Every once in a while I write a Windows Web Solutions UPDATE commentary that sparks an enormous amount of reader interest. On January 28, I wrote a commentary titled, "IIS Owns the Fortune 1000 Web Server Market," and I received approximately 100 email messages about this commentary. About half of the email messages I received were from IIS administrators in midsize to large companies who felt vindicated that the word had finally gotten out that real companies do run their public Web sites, intranet, and extranet Web applications on IIS.

The commentary was based on an automated survey that Port80 Software, a San Diego-based software company that develops software products to enhance the security, performance, and user experience of IIS, performed electronically. Port80 Software has a tool available that queries the HTTP request header returned by a Web server to determine what Web server software it's running. Port80 Software's results from the Fortune 1000 are very interesting—a 54.1 percent market share for IIS, 21 percent for Sun Microsystems' Netscape Enterprise Server, 17.6 percent for the Apache HTTP Server, and 7.3 percent for all others.

I spoke to Port80 Software's Chris Neppes, director of sales and marketing, about his company's survey and about the state of the IIS industry in general. Neppes provided me with some additional interesting statistics from another survey that gathered statistics about what Web servers Fortune 1000 companies are running. That survey revealed that of the Fortune 1000 companies that responded, 48 percent run IIS, 24 percent run Sun ONE (formerly known as iPlanet), 18 percent run Apache, 4 percent run Lotus/Domino, and 2 percent run other Web servers.

The remainder of the content within the email messages I received concentrated on the tidbit I wrote about Netcraft's report about an IIS 5.0 Web server that's gone without a reboot for more than 2 years—basically since Windows 2000 shipped. Netcraft also reported about Microsoft partners Interliant and divine, companies that each have sites that haven't been rebooted in more than a year. (Microsoft has also run several of its own sites for more than a year between reboots.)

One of many readers' responses was, "How in the world are these companies keeping their IIS servers secure if they aren't doing the reboots required by installing the patches, hotfixes, and service packs that Microsoft releases at a frenetic pace?" Such great Web server service has to do with Netcraft's definition of uptime. NetCraft measures uptime by measuring the amount of time since the last reboot of the proxy server (i.e., Internet Security Acceleration—ISA—Server 2000). You can read NetCraft's explanation of uptime at the following URL:
http://uptime.netcraft.com/up/accuracy.html#uptime.

I don't doubt that IIS can remain up for a long period of time; common security requirements just prevent record uptime. The same goes for all UNIX-based sites that Netcraft reports have uptimes of 3 to 4 years. To give Netcraft some credit, the company does present a disclaimer with an explanation of availability, which fits a more traditional definition of uptime.