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Internet-oriented researcher Netcraft has released its latest survey of the world's Web servers and the software they use, writes Mike Prettejohn.

Top Developers

Developer Dec 2000 Percent Jan 2001 Percent Change
Apache 15414726 60.04 16207982 58.75 -1.29
Microsoft 5027023 19.58 5903512 21.40 1.82
iPlanet 1722228 6.71 1772154 6.42 -0.29

Top Servers

Server Dec 2000 Percent Jan 2001 Percent Change
Apache 15414726 60.04 16207982 58.75 -1.29
Microsoft-IIS 5025017 19.57 5901507 21.39 1.82
Netscape-Enterprise 1682737 6.55 1733097 6.28 -0.27
WebLogic 890791 3.47 1004571 3.64 0.17
Zeus 676526 2.63 693684 2.51 -0.12
Rapidsite 365807 1.42 371441 1.35 -0.07
thttpd 321944 1.25 343172 1.24 -0.01
tigershark 139300 0.54 150937 0.55 0.01
AOLserver 125513 0.49 127980 0.46 -0.03
WebSitePro 110681 0.43 113480 0.41 -0.02

Around the Net

Microsoft-IIS had its first big rise in almost a year, gaining 1.8 per cent of the Web. Around 600,000 of these sites are on Digital Island's network[1]. The relatively static market share for Microsoft on the web as a whole contrasts sharply with its progress in our companion SSL Server Survey[2] where Microsoft makes consistent and relentless gains, month after month, and now accounts for 49 per cent of the sites performing encrypted transactions on the internet.

Arguably, Microsoft's applications have made the difference, with there being no straightforward alternative to Microsoft's Commerce Server in the Unix world. Intershop[3] has been the most likely alternative, particularly in Europe, but the company's financial performance has suggested that market share has been bought rather than earned[4].

Also making notable progress is the scripting language PHP[5]. Earlier this month Zend[6] announced the availability of the first commercial products to support use of PHP, including significant performance improvements through script caching. The PHP module is compiled into the Apache server on over five million Web sites, or approaching a third of all Apache sites. Although PHP will only be in use on a fraction of these sites currently, it is regarded as easier to program than Perl or jsp, and has created a broad developer community in a relatively short space of time. PHP, together with MySQL and Apache, has become the de facto way of developing web applications in the Linux environment, in a similar way to the IIS/ASP/SQL-Server combination in the Microsoft world.

Linuxworld is proceeding at time of writing, and significant early announcements include Silicon Graphics appointing Paul McNamara[7], previously VP of Business Development at Red Hat as VP responsible for Opensource. IRIX's share of the web has been in decline since Netcraft first developed operating systems detection, and SGI may now feel that they have little to lose by a wholehearted endorsement of Linux. SGI has more revenues than the Linux industry companies put together, and if it can sustain its customers attention, it could make the transition to a Linux platform more readily than HP or IBM, which have significant value in their own proprietary platforms.

Also notable was the first address given at Linuxworld by a senior Microsoft employee, Doug Miller. Early reports[8] have contrasted Miller's presentation with remarks made by Steve Ballmer[9], where the Microsoft CEO rated Linux the number one threat to Microsoft, in front of Sun and Oracle. Miller highlighted relative disadvantages of the Linux and free software environment, including the difficulty of finding a sustainable business model, which many in the free software community would agree with.

However this debate still has a long way to run, with the same community quickly responding to charges that Linux has a long way to go to solve business problems that large companies face, by pointing out that in the wake of its own DNS outages[10] Microsoft itself has moved some of its key DNS servers to Linux[11] by outsourcing this to Akamai[12]. ®

References

  1. www.softaware.com
  2. www.netcraft.com/ssl/
  3. www.intershop.com
  4. www.ft.com
  5. www.php.net
  6. www.zend.com/news/pr.php?id=18
  7. www.sgi.com/newsroom/press_releases/2001/january/mcnamara.html
  8. www.wired.com/news/business/0,1367,41527,00.html
  9. www.microsoft.com/msft/speech/BallmerMSDW01.htm
  10. www.wired.com/news/business/0,1367,41454,00.html
  11. www.networksolutions.com/cgi-bin/whois/whois?STRING=microsoft.com
  12. www.netcraft.com/whats/?host=www.akamai.com

Commercial Internet Research from Netcraft

Netcraft also does commercial Internet research projects. These include custom cuts on the Web Server Survey data, virtual hosting industry analysis, corporate use of Internet technology and bespoke projects. All of the data is gathered through network exploration, not teleresearch. For more information, email sales@netcraft.com

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