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Apache Software

2003: Year of Apache 440

John Chamberlain writes "Netcraft's numbers for the new year are in. The trend graphs tell a story: 2003 was the Year of Apache. If Time magazine had a server-of-the-year award the cover would be featuring a feather. Since October 2002 market share has grown from 53% to 64%, a 20% gain while Microsoft IIS, its nearest competitor has shrunk from 36% to 24%, a 33% decline. The change in server totals was even more dramatic. Apache HTTP Server increased from about 20 million to 32 million (+60%) while all other competitors remained flat."
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2003: Year of Apache

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  • by mgv ( 198488 ) <Nospam@01@slash2dot.veltman@org> on Sunday January 11, 2004 @12:15PM (#7944767) Homepage Journal
    The big advantage of measuring the fall in IIS vs Apache is that web servers are public, and easily counted.

    I'm sure that the same thing is happening thoughout the open source movement, but its just alot harder to measure the number of (for example) Linux installs when there is no central body that really collects data on this (not that there is any need for this).

    So its representing a victory for much more than Apache.

    • by Raul654 ( 453029 ) on Sunday January 11, 2004 @12:19PM (#7944806) Homepage
      Web server market share is a funny thing. Do you count the total number of webservers, or just domains? What if you use a very ineffecient implimentation, and it takes twice the number of machines to do it? Should the server get a better market share because of it? The numbers are open to a lot of intepritation.
      • by rsheridan6 ( 600425 ) on Sunday January 11, 2004 @12:24PM (#7944845)
        Shouldn't these issues remain fairly constant? Maybe it's tricky to count market share in absolute terms, but the trend-line should be pretty accurate.
        • by soloport ( 312487 ) on Sunday January 11, 2004 @01:33PM (#7945277) Homepage
          Maybe it's tricky to count market share

          It's tricky, alright. It's obvious to anyone that Microsoft's IIS is the clear leader.

          Look, if those figures were real, then Apache would be constantly attacked by hoards of script kiddies. [ducks under desk]
          • by Pieroxy ( 222434 ) on Sunday January 11, 2004 @02:18PM (#7945551) Homepage
            While IIS is not the leader, it is interesting to note the trend on open-source webservers:

            Apache from 22M to 31M (40%)
            Jetty from 1150 to 3731 (324%)
            Resin from 24224 to 57113 (235%)

            vs. Closed source ones:
            IIS from 9.7M to 9.6M (-0.1%)
            Lotus-Domino from 78k to 86k (10%)
            Oracle from 6629 to 8167 (23%)
            Weblogic from 5344 to 7844 (46%)

            It looks like
            a. The big boys have a trend that is slower than the small ones
            b. Open source grows a lot faster.

            That says a lot about the dynamic of open source webservers in general, and probably all open source tools to some degree.
            • Well sure the small web-server have a better chance of getting a higher percentage.
              Lets say I make the Jellomizer Web Server and I install it as my own webserver.
              then next year I got 5 clients to install it.

              Wow thats a 500% growth. Amazing!

              Now if I had 100 installed and I got 5 more people that is only a 5% growth. So growth will be faster when you have smaller numbers.
            • I still can't figure out why my favorite webserver is only growing at 24% (377 to 469). Is tomcat that bad? I install it everywhere I can (I probably account for more than 2% of these numbers)!

              I still don't understand why a majority of webservers I have found around were configured as Apache+Tomcat, and they would only have static content and a couple of servlets/JSP. What's he point of putting an Apache on the front end in this case?

              Anyways, maybe I should switch to something else... ;-)
              • by abulafia ( 7826 )
                Is tomcat that bad?


                I install it everywhere I can (I probably account for more than 2% of these numbers)!

                So YOU'RE the one responsible for all that crap I have to clean up. Bastard! I challenge you to a duel!

                Seriously, though, it isn't that I hate tomcat, its that I hate what people do with it. I see more obscenely bizzare setups running under tomcat than any other application server (even IIS). Maybe I'm just cursed. I currently have three clients with tomcat based apps that are so strange th

      • by ugen ( 93902 ) on Sunday January 11, 2004 @12:29PM (#7944869)
        Netcraft gives very specific rules by which it measures webserver counts here:

        Always helps to actually visit the site. Their methods will favor Apache somewhat, as IIS does not generally play very well in hosting environments with virtual domains for various reasons. Of course that in itself is an indicator of server quality :)

        • No, that's an indicator of server quality for that purpose. If the majority of server operators didn't want virtual hosting, for example, IIS not playing well in that environment won't make a shred of a difference.

          These surveys also do not count the millions of intranet-only sites that these servers serve, and given the nature of the beast, I'm going to guess IIS is rather prevalent in that market.

