Over the last two years the most common reason for a Hosting Provider making the news was when the company went bust. Hoswever, outside of the mainstream newsflow, some companies have been growing strongly.
A table of the Hosting Providers who grew the fastest during 2002 is provided as an excerpt from our Hosting Provider Server Count. Companies are included in the filter if they started 2002 with more than 500 servers, finished with at least 1000, and grew at a rate of better than 33% year on year. This removes hosters which can show a significant percentage increase simply by virtue of starting small.
The top of the table shows that fast growth in the hosting industry is closely linked to providing good value at a low price. 1&1 and Host Europe both offer extremely cheap shared hosting packages, while Rackshack has more or less defined the market for low-cost dedicated servers. Colt is often amongst the cheapest quotes for bandwidth in the cities in which it operates.
Several of the leading dedicated server companies have produced annual growth over 40%. Additionally, many of the larger telecoms companies are showing good rates of growth of web servers on their networks, in part from Hosting Resellers and DSL and Cable connections as well as their own hosting operations.
Limitations of the Hosting Provider Server Count include the following;
- Only sites found by the Web Server Survey will be included. The number of hosts found running internet web sites by the Web Server Survey is large [over 40 million in April 2003], but not exhaustive.
- Sites are attributed to companies by performing a reverse DNS lookup on each responding ip address in the Web Server Survey. If reverse DNS lookups have not been configured or otherwise fail, the count for the company will correspondingly reduced. To mitigate this we provide an additional view of the data compiled by Netblock registration. In practice the most successful hosting companies seem to set up reverse DNS correctly.
- Backend machines such as database servers not running web sites will not be counted, as they are unseen from the Internet.
- At most one server will be counted for each site. Round robin DNS, reverse web proxies, load balancing products like Cisco Local Director and BIG-IP and some connection level firewalls hide multiple web servers behind a single hostname.
Full details of the Hosting Provider Server Count are available.