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Microsoft Cloud Authors: Jayaram Krishnaswamy, Elizabeth White, Andreas Grabner, Jim Kaskade, Pat Romanski

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Apache rules Alexa, with NginX, Microsoft and others playing catch-up

Alexa themes are still real and still interesting. Let me drill down into several statistics and data to derive some regularity and pattern information about the Web servers, implied for WebPages, that are enrolled in To do this, we need the detailed analyses of the data retrieved from HTTP headers.  Let’s start with the web server and its behavior. For this purpose, we consider the sample of 100,000 requests in the November-December period and compare the results with the six-month previous data. The sample can be divided into 90% recognized and 10% unrecognized web server volumes. This analysis considers only the recognized web server volume proportion. The reasons for the unrecognized ones could be due to security: many companies just hide their web server information, and also some servers don’t send web server information by default (and no one adds the information manually).

So according to the recognized web servers, the most popular and applicable web server software identified in Alexa is Apache, and its share is about 53% of all web server software. Below is the top ten list of popular web server software:

Current data

Comparing this with the six-month earlier data, we see that Nginx has improved its position, increasing its share from 9.64% to 18.85%, and achieving second place. Moreover, Nginx is very popular in Russia with a 74% share, China with 31% and Europe with 25%. Of course, Microsoft-IIS has also improved its percentage, but in spite of this still lost second place. Prior attention to Microsoft-IIS goes to China with 46%, Great Britain with 23% and Canada with 18%.

Six months ago


Nevertheless, no one can catch up to Apache; its share is substantial among top web servers.

Apache is the most popular web server software in the world. Its share is about half of all web server users. Though some changes in percentage happen, it’s still a winner in many giant countries such as Japan with an 85% share, Europe with 63% and US with 59%.

The last two places of the top ten list are taken by IBM_HTTP_Server and BigIP; they left YTS and GWS behind.

So, three competitors jangle three first prize positions in Alexa. In further blogs we will observe their trends and transformations.

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More Stories By Hovhannes Avoyan

Hovhannes Avoyan is the CEO of Monitis, Inc., a provider of on-demand systems management and monitoring software to 50,000 users spanning small businesses and Fortune 500 companies.

Prior to Monitis, he served as General Manager and Director of Development at prominent web portal Lycos Europe, where he grew the Lycos Armenia group from 30 people to over 200, making it the company's largest development center. Prior to Lycos, Avoyan was VP of Technology at Brience, Inc. (based in San Francisco and acquired by Syniverse), which delivered mobile internet content solutions to companies like Cisco, Ingram Micro, Washington Mutual, Wyndham Hotels , T-Mobile , and CNN. Prior to that, he served as the founder and CEO of CEDIT ltd., which was acquired by Brience. A 24 year veteran of the software industry, he also runs Sourcio cjsc, an IT consulting company and startup incubator specializing in web 2.0 products and open-source technologies.

Hovhannes is a senior lecturer at the American Univeristy of Armenia and has been a visiting lecturer at San Francisco State University. He is a graduate of Bertelsmann University.

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