The most popular web hosts in 2015

A presentation I am writing needed me to understand hosting company trends. I found a report from 2012 showing where the top 100,000 sites visited, according to Alexa, were hosted, and therefore ran the same logic for the top 100,000 sites today.

The results show almost ten percent of the world’s top 100,000 sites are hosted by Cloudflare, a relatively young CDN at just six years old.  Amazon Web Services hosts over 7,000 of the top sites, compared with 4,000 a few years ago.  Traditional ‘mass hosting’ services were the main losers in the comparison with 2012.


Want to do your own analysis on where the top 100,000 sites are hosted ?  You can download the raw data here.  It was collected by looking at the A record for the site and checking the origin ASN of that address’ prefix.  This was deliberately run on a network with no on-net content caches at AS44504 in order to best reduce the chance of mis-assigning a CDN address to a third party carrier.


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Interconnection Automation

Interconnection starts out easy – just BGP peer with everyone you can, at the local exchange, yes?  That works, and it’s a simple business case to prove, but when you start to plug into third parties so that you can reach their access products, or you need to plug into them in several cities, or perhaps actually they’re paying you for stuff and you need to turn up interconnection accord to an SLA, the situation starts to get more complex.

This presentation (uploaded to Slideshare) is one I gave in Palo Alto at Peer2.0, and it’s a set of visuals that accompanied various parts of a technical discussion about turning up interconnection using automation tools, also  using some real life examples from our fully automated wholesale ISP, Allegro Networks.


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Traffic Engineering like a pro

Surely a non-topic?  Isn’t traffic engineering a simple case of throwing internet traffic towards the lowest cost destination?  This may be how many Internet Networks approach traffic engineering in their earliest days, but how far can this strategy scale?

Most of the time, the strategy breaks when a failure event on the network poses the question “could we have done better?”  A failure event could be an outage that leads to congestion, loss of service, or unnecessarily high latency to a particular destination.  Most of these have cost (sending traffic “around the houses”) or revenue (customers getting fed up and leaving) implications, but for most networks in the world some careful planning significantly reduces the impact of failure at their Internet edge.

Managing traffic engineering projects can be boiled down to a simple checklist:

  • Establish the ‘direction’ of your traffic flow (mainly inbound, mainly outbound, or balanced)
  • Collect data that you can trust which helps you to identify which remote ASNs originate or sink your top traffic flows
  • Obtain quick wins by configuring deterministic routing with your top ‘n’ flows
  • Improve mutual long term performance for both networks by interconnecting closely to traffic origination point.
  • Measure again, review again, measure again, review again.

The techniques that enable this are explain in more detail in this presentation.

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New York, New York

Taxis at dusk

Everybody I know who loves their city claims that they live in a ‘Green City’, boasting about how every possible corner has been turned into a beautiful and relaxing park.  That said, I was genuinely surprised to see just how much expensive, precious land in downtown NYC was given up to parks and recreation space, and how simple it was to find a beautiful place to relax in dense Manhattan.

NYC delighted me because unlike many US cities, it was possible to find a distinctly local and unique heartbeat in many of the varied neighbourhoods where locals live.  My favourite neighbourhood was Greenwich Village, hosting hundreds of indie art, fashion, music and food outlets that can’t be found anywhere else in the world.  You must work hard to avoid the tourist traps, but will be rewarded when you do.

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IP Drought begins today in Asia-Pacific

That’s it – the Asia Pacific region is the first to run out of IPv4 addresses.

This happened following an assignment of around half a million addresses to support the users at the Chinanet Fujian Province Network.

The pool of available addresses to the region including some of the world’s largest populations, such as China, India, Indonesia, and some of the world’s largest economies, such as Japan and Australia, has depleted to such low levels, that the registry responsible for distribution of these addresses will now ration them, such that any ISP requesting space will be given a single block of 1,024 addresses, on a single occasion only.

This is enough space to allow the ISP only to host NAT or ipv4 to ipv6 translation technologies. It is not enough to address a large content infrastructure, hosting environment, or internet access customer-base.

The rules of the game have today changed for 50% of the world’s population, and they will change in Europe too in a few short months too. If you do not have an IPv6 plan, then this is your new significant business risk – how will users with v6 only connections reach your content? And if this is through a translation mechanism, how will you ensure quality, or that your end-to-end protocols (like voice, video, etc.) will work ?

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Bring on IPv6 party!

Tonight I will be participating at the Bring On IPv6 event, at the London Transport museum.  

It’s important for large website operators and businesses who rely on the internet to ensure their services are available on the current IPv4 internet and IPv6 internet.  At 2 billion users, the internet community has grown to reach a size that IPv4 addresses can no longer service.  To make your content available to everyone, learn about IPv6.

Bring on IPv6 party!

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LONAP Route Servers Pass Milestone

I noticed earlier that LONAP had passed a fantastic milestone just before the weekend – of the ninety nine networks which are plugged into the exchange, more than half of the networks choose to connect to each other via the route-server.

A route-server is a fantastic way for networks to start to peer (swap internet traffic) at Internet Exchanges, and results in instant success after connection.

A network with an open peering policy can connect to the internet exchange, and then get peering with more than half of all the other networks on the exchange by bringing up a single pair of BGP sessions. When a route-server peering is established, a BGP session is setup between your router and LONAP’s route database. LONAP advertise all of the prefixes of the other connected members to you, but the traffic between you and the other members flows between you and your peer directly (it does not need to traverse the route-server.)

Members do not need to open their network to their own customers at the route servers, they can send special messages to the route-servers to prevent certain networks from seeing prefixes.

Route-servers are not new, but have had a bad reputation for stability for several years. With our colleagues at several other community exchanges, including the LINX, we shared bugs, workarounds, and feature requirements with each other and the main open-source route-server vendors. Eventually, we were able to report considerable improvement in stability last December.

As a result, we at LONAP selected BIRD and OpenBGPd as our route server vendors, and built a support framework to link our configuration with the LONAP configuration system. Since then we have been advocating the route-servers to our members, and the fact that they are now providing a stable stepping-stone to more than half of our peers shows that this effort was worthwhile.

If you would like to start to peer, but need to be assured of instant success and results, then contact LONAP for information about how the route-servers at LONAP can help.

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