Windows Server 2003, FreeBSD Increase Web Presence

By Amy Newman (Send Email)
Posted Jul 18, 2003

A survey published by Netcraft this week reveals a 300-fold increase in the number of sites running on the Windows Server 2003 operating system. In the three months since its launch, the number of active sites running Microsofts new operating system has grown from a few thousand in mid-April to 88,400 today. A survey published by Netcraft this week reveals a 300-fold increase in the number of sites running on Windows Server 2003. Netcraft is also reporting a sharp rise in FreeBSD deployments.

As of July, 55,433, or 62.7 percent, of these sites are from hosting providers, the top three of which are with 13,504 sites, Fasthosts with 11,978 sites, and AdvancedAccess with 10,301 sites.

According to Netcraft, during the past three months, a number of new hosting providers released Windows Server 2003 hosting packages. In addition, the hosting provider with the most Windows Server 2003 deployments, has stopped offering Windows Server 2000 and Microsoft-IIS/5.0 to new customers, insisting that they should run Microsoft-IIS/6.0. This might also explain how it ended up in first place.

In addition, Netcraft looked at the sites now hosted on Windows 2003 to see which operating systems they were deployed on in December 2002. The findings showed more than 42 percent of these sites were new sites, and 43 percent were upgrades from other Windows platforms (mainly Windows 2000). Surprisingly, 5 percent of Windows Server 2003 sites have migrated from Linux, and 1 percent came from other operating systems.

FreeBSD Breaks 2 Million

Netcraft also reports a sharp rise in FreeBSD deployments. Netcraft notes that according to its findings, with the exception of Windows 2003 Server, FreeBSD is the only operating system gaining share based on active sites.

It attributes this rise to a variety of factors.

First, the open source operating system has a strong foothold with the hosting and Internet services communities that it planted during the Webs early days.

Second, Netcraft cites FreedBSD deployments with operators of shared hosting systems in which tens and hundreds of thousands of sites are collectively administered as part of a single system.

In fact, some hosting providers, such as, which is now part of Verio, and Pair Networks based their businesses on FreeBSD and have stayed with the operating system while developing hundreds of thousands of customer accounts.

Finally, Netcraft attributes much of the surge in FreeBSD sites during the past year to the rampant growth of Yahoo!s shared hosting offering.

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