net, as eleven other hosting companies added 20K or more hostnames on Apache.

Solaris has a loss of 953K hostnames, resulting in a loss of nearly half its market share (-1.1% to 1.5%). The decline occurred at a single host, Network Solutions, where access problems prevented us from obtaining a thorough tally.

Total Sites Across All Domains August 1995 - July 2006

Total Sites Across All Domains, August 1995 - July 2006

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

Top Developers
DeveloperJune 2006PercentJuly 2006PercentChange

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SQL Injection Weaknesses Found in Mambo, Joomla

Potentially serious security flaws have been found in existing versions of the Mambo and Joomla content management systems, and developers of the two projects are advising users to install upgrades or security patches as soon as possible. Both programs are vulnerable to SQL injection attacks, which allow remote attackers to execute commands on the web server in by typing SQL code into form fields. Joomla is a fork of Mambo, with both programs derived from the same code base.

Mambo and Joomla are open source projects which use the PHP scripting language and MySQL database. These applications are popular with web site owners because they are powerful, user-friendly, and can be installed by users with little or no PHP coding experience. They are also frequently targeted by Internet criminals seeking to crack web servers for use in botnets, phishing scams and distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. The Internet Storm Center said it is receiving reports that older versions of Mambo are being actively targeted and exploited using unpatched vulnerabilities.

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Network Problems for Level 3, Wiltel

Network problems at Internet backbone provider Level 3 have caused some intermittent connectivity problems today for customers of several U.S. access providers. The issue appears to be related to network integration of Wiltel Communications, which was acquired by Level 3 last fall. By late afternoon, East Coast time, Level 3 was reporting that the situation had been stabilized. Level 3 is one of the largest providers of wholesale dial-up service to ISPs in North America and is the primary provider of Internet connectivity for millions of broadband subscribers through its cable and DSL partners.

Lengthy Downtime for Fasthosts

Many sites hosted at Fasthosts, one of the UK's largest hosting providers, were unavailable for about 9 hours Sunday. Fastshosts hosts approximately 560,000 hostnames. The outage knocked out Fasthosts' own site, along with customers including Net4Now, which attributed the problems to a fiber cut at Telewest/BlueYonder. The fiber cut also affected cable TV service to about 100,000 UK subscribers who lost their signal just prior to the start of Sunday's World Cup soccer game, in which England defeated Ecuador 1-0.

Net4Now wondered how a fiber cut at a single connectivity provider could affect so many sites, given Fasthosts' statement that "every server enjoys a fully redundant Tier 1 connection so our customers never experience slow-down or service interruptions." The outage can be seen in this chart of the uptime for Fasthosts' main web site:

Fasthosts web site performance

A dynamically updating chart of Fasthosts' web site performance is available. Continue reading