Blue Screen Of Duds

Where the alter ego of codelust plays

Is Microsoft ignoring the mainstream media server space?

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Mainstream media publications may not be a high value market for Microsoft, but the segment scores very high as far as visibility and perception go. Who would really not love to have a “Powered by” label on a high volume traffic website like the New York Times, as a showpiece for their product? What you are going to read is by no means a scientific or foolproof way of coming to any conclusion. It is based on the headers that the server returns and Netcraft coming in as the fallback option when faced with the ‘unknown’ server signature.

The list is broken down into three parts. The first is a list of the websites of the top twenty newspapers in America. The second is a smaller listing of European publications. The third is a list of publications from India, because, well that’s where I come from.

The US List

USA Today
IIS5 & BigIp

The Wall Street Journal
IBM WebSphere Application Server

The New York Times
SunOne Webserver

LA Times
SunOne Webserver

The Washington Post
SunOne Webserver

Chicago Tribune
SunOne Webserver

New York Daily News
Apache

Philadelphia Inquirer
Apache & Akamai

Rocky Mountain News
Netscape Enterprise 4.1

Houston Chronicle
Apache 2.0.x + Akamai

New York Post
Apache 2.0.x

Detrori Free Press
IIS6

Dallas Morning News
Apache 2.0.x

Minneapolis Star Tribune
Apache 1.3.x & Akamai

Boston Globe
Apache 2.0.x

The Star-Ledger
Apache

Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Apache 1.3.x

Arizona Republic
Apache 2.0.x

Newsday
SunOne Webserver

San Francisco Chronicle
Apache 1.3.x

Apache: 11
SunOne Webserver: 5
IIS: 2
Websphere Application Server: 1
Netscape Enterprise: 1
Oracle Application Server: 0
Java Server Pages: 0

The European List

International Herald Tribune
Apache

Le Monde
Apache & Akamai

The Jerusalem Post
Java Server Pages & Akamai

Der Spiegel
Apache 1.3.x

El Pais
Apache & Akamai

Corriere Della Sera
Apache 2.0.x

The Guardian
Apache

The Independent
Oracle-Application-Server-10g

The Sun
Apache 1.3.x

The Mirror
Apache 1.3.x

BBC News
Apache

South China Morning Post
Netscape Enterprise 3.6

Apache: 9
SunOne Webserver: 0
IIS: 0
Websphere Application Server: 0
Netscape Enterprise: 1
Oracle Application Server: 1
Java Server Pages: 1

The Indian List

NDTV
IIS5 & Akamai

Rediff
Apache 2.0.x & Akamai

Indiatimes
IIS6 & Akamai

Hindustan Times
Netscape Enterprise 6.0

The Hindu
Apache 2.2.x

CNN-IBN
Apache 2.2.x

CNBC TV18-India
Apache 2.2.x

Sify.com
Apache 2.0.x

Mumbai Mirror
IIS6

Daily News and Analysis
IIS6

The Indian Express
Apache 2.2.x

Mid Day
IIS6

The Pioneer
IIS5

Tehelka.com
IIS4

WebDunia.com
IIS5

The Telegraph
SunOne & ASP

Malayala Manorama
IIS6 & Akamai

Business Standard
Apache 2.2.x

Apache: 7
SunOne Webserver: 1
IIS: 9
Websphere Application Server: 0
Netscape Enterprise: 1
Oracle Application Server: 0
Java Server Pages: 0

The Final Count

Apache: 27
IIS: 14
SunOne: 6
Netscape Enterprise: 3
Websphere Application Server: 1
Oracle Application Server: 1
Java Server Pages: 1

Couple of interesting observations:

  • 3 out of 20 in the US use a CDN (Akamai)
  • 3 out of 12 in the Europe chart use a CDN (Akamai)
  • 4 out of 18 in India use a CDN (Akamai)
  • Sun is impressive with its pitch in US, but non existent in Europe and India (with the exception one site which is running ASP via SunOne).
  • No Apache 2.2.x in the US list
  • IIS does well in India
  • Netscape Enterprise is still around from version 3.6 to 6.0
  • Help! Somebody out there still uses IIS4 on a live website. Line them up and shoot them!

One of the main reasons why this might not be a high value market for Microsoft is that it has become more or less the norm for media websites with huge traffic to get on the Akamai CDN these days than to scale vertically or horizontally to serve the surge in traffic. In fact, some websites on the list run on ancient five to six-year-old servers, running the origin servers for Akamai. From that point of view, Microsoft has little to gain because these guys are not buying new licenses for new CPUs or new servers.

Another interesting trend is the use of acceleration and caching devices like BigIp and Netscaler, that used to be the domain of major ecommerce operations. It is hard to predict and tune your infrastructure in a media set up. The traffic patterns are unpredictable and after a while you really don’t want to break you head over your squid clusters and nothing works as well as a well set-up acceleration device that does TCP offloading.

More to come later.

p.s: The US top-20 list has been sourced from here.

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Written by shyam

January 4, 2007 at 1:16 pm

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