Questions required for forthcoming interviews on news.netcraft.com

We will be shortly be publishing some question and answer interviews on news.netcraft.com featuring some of the well known people in the web services and hosting industries. Please let us have some interesting questions for the people below.
  • Graham Weston, Rackspace
    Graham is CEO of Rackspace, one of the companies to pioneer dedicated hosting.


  • Rasmus Lerdorf, PHP
    Creator of PHP.


  • Jim Gray, Microsoft Research
    1999 Turing Award winner, creator of the TerraServer and Skyserver websites, and manager of Microsoft's Bay Area Reseach Center.


  • Andreas Gauger, 1&1
    CEO of 1&1, the world's largest hosting company with 3.4 Million hostnames and 1.8 Million active sites.


  • Mark Cox, Red Hat
    Director of Security, Red Hat, and cofounder of the Apache and OpenSSL projects.

Wall Street Drought Ends for Hosting Companies

After a funding drought of more than two-and-a-half years, US web hosting companies are again raising money through public stock offerings. On Friday, Internet exchange operator Equinix Inc. raised $105 million by selling 5.5 million shares of common stock, with strong demand leading the company to issue 2 million shares more than initially planned. The Equinix sale, along with a $6.9 million initial public offering Nov. 10 by Access Integrated Technologies, marked the first public stock sales by American hosting specialists since Loudcloud's IPO in March 2001.

The stock sales end a lengthy period in which hosting and data center providers were frozen out of Wall Street following the collapse of the Internet and telecom bubbles. The disappointing IPO by Loudcloud was viewed by many as the last gasp of the dot-com boom. Bankruptcies of publicly-held companies like Global Crossing, WorldCom, Exodus Communications, PSINet and Metromedia Fiber only deepened investor disdain for telecom and hosting shares.

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EV1 already top Windows Server 2003 Hosting Provider

A table of the top Windows Server 2003 Hosters is provided as an excerpt from our Hosting Provider Server Count.

Top Windows Server 2003 Hosters October 03
by Web Facing Server Count
Parent CompanyComputersActive SitesHostnames
EV1Servers 193 1,001 1,481
ServerBeach 176 1,508 3,053
1&1 Internet AG 136 7,388 17,187
Rackspace 92 606 1,617

The survey shows over 3,700 Windows Server 2003 servers already deployed worldwide in hosting environments, growing from 250 in March of this year, with some 17,000 in self hosted environments.

The largest collection of hostnames on Windows 2003 is being run by eNom, a domain registrar based in Bellevue, near Microsoft's headquarters. However, it is interesting that the dedicated providers such as EV1Servers and ServerBeach appear to have sold more Win2003 machines than companies with a big installed base of Windows 2000 servers. In particular, EV1Servers has only been offering Windows as an option since August. EV1Servers and ServerBeach are growing at such a rate that it is not inconcievable that they could maintain the lead, even as the traditional Win2000 hosting companies migrate their customers over to the new operating system.

Large Hosts Slash Domain Name Prices

Several of the world's largest hosting companies are slashing registration prices for domain names, undercutting even the cheapest domain registrars.

Hostway started the price-cutting in May when it lowered its domain prices to $6.95 a year, and in August EV1Servers began selling domains for just $5. Now the world's largest host, 1&1 Internet, is offering domains for $5.99 a year as it launches its US hosting service.

1&1 Internet registered 9,000 co.uk domains between Oct. 21 and Nov. 3 after setting prices at $3.35 a year (£1.99). EV1Servers experienced a similar surge, registering 10,000 domains in the first month of $5 pricing. "Our low cost registration service has not only benefited existing clients but also given us the opportunity to work with many new users," said Mario Rodriguez, EV1Servers' Customer Service Manager.

Smaller providers are also offering aggressive pricing - or none at all. Yesterday DotCanada began offering free domains to any hosting customers who commit to a 12-month plan, with no limit on the number of domains.

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Fastest growing Hosting Companies over last year

A table of the Hosting Providers who grew the fastest over the year September 2002 to October 2003 is provided as an excerpt from our latest Hosting Provider Server Count. Companies are included in the filter if they started September 2002 with more than 600 servers, and finished October 2003 with at least 1000, and grew at a rate of 66% or better, year on year. This removes hosters which can show a significant percentage increase by virtue of being small at the start of the period.

Fastest Growing Hosting Providers by % Increase in Web Visible Servers
September 02 to October 03
Parent CompanySept-02Oct-03% ChangeMain Business Area
1&1 Internet 4,45813,908+212%Mixed Hosting
EV1Servers 4,962 12,084 +145% Dedicated
Alabanza 749 1,526 +104% Reseller
Hostway 1,094 2,159 +97% Shared
SRS Sakura 884 1,480 +67% Telecoms

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MCI Will Acquire All of Digex

The acquirer is in Chapter 11, and the acquired company is not. But MCI has sealed the deal on its acquisition of managed hosting provider Digex, after its revised $1 a share offer coaxed several key holdouts into tendering their shares.

The merger ends the arms-length relationship the two companies sought to maintain after WorldCom acquired Digex parent Intermedia in early 2001, in which Digex remained an independent company although WorldCom owned the majority of Digex' shares. That allowed Digex to stay out of bankruptcy when WorldCom sought protection in July 2002. But the depth of the business ties between the companies left a cloud over Digex, which placed itself for sale late last year.

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