Weather.com, the web site for The Weather Channel, has experienced outages and sluggish performance this evening amid heavy traffic from web surfers seeking the latest information on Tropical Storm Ernesto. Ernesto is approaching the Florida coast and is expected to make landfall late Tuesday or early Wednesday as a strong tropical storm. It will be the ninth hurricane or tropical storm in the past three years to strike Florida, where thousands of homeowners are still repairing homes damaged by previous storms.
The National Hurricane Center web site, which provides the latest advisories on the strength and projected path of major storms, has remained available throughout the storm's approach. The NHC has beefed up its infrastructure in recent years, and uses the Akamai network to help manage its web traffic.
Dynamically updating charts of the performance of the Weather.com and the National Hurricane Center web sites are available.
The web site of the British Airports Authority (BAA) has been deluged by heavy traffic as travelers seek news about the status of flights at London's Heathrow Airport and other UK airports in the wake of this morning's terror alert. The baa.co.uk site experienced several outages this morning, and promptly converted to an all-text format, providing only the most essential information. The change has improved the availability of the site.
The BAA also switched the sites for Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Southampton, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen airports to an all-text format. Eliminating graphics on web pages improves availability during periods of heavy site traffic, as smaller HTML files reduce the load on busy web servers.
A dynamically updating chart of the web site performance of the BAA web site is available.
Domain registrar Go Daddy has decided not to attempt an initial public offering, citing difficult market conditions, the company said yesterday. "With a war and escalating hostilities throughout the Middle East, skyrocketing oil prices and technology stocks once again taking a beating on Wall Street - now just isn't the right time for us," said Bob Parsons, CEO and founder of The Go Daddy Group.
Go Daddy's plans to raise $200 million through an IPO had been closely watched in the U.S. hosting industry, which has seen many private mergers and acquisitions but no major new IPOs since dot-com era bankruptcies by Exodus and other hosting companies that borrowed heavily to finance growth. Hostopia, which focuses on the hosting reseller market, filed plans last month for an IPO that could raise up to $40 million.
Go Daddy is the the world’s largest domain registrar, and has built a huge hosting business since entering the market in earnest in 2003. Go Daddy recently became the world’s largest hosting provider, as measured by hostnames. While the Scottsdale, Ariz. company has been cash-flow positive since 2001, it has not yet reached profitability, and lost $13.8 million in 2005 on revenues of $139 million, according to its SEC filing.
Continuing power problems at a Los Angeles telecom building have caused more outages for hosting companies, who are working to reassure frustrated customers about the extended downtime.
The Garland Building (1200 W. 7th) lost power for the second time in five days last Friday, causing significant downtime for both Dreamhost and Media Temple. A July 24 outage at the building that knocked MySpace offline was subsequently blamed on malfuctions in a power transfer system and UPS unit. On July 28, the building suffered another loss of power, attributed to an electrical short.
The problems have been most acute for DreamHost, which has been struggling with network troubles in between outages. DreamHost, which hosts about 285,000 hostnames, provided a detailed summary of the problems in a blog post titled Anatomy of a(n Ongoing) Disaster.
Ranking by Failed Requests and Connection time,
July 1st - 31st 2006
For the second time in three months, six hosting companies share the top spot for the most reliable hosting company site, as Datapipe, New York Internet, AboveNet, Hostway, Rackspace and IPowerWeb finish in a dead heat for July. All six providers had just 0.01 percent of requests fail during the month, just a hair short of perfection.
Those strong performances came during a rough month for uptime, as late July power outages played havoc with some popular web destinations and hosting providers in data centers in California and the UK.
Five of this month's six leaders have previously finished atop the reliability survey at least once, but this marks the first appearance in the top spot for AboveNet, an IP services and connectivity provider with extensive operations in both the U.S. and the U.K.
Four of the 10 most reliable hosters run their sites on FreeBSD, while two use Linux, and Windows Server 2003, Windows 2000 and Solaris 8 all make one appearance.
In the August 2006 survey we received responses from
92,615,362 sites, an increase of 4.4 million sites (4.8%) from the July survey. This is the largest numerical gain yet for the survey, surpassing the 3.96 million site increase in June. The biggest one-month percentage growth remains the 8.5% jump in March 2003.
This month's data spotlights the fierce rivalry between Microsoft and Google, as the free blog services operated by the two Internet titans are seeing enormous growth. Microsoft's Windows Live Spaces (formerly MSN Spaces) grew by 858K sites, while Google's Blogger service added 568K sites.
Those huge gains helped Microsoft and Google's blogging services outpace Go Daddy and 1&1 Internet, the world's two largest web hosting companies. But Go Daddy and 1&1 also continue to grow at a rapid pace, having slashed prices and super-sized their account specs to compete with the free offerings from the Internet's best-known brands. Go Daddy added 368K hostnames this month, while 1&1 Internet added 264K.
The hosting arms race between these four companies continues to influence the web server market. Microsoft's blogs and Go Daddy's parked domains are hosted on Windows Server 2003, while Google's blogs and the vast majority of 1&1 Internet's sites are hosted on the Linux/Apache platform. Microsoft's strength this month helps it gain web server market share in both hostnames and active sites. In both categories, Apache leads with 62 percent share to 30 percent for Microsoft.
Total Sites Across All Domains August 1995 - August 2006
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