The Eternal Struggle: Windows vs Linux

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This is not a war, it is not about which server is better than the other. It is about which one works best for your particular needs. Don’t be afraid to ask around, talk to your hosting provider and discover the best choice for your business.

Every day at least one IT manager or business owner will discover that their business has grown past having a page on blogger and a presence on Facebook; that the time has come to expand and conquer the seas of the internet with a more elaborate website.


With this comes the difficult choice of choosing the right operating system for your server. A simple google search will reveal that there are plenty of advocates for both sides, which makes the choice even harder. However, it’s important to remember that there is no right answer.

What works for most might not work for all. The particulars of your business are going to determine which one is the right choice for you.

Which one is cheaper?

Budget is always the first concern. Windows servers have the backing of Microsoft’s customer service infrastructure which is always nice. However, they do come with an expiration date.

Support and updates for certain versions of your software will end. In fact, Microsoft has stated the support for Windows Serve 2008 is on its way out, and could end as soon as this year.

Linux on the other hand, is a free operating systems that is known for being community supported and very friendly for users who want to create their own tools.

A Microsoft supported server will usually be a few pounds more expensive and needs to be updated about every 5 years, however the support is top quality and it is ideal for people who are not that computer savvy and have never written a line of code.

If you are very experienced in the world of IT, and are not afraid to start programming and be very hands on then Linux is a very viable option.

On The Software Side

Finding the right tools for your server in a Linux environment can be quite complicated. Even choosing the basic OS offers way too many questions.

There are around six hundred different distributions of Linux, and each one offers different options and different environments; plus, not everything runs on every variation of Linux. Due to this fragmentation of the market it can be complicated to find answers to very specific questions. Sure, Windows is more limited but this means it is better documented and nowhere near as complicated.

The amount of time you are willing to spend in your server is also to be taken into consideration. You can probably get better performance out of a Linux server than a windows server but that is going to require a lot of tinkering, while a windows server works pretty much out of the box.

Compatibility

Compatibility is also always a deciding factor. What applications do you need for your server? Are they compatible with your choice of OS?

Common applications such as Microsoft Office and the Adobe Creative Suite do not have a Linux version. Finding out if the software you use on the daily basis is compatible with one OS or the other is crucial when it comes to making your choice.

This is not a war, it is not about which server is better than the other. It is about which one works best for your particular needs. Don’t be afraid to ask around, talk to your hosting provider and discover the best choice for your business.

 

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