          I have recommended IIS-based solutions before, and given the same requirements, I'll do it again.
          • by dipipanone ( 570849 ) on Sunday January 11, 2004 @01:12PM (#7945143)
            These surveys also do not count the millions of intranet-only sites that these servers serve

            Are you sure you don't mean 'sites where administrator is too incompetent to turn off the default install of IIS'?

            You know, all those sites that have plagued the internet with various worms and other security holes over the last few years?

            and given the nature of the beast, I'm going to guess IIS is rather prevalent in that market

            I don't disagree. I rather think IIS dominates at these sites.
          • by mce ( 509 ) on Sunday January 11, 2004 @01:29PM (#7945255) Homepage Journal
            While I have no hard data to judge the intranet server market, I do know that at the place where I work Apache is used (on UNIX, no less), even though the majority of computer users over here use Windows. And I would expect a lot of places where computers are more important to the core business model than just being a comunication and/or database entry device to be doing the same thing. The reason for this is double:
            1. Historical: Even though most people use Windows, those that actually know about computing using UNIX (for us, this used to be HP-UX, now it mostly is Linux). It are the latter ones who more than likely started the intranet effort long before management knew what a network was (over here, I myself was involved in our first intranet look-alike long before the word reached the trade-press).

            2. Technical/Economical: If you use Apache for your external site (as we do), than it bloody well makes sense to use it internally as well, instead of wasting time and money maintaining two knowledge skills.

          • by Anonymous Coward
            I have recommended IIS-based solutions before, and given the same requirements, I'll do it again.
            Dear lord, you must be stopped. :)
            • Don't worry, IIS gets stopped either by memory leaks, MS Patches, or worms at least once a month. What I found amazing was that so many decided to let MS IIS touch the public Internet. I've learned my lesson, nothing made by MS touches the public Internet and must be protected by a circle of Linux boxes.

              If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.
              -Thomas Jefferson 1816
      • It's even funnier, since Netcraft only counts public webservers. They do not include the zillion corporate intranet servers that used to be publicly available shielde by only NTLM authentication.
        Thanks to the blaster outbreaks and the growing number of vpns these servers are now shielded off the regular internet. And thus the number of IIS in Netcraft's reports declines..
        • by soloport ( 312487 ) on Sunday January 11, 2004 @01:55PM (#7945409) Homepage
          They do not include the zillion corporate intranet servers...

          Of all the intranets we install and service for small to large businesses, 100% of them run Apache. That's about 3-4 servers per month, and growing. We know 4 of the 5 competitors in our market, very well. For the vendors we know, all install Apache, exclusively.

          Yes. Thanks to the "blaster outbreaks and the growing number of vpns", Apache is also rapidly growing inside the LAN market space.
      • Do you count the total number of webservers, or just domains? What if you use a very ineffecient implimentation, and it takes twice the number of machines to do it?

        Even then, how do you count them? How many machines are running any given web site? My sites currently have 8 servers behind a pair of load balancers. But it appears to the outside world as if it's a single machine. Also, do you consider all servers equal? Should my personal site be given equal weight with my company's banking sites? I'd be interested to see a weighted graph so that sites with more traffic have a greater impact. But the problem with that is, how do you measure it?

        As an aside, I'm getting mildly concerned about Apache's market share. Not because I don't like it -- I do, and run both personal and corporate sites with it. But I distrust software monocultures, and I fear Apache's heading that way. So I hope that Apache gets some viable competition. I also hope, however, that it comes from somewhere that isn't intent on displacing it with proprietary, incompatible servers. So that'd be something other than IIS, then...

        • Let us not forget that Apache is open source. As such, if you want to fork it all up, you are welcome to do so. Should Apache head too far down the wrong path, I am confident that it will be forked. Apache's license [] is essentially BSD, with the additional clause that if you fork it, you may not call your work "Apache" or claim that the Apache Foundation is behind your work, without written permission. Quite reasonable, that. As many many geeks have experience with the Apache sources, starting up a fork is o
        • I hope that Apache gets some viable competition.

          It's not like there isn't options.

          There's several other capable open source (Free Software) http servers available.

          I would list a few of the better ones but I can't be bothered sifting through Freshmeat's unmoderated topic entries for http servers []. But, by all means, have a look - there are some good ones there.

          One that I've seen quite a few updates for on Freshmeat is Thy [].

          Although the way you relate Apache's monopoly to that of Windows is unfair. Apa
        • by abulafia ( 7826 ) on Sunday January 11, 2004 @04:05PM (#7946218)
          But I distrust software monocultures, and I fear Apache's heading that way.

