Grid hosting providers may offer advantages over dedicated servers, but they're not immune to downtime. Mosso, a utility computing start-up launched earlier this year with backing from Rackspace, has experienced a significant outage today. The mosso.com web site was offline for more than an hour this morning after a series of shorter outages yesterday.
Mosso uses a "hosting system" of clusters of servers, an approach initially seen in enterprise hosting, which can offer advantages in redundancy and performance. The company is one of a growing number of hosting providers moving to grid hosting as an alternative to discount dedicated servers, which have been enormously popular with hosting resellers and power users. Improved reliability is among the key selling points for grid systems.
A dynamically updating chart of the performance of the Mosso.com is available. Netcraft offers a web site performance monitoring service that provides detailed uptime charts, along with e-mail alerts when an outage occurs.
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 Rackspace.com 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.
Ranking by Failed Requests and Connection time,
August 1st - 31st 2006
The world's largest web host is also is the best performer this month, as 1&1 Internet ties with Rackspace and New York Internet as the most reliable relable hosting company site for August 2006. The home pages for all three providers were perfect for the month, with no downtime and no failed requests.
This month's leaderboard provides an interesting contrast, demonstrating that hosting customers can find good network connectivity at either end of the hosting spectrum. 1&1 is one of the cheapest providers, offering shared hosting accounts starting at $2.99 per month, while New York Internet and Rackspace are managed hosting specialists that provide custom pricing.
Rackspace has been the most reliable host four times this year, while NYI has topped the list or tied for first on three occasions. 1&1, which hosts more than 3 million active sites, previously led the rankings in May 2005.
Seven of the 10 most reliable hosters run their sites on Linux, while two use FreeBSD, and one Windows Server 2003.
A botched software update at Spain's central domain registry knocked as many as 400,000 sites offline for several hours Tuesday, according to the Esnic registry. The error left Internet users unable to access domains using .es, the country code top-level domain for Spain. The outage lasted from 3 pm to 5 pm Tuesday afternoon (local time) when the DNS database that connects domain names to IP addresses was "affected by an error" during a software update, according to an advisory posted at Esnic, which manages the .es database.
The outage can be clearly seen in our performance chart for Arsys, the largest hosting company in Spain, which uses Arsys.es as its primary domain. Arsys hosts more than 600,000 hostnames, although only some of those use .es for their domain. Other top-level domains were not affected.
Netcraft offers a web site performance monitoring service that provides detailed uptime charts, along with e-mail alerts when an outage occurs.
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.