August 2021 Web Server Survey

In the August 2021 survey we received responses from 1,211,444,849 sites across 263,733,974 unique domains and 11,327,711 web-facing computers. This reflects a loss of 4.99 million sites, but a gain of 1.64 million domains and 67,600 computers.

The number of unique domains powered by the nginx web server grew by more than a million this month, while Apache’s count fell by 916,000. This has extended nginx’s lead in the domains metric, giving it a 29.8% share compared with Apache’s 25.5%.

OpenResty gained 234,000 domains, but its market share remained static at 14.5%, while Cloudflare gained 726,000 domains and increased its market share to 7.72%.

The number of web-facing computers using nginx has continued to increase, this month by 49,000 (+1.18%). There are now 4.19 million web-facing computers running nginx, compared with 3.52 million that run Apache. Microsoft follows in third place with 1.38 million computers.

The web-facing computers metric has painted a remarkably stable trend over the past several years, as is evident in the graph below, with both Microsoft and Apache steadily falling while nginx has progressively climbed to first overtake Microsoft in 2017, and then Apache during 2020. There has also been a rise in “Other” web servers, which includes several nginx-based spinoffs such as OpenResty and Tengine.

Websites in Afghanistan

The Taliban offensive in Afghanistan has obvious potential to upset the country’s internet infrastructure, but the extent of any changes may be limited. Afghanistan has had a relatively small presence on the web throughout the past 20 years, and many of its sites were already hosted outside of the country and used generic top-level domains to avoid interference from the Taliban.

This month’s survey found only 8,031 websites hosted in Afghanistan, and 23,205 sites that use Afghanistan’s .af country-code top-level domain (ccTLD). More than two-thirds of the latter are hosted in the US, and more than 2,000 are hosted in Germany – although any site that relies on a .af domain would still be vulnerable to interruption by the country’s new government, should it desire.

Nearly 1,000 of the .af sites are Afghan Government websites that fall under the .gov.af second-level domain – such as president.gov.af and kabul.gov.af – but surprisingly, less than half of these are hosted in Afghanistan, with the rest being hosted in the US, Germany, Singapore, France, Canada, UK, Netherlands, Ireland and India.

Even more surprisingly, dozens of the .gov.af sites hosted in the US and Germany are used to host webmail services, potentially putting Afghan Government communications in easy reach of external intelligence agencies.

Other vendor and hosting news

  • Microsoft has announced the general availability of Azure Government Top Secret. The new air-gapped Azure regions are intended to handle national security workloads at the US Top Secret level.
  • Microsoft also announced its new Azure Healthcare APIs, which provide pipelines to manage protected health information data at scale.
  • Statistics collected by Azure DDoS Protection showed a shift towards attacks against web applications in the first half of 2021.
  • Apache Tomcat 10.0.10 was released on 5 August, followed by Tomcat 10.1.0-M4 (alpha) and Tomcat 9.0.52 on 6 August, and Tomcat 8.5.70 on 16 August. All four of these releases correct the regression of an HTTP/2 flow control bug in their previous versions.
  • OpenResty 1.19.9.1 was released on 6 August. This version of the web platform based on nginx and LuaJIT now uses nginx 1.19.9 (a mainline release from 30 March) as its core, and also includes some LuaJIT fixes.
Total number of websites

Web server market share

Developer July 2021 Percent August 2021 Percent Change
nginx 444,524,631 36.54% 441,930,791 36.48% -0.06
Apache 311,567,368 25.61% 305,180,858 25.19% -0.42
OpenResty 75,464,874 6.20% 75,516,218 6.23% 0.03
Cloudflare 54,611,856 4.49% 55,830,630 4.61% 0.12
Web server market share for active sites

Developer July 2021 Percent August 2021 Percent Change
Apache 49,484,303 24.64% 49,014,866 24.38% -0.26
nginx 40,782,096 20.31% 40,727,572 20.26% -0.05
Google 19,907,822 9.91% 19,227,458 9.56% -0.35
Cloudflare 17,611,398 8.77% 18,198,275 9.05% 0.28

For more information see Active Sites

Web server market share for top million busiest sites

Developer July 2021 Percent August 2021 Percent Change
Apache 249,870 24.99% 246,550 24.65% -0.33
nginx 225,729 22.57% 223,765 22.38% -0.20
Cloudflare 175,304 17.53% 178,021 17.80% 0.27
Microsoft 64,023 6.40% 63,759 6.38% -0.03
Web server market share for computers

Developer July 2021 Percent August 2021 Percent Change
nginx 4,137,508 36.74% 4,186,471 36.96% 0.21
Apache 3,522,835 31.29% 3,518,060 31.06% -0.23
Microsoft 1,390,437 12.35% 1,379,219 12.18% -0.17
Web server market share for domains

Developer July 2021 Percent August 2021 Percent Change
nginx 77,445,461 29.55% 78,512,209 29.77% 0.22
Apache 68,182,494 26.01% 67,266,660 25.51% -0.51
OpenResty 37,945,007 14.48% 38,179,121 14.48% -0.00
Cloudflare 19,629,981 7.49% 20,355,821 7.72% 0.23

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