          That's one of the nice things about Apache. Running Apache doesn't mean running the same Apache that someone else does. mod_perl, Jakarta, mod_php, mod_whatever are all competing with each other. Apache is essentially a platform, not just a server.

          • Wow, Apache lets you add functionality through plug-ins that use a standard API? That's amazing! Just about every other web server has that too, but they don't make you run a bunch of command line config crap and recompile like Apache does, so it's not as k3wl. Recompiling is fun and definitely better than using some stupid installer that gets the configuration right the first time.

            What other features can we gush about? Oh my god, it serves HTTP too? That's awesome! Can it talk to the filesystem and actual
      • When you measure active sites only, Microsoft's market share is 19% and falling [].

    • But what about intranet sites ? Most companies I've visited runs one or
      more intranet sites. And they seem to run lots of diffrent things. Would
      be nice to get some statistics on those.
  • TCO (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nadsat ( 652200 ) on Sunday January 11, 2004 @12:17PM (#7944784) Homepage
    MS's recent campagin of Total Cost Of Ownership does not factor well into this. They cite recent studies which heavily stress human maintenance and development costs into the TCO. Yet what they don't cite is the fact that as software popularity grows, such as Apache here, TCO is driven down because the technology is more accesible.

    Basic technology such as web servers are on their way of being removed from the realm of competition. 2004 is promising.
    • MS's recent campagin of Total Cost Of Ownership does not factor well into this.

      Microsoft's TCO campaign is a last ditch effort to maintain market share. It's mostly a lie, but it's damaging to them even if true.

      Assume they are telling the truth. I know that it's hard to keep a straight face reading that, but think of what it means. WHERE TECHNICAL MERIT IS THE DECIDING FACTOR, FREE SOFTWARE IS OVERWHELMINGLY PREFERED DESPITE HIGHER COST. Most companies ask themselves what a failed web site will cost

    • by khasim ( 1285 ) <> on Sunday January 11, 2004 @04:08PM (#7946236)
      TCO does NOT include migration costs (initial training and porting apps). (These are important factors and need to be addressed in the Return On Investment (ROI) calculations.)

      TCO is NOT applicable between companies UNLESS they are practically identical (same number of techs with the same training managing the same number of servers with the same OS's running the same apps (not similar apps, the same apps) for the same number of users, connected in the same fashion (wireless, wired, VPN'd in, etc) using the same desktop OS, etc).

      Usually, TCO will come down to human maintenance (and floor space, cooling, etc) and licensing costs.

      Neither Migration Costs nor TCO take into account money lost when the server is DOWN!

      Microsoft usually does the following:
      #1. Incorrectly includes training for other products as TCO instead of Migration.

      #2. With #1., they do NOT include training on Microsoft products (assumes people already know it).

      #3. Ends the "period" prior to the NEXT round of license expenses.

      The Migration Costs (plus) the annual TCO (minus) downtime savings = $$$ You have to get from ROI.

      TCO is MEANINGLESS when used by itself.
      TCO is usually calculated incorrectly anyway.

      The REAL issue with Open Source is the MIGRATION COST because so many people have apps that they depend upon that must be ported.

      Which is why Microsoft does tries to confuse the issue with bogus TCO claims.

      If you focus on the MIGRATION COSTS, you can handle them in smaller chunks over a longer period of time. Bit by bit, move your systems over to Open Source based servers and services.
  • I'm one of those (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gorfie ( 700458 ) on Sunday January 11, 2004 @12:18PM (#7944791)
    Our department is moving from IIS 4.0 to Apache 1.3.29 within the next few months. The server is up & running and I'm working on porting our site over. The reasoning for the switch?

    While MS requires patching & monitoring, so does Apache/Linux (although it's not as time-consuming IMO). I also haven't had up-time issues with IIS although I inherently believe Apache would beat IIS in that category.

    The true reason is that Apache processes SSI from the outside, while IIS processes them from the inside. I can make more modular code using apache (i.e. a single template for the whole site that the index files link to, and that template links to "content" and "data" files in a given directory). It also seems to perform better, but that's because I was using Access on the IIS machine, and MySQL on the Apache machine. Also Apache/MySQL are cheaper (putting SCO aside).

    The only other good reason was to learn something new/different to make myself more marketable. :)
    • (putting SCO aside)

      (punting SCO ass-side).

    • Me too (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Linker3000 ( 626634 ) on Sunday January 11, 2004 @12:37PM (#7944921) Journal
      We run an online testing and certification engine, written in perl. It WAS hosted on a Win2K/IIS box, but about once a week the server would lock up with IIS hitting 100% CPU utilisation and the only way to 'fix' it was to reboot. The same code's been running on a Redhat 9/Apache server for about 2 months now with no downtime.

