foobar on computers, software and the rest of the world


Apache continues to dominate

, posted: 20-Mar-2008 08:11

Over the last couple of months, a lot has been written about the decline in market share for the Apache web server, and the increase in IIS deployments. The Netcraft studies on which this was based have themselves been criticised, however. It was pointed out that many of the additional domains now running under IIS were actually just the millions of parked domains at GoDaddy.com. Also, Netcraft had changed its countig methodology, which ended up re-classifying some former Apache sites as 'Google'.

If we look at the latest Netcraft survey for February 2008, we can see the recent and sudden increase of the 'Google server', coinciding with a further decrease of Apache (around May 2007). But we can also see that in the last three months Apache managed to slightly increase its market share again, so the trend of the last of the last few years has been reversed at least temporarily. Looking at all those sites and domain names, Apache now sits at 51% and IIS at around 36%.

But what do some of the busiest and largest web-sites run? According to this study by Pingdom (which looked at the 100 busiest web-sites in the US), the answer is overwhelmingly: Apache (49%), with IIS far behind (20%). The light and fast Lighttpd server also shows up nicely (4% and growing).

Microsoft has been touting its growth in the server market, but I guess they have been much less successful in converting really large accounts. On one hand, this is understandable, since those sites will have a lot of work invested in whatever infrastructure they have originally chosen (Apache in most cases), which represents a significant investment for them. On the other hand, Apache works for them and their extreme performance requirements. It appears as if Microsoft simply hasn't been able to demonstrate a good reason to switch.

This makes me wonder if the increased IIS market share is mostly based on the parked domains at GoDaddy.com, plus new, smaller server installations, rather than actual conversations of already existing sites.


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New Zealand


  • Who I am: Software developer and consultant.
  • What I do: System level programming, Linux/Unix. C, C++, Java, Python, and a long time ago even Assembler.
  • What I like: I'm a big fan of free and open source software. I'm Windows-free, running Ubuntu on my laptop. To a somewhat lesser degree, I also follow the SaaS industry.
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