Different Views of the Web Server Market

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Which web server leads the market? By most measures, it’s clearly the open source Apache web server, although surveys differ as to its exact share. There are alternate views, however, based upon how you slice the data. Here’s an overview of the surveys and their most recent findings:

  • The Netcraft Web Server Survey has been providing monthly data since August 1995, and in February has Apache with 50.9 percent of the market, with Microsoft IIS at 35.6 percent and Google GFE at 5.2 percent (primarily sites at Blogger). The survey looks at more than 150 million web sites each month. Full disclosure: I worked with Netcraft for four years, during which I prepared a monthly survey analysis and summary for the Netcraft blog.
  • Pingdom also provides some really interesting views of technology on the web, and today reports on the server profile of the top 100 web sites, which finds Apache at 49 percent, and Microsoft IIS at 20 percent, with Lighttpd at 4 percent.

  • Security Space has a monthly survey which currently shows Apache running on 73.6 percent of all web sites, with Microsoft IIS at 19 percent. Security Space also surveys share for mail servers.
  • Port80 Software provides a periodic survey of the Fortune 1000, which shows Microsoft IIS with 55 percent share of those companies, compared to 24.9 percent. An important caveat: Port80’s business focus is “enhancing Microsoft IIS Web servers.” It says it started the survey to rebut “negativity” about IIS and provide an alternative to the Netcraft stats. Interestingly, Netcraft provides a survey of the Fortune 100, and their OS profile shows Sun’s Solaris running on more sites than Windows servers.

Other server surveys have focused on adult sites and DNS servers. Both Netcraft and Security Space offer premium products that track server share on SSL-enabled web servers.

About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor at large of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.