      Our MD was so impressed with the port (which was very trivial), that she's asked me to consider migrating our main in-house server to Linux too - it's mainly a 'file and print' box so this should be a piece of cake.

      We WERE looking at a contact management system (possibly Maximizer or Goldmine), but now we're seriously considering an open source alteratives-should save us about 7000UKP in apps and licences.
    • Re:I'm one of those (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Dalroth ( 85450 ) * on Sunday January 11, 2004 @12:46PM (#7944978) Homepage Journal
      May I ask why you're moving to Apache 1.x and not 2.x?

      • Apache 2.0 (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 11, 2004 @12:56PM (#7945040)
        Too much stuff does not work well under Apache 2.0.x. Specifically mod_perl has some interesting gotcha's, HTML::Mason has some issues, there are some Apache::DBI issues, .... long list.

        Basically when the server went to 2.0.x, the rest of the supporting community wasn't ready. Most of it is still in testing mode. The 1.3.x branch is "good enough", and it doesn't break stuff. 2.0 is good, but it breaks stuff.

        Another way to look at it is that my company ships product based upon 1.3.x. Moving to 2.0.x would require several things which don't yet exist. As we are happily operating under 1.3.x, we have no reason to move. If the Apache folks decide to completely abandon 1.3.x, thats OK as we have source and can fix it as needed.

        I suspect that most folks will stay with 1.3.x for the forseeable future. The 2.0.x migration will cause more headache than it is worth, and it will cost money/time.
  • Makes you wonder (Score:5, Interesting)

    by twoslice ( 457793 ) on Sunday January 11, 2004 @12:18PM (#7944799)
    People don't generally switch web servers just for the heck of it. Obviously, there must be something seriously wrong with IIS to make people switch - I wonder what that could be...
    • by Stile 65 ( 722451 ) on Sunday January 11, 2004 @12:24PM (#7944841) Homepage Journal
      Actually, the post says the number of servers for IIS stayed flat. Their percentage decreased, but that seems to be a function of a huge number of ADDITIONAL web servers, of which an enormous percentage are Apache rather than IIS.
      • So, the question for MS is what percentage of those additional servers were operated by potential IIS customers as opposed to individuals or organizations that simply wouldn't operate a site if the server wasn't free?

        It's bit like the complaints from the record companies about how much money they lost to illegal downloading: the downloaders couldn't possibly afford to pay for all the music they download, so the actual losses are a lot smaller.
    • One of my projects last year was to install a new piece of software that intergrated with web services for evaluation purposes. The software maker offered 2 versions. 1 with .NET/IIS and the other J2EE/not-IIS (read Apache, Websphere, Netscape). I did 2 installs on the same Windows 2000 machine.

      With Apache, it was upfront that it required a bit more tweaking to get it to work. But changing a few config files didn't really take a lot of time. While the .NET/IIS version installed without much interventi

  • I love Apache (Score:2, Informative)

    I love apache, but the one thing that bothers me is the two versions (1.3.x and 2.x). I originally started using the 2.x and found that a lot of people weren't using it. Then later to my dismay I found that wanting to adapt PHP would be troublesome so I had to switch to 1.3.x. It's okay either way because it was painless. And no trouble. So take that people who pay for bloated products that work just as well or less than the ever loved free Apache. All hail Apache.
  • by sdo1 ( 213835 ) * on Sunday January 11, 2004 @12:18PM (#7944803) Journal
    Is anyone surprised? It's a superior piece of software from the competition. And the users (meaning IT folks and people who run web sites) are not your average Joe Blow, so having open source software makes absoulute sense. It's not like a desktop app (like a word processor) where the person using it would have a need or want or ability to go mess with the code for some reason.

    Additionally, any serious security bugs have been fixed with blazing speed. Compare that with the amount of time MS takes to patch a IIS hole when an exploit is found.

  • by fm6 ( 162816 ) on Sunday January 11, 2004 @12:19PM (#7944810) Homepage Journal
    We need to a series -- a long series -- of Slashdot interviews with key Apache people. I mean, look at all the stuff they're into []. And the list doesn't seem to have any vaporware or bogged-down projects -- which is damned remarkable in the Open Source community, where people tend to be big on ideas and short on followthrough. Let's get these people under the microscope and find out what they're doing right!
    • by maelstrom ( 638 ) * on Sunday January 11, 2004 @12:25PM (#7944847) Homepage Journal
      You make a very good point. Many people can list off Larry Wall, ESR, RMS, and Linus off the top of their head, but don't know the first thing about the principles in the Apache project. Seems to be a nice counter-point to ESR's ego currency as a motivation for OSS. Apache is in my mind the most successful OSS project.


