A table of the Hosting Providers who grew the fastest over the year March 2002 to March 2003 is provided as an excerpt from our Hosting Provider Server Count. Companies are included in the filter if they started March 2002 with more than 600 servers, and finished March 2003 with at least 1000, and grew at a rate of 33% or better, year on year. This removes hosters which can show a significant percentage increase si1mply by virtue of being small at the start of the period.
Comparing with last quarter shows percentage growth down somewhat amongst the companies at the top of the list, although absolute growth in terms of servers is larger in this quarter. 17 companies, almost evenly spread between North America, Europe and the Far East grew servers by more than a third over the year.
Growth at Rackshack and 1&1 Internet is relentless, considerably outpacing other hosting locations, and these two companies top our Sites on the Move page on most days as sites continue to migrate to them. Host Europe suffered a major dispute amongst its investors and management after the end of the period under measurement and it will be interesting to see if this impacts their growth over the current quarter. Colt Telecom, which most people think of as a British provider, is seeing a significant part of its growth in mainland Europe. Leading Dedicated Server companies Rackspace, Datapipe and Interland enjoyed high growth consistent with the previous quarter; Interland exactly matching the previous quarter's rate of 42%.
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 42 million in July 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.