One of the leading benchmarks of Internet growth has shown a huge change this month. The monthly Netcraft Web Server Survey for August detected 463 million sites, an increase of more than 104 million sites from the July survey. That's a one-month gain of about 29 percent.
Much of the growth is focused on social media and cloud computing. "There were particularly large increases in the numbers of sites hosted by Softlayer, AmeriNOC, China Telecom, and the social networking communities Tumblr, Skyrock and Hyves," Netcraft says in its blog post. "Amazon also showed substantial growth and now hosts several million sites at its EC2 facility."
The Netcraft survey is a popular metric for Internet growth, as its survey has been conducted every month since August 1995, when there were 18,000 sites and the NCSA web server had a 57 percent share. In this month's survey, Apache is the leading server with 65 percent market share, followed by Microsoft (15.9 percent) and nginx (1.14 percent).
The Netcraft survey periodically shows large moves due to refinements in site detection, but this month's survey makes no mention of any unusual variables in the growth spurt.