    • by bwy ( 726112 )
      I agree. Apache makes good stuff, bottom line. I've used so much of the Jakarta stuff- Tomcat, Velocity, Axis, loads of other utility type libraries. It all works and it all works damn good. And the documentation and support beats anything you'll ever get from Microshaft. Kudos and thanks to whoever these guys are.
  • by hey ( 83763 ) on Sunday January 11, 2004 @12:20PM (#7944817) Journal
    If you assumed Apache was *nix only you haven't checked out Apache 2.x on Windows. Perhaps this is the cause of the gain -- Windows users switching to Apache?
    • by caino59 ( 313096 ) on Sunday January 11, 2004 @12:40PM (#7944937) Homepage
      I can confirm that one...

      apache is just so much easier to configure and runs so much smoother, have never had a hiccup or headache with apache.

      i don't use php, so using 2.x isnt an issue for me.

      as mentioned by others, patching/upgrading is a simple process, be it on linux or windows. no reboots of course, just take the server offline momentarily, run the upgrade, restart server. don't have to worry about your config files being overwritten or anything.

      when i first started using apache, i tried both appache and iis, and just found apache sooo much easier to manage, used less resources - all the good stuff kids go for.

      and like another person said...the guys over at apache have a lot more than just the webserver going on, if you havent checked out some of their other projects [] all means do!
    • Backwards (Score:3, Insightful)

      by fm6 ( 162816 )
      I very much doubt it. People who dislike IIS probably aren't fans of Windows either. If they have a choice, they'll run Apache under Linux or Unix. If they don't have a choice, it's probably because the system is a personal workstation or a workgroup server. Which don't figure into the Netcraft numbers.

      I think it's the other way around -- people choose Apache so they don't have to run Windows. It's probably not a coincidence that 2003 was also the year of the Windows Security Patch.

  • by Hollins ( 83264 ) on Sunday January 11, 2004 @12:21PM (#7944818) Homepage
    It would be nice to see how this would look for percentage of http traffic rather than percentage of domains. I'm not sure who would be favored, but it seems like a better metric.
    • If you want to see what cars are popular, then why measure how much they carry each day?

      If you calculate traffic, you slant the figures towards sites that do upload/download.

      I think one of the *BSD's has the record for amount FTP'd in a 24-hour period. But if you're measuring HTTP traffic, that wouldn't be checked.

      Nor all the rsync sites.

      If you're looking for better stats, you should measure the number of unique connections and divide by the number of servers in that farm. That would give you a users-pe
  • I wonder, why... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by SharpFang ( 651121 ) on Sunday January 11, 2004 @12:22PM (#7944827) Homepage Journal many even tiny sites - home PCs, private tiny hosts and such, run Apache.
    It's big. It's slow. (okay, it can stand a big load without much slowdown, but overall latency is high) It's a system hog. These computers are often older Pentiums, sometimes 486s, sometimes used as clients/terminals, sometimes serving several other tasks.

    Why people so rarely use tiny HTTP servers like Boa [], Mathopd [], thttpd []... especially, that those tiny thingies are extremely fast under light load, light on system resources, have most of features every "amateur webmaster" wants, and because of small code base, usually completely bug-free.

    Field for "Evangelism"?
    • by Tom ( 822 ) on Sunday January 11, 2004 @12:27PM (#7944860) Homepage Journal
      "because it works"

      I've run apache on all kinds of systems, from the older pentiums you mention to big-iron Solaris systems.

      The beauty is that it works on all of them. You tune some parameters slightly different, but you don't have to learn a new software because you're now hosting your site on a big machine.

      Sorry, I applaud all the tiny-http-server efforts, but in real-life the only thing that I ever seriously considered was the kernel-httpd. That was for the image-server of a major dot-com site that made a several hundred hits a second at peak times.
    • Even with a big, slow, daemon like Apache, my older AMD K6 machine, has average idle of 96% over the time it has been up?

      Those older machines can do a whale of a lot of work, when running in a non-graphical server environment.
    • Re:I wonder, why... (Score:3, Informative)

      by jo_ham ( 604554 )
      Name recognition, and because it works.

      I'd never heard of the three webservers you linked to in your post.

      Apache has done everything I've ever asked of it without being noticably slow or resouce hogging, even on my iBook when I put up sites in development on our LAN. I can keep working while it happily serves pages to people and I don't notice it's there.

