A First Look at the Consolidation of DNS and Web Hosting Providers

by   Synthia Wang, et al.

Although the Internet continues to grow, it increasingly depends on a small set of dominant service providers for Domain Name System (DNS) hosting and web hosting providers. This consolidation of Internet resources poses a variety of potential threats to the Internet, including susceptibility to outages, failures, and even overt censorship from platforms. Increasingly, an outage from a single organization can create widespread disruption across a large number of sites and services. Consolidation trends have been noted for several years, yet these trends have not been quantified. Towards this end, this paper aims to quantify these trends, in particular, the reliance of the most popular domains on a small set of organizations for DNS and web hosting. We highlight the extent to which the hosting of authoritative name servers and web hosting for the top 10,000 websites are consolidated on relatively few platforms. The statistics are surprising and somewhat alarming. We find that over 75 top 10,000 domains rely on only a single organization for hosting authoritative DNS resolution. Furthermore, two organizations, Cloudflare and Amazon, are the sole host of DNS name servers for over 40 of web hosting, we find that 62 resources for the top 10,000 websites are hosted by only five organizations: Cloudflare, Amazon, Akamai, Fastly, and Google.


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