      Incidentally, that's a great feature of OS X - Apache out of the box. Sure you need to tweak it a little and enable php and stuff, but it's there ready
  • by Clay_Culver ( 583328 ) on Sunday January 11, 2004 @12:23PM (#7944832)
    Did anyone notice that in July 2002, Apache took a hit in numbers, and Microsoft gained for a brief period of time? (Check the graph, you will notice a spike in Microsoft's numbers, a dip in Apache in July 2002.) Does anyone know what this corresponds to?
  • by ubiquitin ( 28396 ) * on Sunday January 11, 2004 @12:24PM (#7944844) Homepage Journal
    Note that the numbers are "per domain" So 2003 is better proclaimed the Year of NameVirtualHost. Hopefully, this means that there really are more httpd's out there, but the correlation was not made in that necraft study. Hopefully someone will do (perhaps already has done?) a study to establish IP# to domain name ratios. My guess is that there is a lot more virtual hosting being done now then there was in, say 1999, when having a corporate web site was more directly related to purchasing dedicated web server equipment. I'll bet that the Microsoft push into public key infrastructure will be used to leverage growth for IIS but at these rates, it may well be hard to catch up with Apache.

    But perhaps the real story for 2003, as far as growth technologies go, is likely PHP []. The ratio of deployments and actual usage to press coverage of the technology is pretty impressive too. :)
  • Alright - let's have it! Where are they hiding all the exploits? They obviously have waaaayyyyy more since viruses and exploits are dependant on popularity, not how well the software is engineered. Since Apache is kicking IIS's scraggly ass all over the 'net, it must have more exploits, right? No? Oh? So all those people that keep saying Windows suffers so much are admitting they're wrong?

    Oh, that's right. IIS is also an FTP server, mail server, dinner server, and a cheauffer that takes your wife out on dates then screws her in your bed while you're out of town on business.....

    ... whoops.. sorry, go a little carried away there. Seriously - face it, that's a flaw. If the software wants to do everything, and, by doing everything, fails, it still failed, AND it failed BECAUSE it does everything. That means the Apache software is a better engineered web server and IIS is, well, a load of crap.

    Sorry... a little bitter. If you've ever had to administer that horrendous piece of garbage IIS you'd understand. I think, perhaps, the reason Apache is whooping up on IIS is that IIS is so ludicrously twitchy and convoluted. Normally, I'd say point and clicky interfaces are easier to manage, but god... setting something up in IIS that's not set up by default can result in tremendously time-wasting efforts searching through numerous, poorly labeled, badly designed interfaces. Apache? Whip out a reference book, type in a few lines, and you're done. Even if you have to restart the system, it's not much hassle. I've NEVER managed to shut down IIS and bring it back up on Win2k where it didn't stop responding and, eventually, chew up all the resources on the box forcing a hard reboot of the whole system. That pisses off SQL Server which then fucks up the TrendMicro stuff... Ick.

    Long story short? IIS sucks and few (smart) people debate that whether they're pro-Microsoft, pro-*nix, pro-Mac, or, smarter than any of them pro-whatever-works.

    • by The One KEA ( 707661 ) on Sunday January 11, 2004 @12:39PM (#7944932) Journal
      Most definitely. I think these numbers will finally silence those misguided idiots who continue to say that Apache doesn't get exploited as much because "it's less popular" or "it's not used by anyone" or "it's written by a bunch of unpaid amateurs". Apache gets used because it's clean, simple, reliable, robust, and most importantly, EASY TO CONFIGURE.

      If 2003 was the Year of Apache, then 2004 will be the Year of the LAMP [].
  • by cayfer ( 563445 ) on Sunday January 11, 2004 @12:34PM (#7944904)
    These are crooked figures. Don't take them seriously! The real marketshare of IIS is above 80 percent. The catch is, IIS boxes are declaring themselves as Apache servers to avoid attacks. Note: This not an MS sponsored report (yet). Hopefully they will contact me and it will become one. :)
  • by ciaran_o_riordan ( 662132 ) on Sunday January 11, 2004 @12:34PM (#7944905) Homepage
    These statistics make us happy, but they're not the whole story.

    When we bragg about these numbers, Microsoft respond with:
    "Our webserver is used by more Forbes/Fortune 500 companies and is used by more secure websites. Apaches numbers are only high because a lot of amateurs use it".

    What is our argument to that? (we don't have one. We just ignore it and continue patting ourselves on the back.)

    If we are to progress, it's better to look at what going *wrong*, and try to improve that.
    • Amateurs?

      So I suppose the people who run the Transport for London [] web site are amateurs?

      What about the folks running BlogSpot []?

      How about the admins of Rutgers Univesity []?

      Finally, how about Kyle Bennett, the creator of [H]ard|OCP []?

      Sure, Microsoft can say that Apache is used by amateurs. But I'm certain that for every half-assed amateur using Apache there are 100 admins who run Apache for mission-critical stuff and don't bat an eyelid.
    • So? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by khasim ( 1285 )
      That's the fun with statistics. You can slice them anyway you want to get the results you want.

      So, there is a segment of the market that uses IIS more than Apache. Should we argue with that? Why?

      Now, despite all those "amateurs" that are putting Apache on the Internet, Apache still has fewer worms, exploits, etc than IIS.

      Which tells you that all those "amateurs" are:
      #1. Better qualified than those non-amateurs running IIS.
      #2. Running a better product.
      #3. Just plain lucky, over and over and over again.
      • Now, despite all those "amateurs" that are putting Apache on the Internet, Apache still has fewer worms, exploits, etc than IIS.

        Which tells you that all those "amateurs" are:
        #1. Better qualified than those non-amateurs running IIS.
        #2. Running a better product.
        #3. Just plain lucky, over and over and over again.

        You're making an excluded-middle argument. If I were Microsoft, this is what I would argue:

        "The reason why IIS is targeted more than Apache is becuase the evil terrorist hackers out there hate M
    • What is our argument to that? (we don't have one. We just ignore it and continue patting ourselves on the back.)

      Actually, we have: If you do not count the number of websites, but the number of pages served, Apache comes out even more in front of IIS as by simply counting the number of servers. For example, where I work we are serving more than a billion web pages - per month. We are using Apache on Suse Linux.
    • One argument... it's irrelevant.

      If Microsoft are trying to sell it on the basis of "big professional companies use IIS", it doesn't really work for me. I'm interested in what sites like Amazon, Google, the BBC, Tesco, Natwest, BT, British Airways and the IMDB run on. Stuff that either gets a lot of traffic, has to be secure or both.

      I don't have a list of the Forbes 500, but I've had a look at the FTSE 100 in the UK, and a great deal of those companies don't have what I'd call major websites - their busi

    • "Our webserver is used by more Forbes/Fortune 500 companies and is used by more secure websites. Apaches numbers are only high because a lot of amateurs use it"

      Yes, IIS is used by many Fortune 500 companies, but so is Apache. My largest client "uses" IIS for a small vendor supplied internal application (so MS$ counts it as an IIS site). But 99% of internal and external web pages are served from Apache.
  • by phoxix ( 161744 ) on Sunday January 11, 2004 @12:41PM (#7944950)
    How many people have plans of leaving apache 1.3x to newer apache 2x ?

    Enough said

    Sunny Dubey
  • hmmm (Score:4, Funny)

    by nomadic ( 141991 ) <nomadicworld AT gmail DOT com> on Sunday January 11, 2004 @12:55PM (#7945029) Homepage
    If Time magazine had a server-of-the-year award the cover would be featuring a feather.

    If Time magazine had a server-of-the-year award nobody would read it. Except you people.
  • by Cardoe ( 563677 ) <<gro.ootneg> <ta> <eodrac>> on Sunday January 11, 2004 @12:56PM (#7945037) Homepage
    If you all remember the slashdot story about Apache's sudden rise because a bunch of Domain Name Parkers switched from IIS to Apache when in 2002 they had switched from Apache to IIS. Here's a link to the story link []

    I just don't see this as that significant because of that.

    My 2 cents.

  • by sremick ( 91371 ) on Sunday January 11, 2004 @01:03PM (#7945084)
    I find it rather humorous that the poster of the article on Slashdot didn't dare mention the other software that was proven a winner by the Netcraft report. For those of you who haven't RTFA, 4th paragraph begins:

    "Seven of the top nine sites run on FreeBSD." That's right, folks. NOT Linux. Don't get me wrong: I don't believe Linux sucks. But there's something to be said here by this data, and I don't feel Linux should get all the current press simply because Linux got all the past press. FreeBSD does amazing things, is used all over the place, has many technical merits not seen elsewhere, but Linux overshadows it because of inertia and the fact that Linux users yell louder. This is sad. Last I knew, Windows won out due to inertia as well, not technical reasons, and we condemn it for that. Must we be hypocritical a second time around?

    I know this is Slashdot, but c'mon... would it kill you to put a positive article about FreeBSD on the front-page? ;)

    Netcraft confirms it: FreeBSD is quite alive and kicking.
  • by ToasterTester ( 95180 ) on Sunday January 11, 2004 @01:08PM (#7945118)
    I another /. story a month or so ago showed in corporate America IIS is still their choice. Those are the minds that need to be opened up.

    I would say corporate America sticks with IIS and other MS products because of MS development products are easy enough for Fred the Beancounter to drag-n-drop an app together. A desk jockey can get something done for his department quick and easy. Good code no, but it gets the job done and it was cheap and that is what the PHB care about.

    LAMP tools need to become that easy to use for corporate America to take a look.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 11, 2004 @01:11PM (#7945141)
    Y'all are forgetting that a good layer 7 proxying firewall is also going to skew things.

    With the combination of URLScan header removal and a Unix-based firewall (few folks are insane enough to put up IIS webservers and Windows Firewalls on the same network...) my IIS5/6 hosts don't look anything like a Windows box as far as Netcraft is concerned.

    Throw in a hardware load balancer doing SSL offloading, and the client connections are never going to see my hosts directly for Netcraft to count.
  • by Talcyon ( 150838 ) on Sunday January 11, 2004 @02:03PM (#7945449) Homepage
    I've used this NetMask utility [] to mask my IIS server before now(I tried the trial, and its run out), and in the past Netcraft has properly identified the server as running Apache on Redhat 9. This ain't true, as it's running Win2K with IIS5. So I'm wondering, how many of the new servers are what they say they are? And just HOW skewed are the Netcraft results?
  • by bunratty ( 545641 ) on Sunday January 11, 2004 @02:19PM (#7945554)
    It's nice to see that Apache is gaining ground. Now it if could only send out WMV and RAR files with the correct MIME type [], that would be great!
    • If there is a defined standard for handling unkown MIME, I am not aware of it. So what would you say is 'correct' behavior for a file with no registered MIME type?

      RAR and Windows Media do not appear to actually have registered types AFAICT. I admit that sending unknown things as text/plain is a pain for users, but I think the solution is for all common file types to get registered as some MIME type, not to bitch at the webserver. Please feel free to correct me if you can find them here:
  • by T-Ranger ( 10520 ) <> on Sunday January 11, 2004 @03:56PM (#7946166) Homepage
    While these numbers are impressive, and definitly show relative growth of a given product over time, there usefellness compating products is suspect.

    If raw counts of usages indicate quality, then MSIE would be the highest quality web browser by a factor of around 20 (something 95% market share right?). Outlook would be the best mail/PIM software. /. readers would disagree with such a statement. So why do we accept conclusions based the same type of logic based on stats from netcraft?

    What "we" need is something like some the stock market indicators. [the good ones] are not just a raw sum of all the stocks out there, or all the stocks traded on a given market. There a collection of hand picked stocks. I suspect the specific criteria for being included are secret, but long term stability is almost definitly an important peice of the pie. There not using penny stocks, just IPOd companies, companies in trouble, or companies experiencing isolated/unique growth.

    What I propose for someone to do, is to develop such a system for HTTP server usage. Build a list of say, 5000, sites. The sites should be distributed accross all topics, all markets. It should include sites run by non-IT centric companies, IT companies that are primarly "brick and mortar" and web-only companies as well. It should include scanning web hosting companies, colo housed sites, sites run off 56k modems. What they have in common is that they all have some level of longevity (if not stability).

  • by rklrkl ( 554527 ) on Sunday January 11, 2004 @04:18PM (#7946327) Homepage
    I'm surprised that the January 2004 survey [] wasn't linked to, because it gives exact figures as well as the latest graphs. It turns out that Apache lost 0.13% of market share of active sites during December 2003, whereas Microsoft gained 0.52%. It could be due to yet another registrar shifting their parking facilities, but sadly Netcraft - like with many of their previous recent monthly surveys - can't be bothered commenting on it :-(

    It puts a bit of a dampener on the "celebration" of Apache's otherwise successful year w.r.t. market share.

  • by BZ ( 40346 ) on Sunday January 11, 2004 @04:39PM (#7946490)
    Unfrtunately, Apache still defaults to text/plain for content whose type it does not know... IIS is much more sane and defaults to application/octet-stream. Apache's behavior (given IE ignoring MIME types) is the single biggest reason non-IE browsers are starting to ignore MIME types as well.
  • by penguin7of9 ( 697383 ) on Sunday January 11, 2004 @05:50PM (#7946930)
    Yes, it's nice that Apache is open source, and it would be a disaster if the situation were reversed wrt. IIS.

    But what I'd really like to see is a lot more diversity in web servers. Apache is a reliable, robust, efficient server, but it is only one, very specific way of serving web data and it has tons of quirks as well (starting with its configuration files).

    Having Apache open makes it easier to innovate based on it. But I think it would be even better if more people did something altogether different rather than just plugging into Apache.
  • by Knights who say 'INT ( 708612 ) on Sunday January 11, 2004 @07:35PM (#7947637) Journal
    If I was to set up a web server, I'd use a Linux+Apache config too. But that's because I ain't got no money, not because I particularly trust Apache.

God doesn't play dice. -- Albert Einstein