Server Operating System

Linux vs. Windows: How to Choose the Right Server Operating System

Many business owners and operators are surprised when they hear that Windows is not the dominant enterprise and server platform. For a wide range of tasks, experts often recommend using Linux or another Unix-like platform. However, there are a number of places where Windows can excel, and many businesses come to depend on Windows dedicated servers.  In the past, UNIX was considered the standard operating system for enterprise environments and servers. Today, it has largely been supplanted by Linux.

The most significant difference is the core server operating system. Linux uses some form of the Linux kernel, which is typically free. Windows, meanwhile, comes with a licensing fee. You’ll find a host of open-source Linux applications available on the web; Windows hosting has fewer apps to choose from, but all come from licensed providers. In addition, Linux uses control panels like cPanel or WHM, while Windows uses Plesk.

Just deciding to use a dedicated server regardless of the operating system will significantly benefit your business. However, there are also other considerations to think about. Not the least of which is the cost of switching from a shared server to a dedicated server.

Advantages of Linux Dedicated Servers

While not the most common server operating system on the market, Linux is without a doubt the most cost effective. As open source software, Linux requires no license to utilize and can be installed free of charge on systems of any scale. For data centers and servers large and small, the platform’s license-free nature is incentive enough to install it on their system. 

In addition to its cost effective license-free nature, Linux also boasts a wide array of available security features that greatly enhance safety and security on any server that utilizes them. For servers that protect sensitive data, the added security that these features provide is invaluable. This, among other things, has made Linux a versatile and highly competitive alternative to Windows Dedicated Server OS. 

Versatility

No matter what you want to accomplish, there will be Linux options available. Those who develop these programs know that Linux is the top platform, and those who fail to target it won’t be able to foster a large user base. Whether you’re looking to host a website, run cloud platforms or simply host data securely, Linux is the top choice.

Due to its open source nature, Linux is highly customizable, with a wide range of features that make it easy to incorporate additional features and functionality into the existing software infrastructure of a server system. While these additions often require a skilled server tech, the operating system is designed to incorporate this added functionality, improving stability and reliability for the server infrastructure. 

Security

Because it is so popular, Linux is constantly audited, and it is widely considered to be the safest operating system available. IBM, Intel and other large companies regularly contribute to the Linux kernel, and their security experts help maintain a high level of quality. Data breaches are costly and embarrassing; using Linux provides great defense.

This protection is further enhanced by numerous security optimization modules that add privacy and security functionality to the system in its vanilla or unmodified form. These allow for a highly modular, modifiable server infrastructure, with customizable user privacy and security elements. In an environment such as this where security is so crucial, this is a valuable advantage. 

Flexible

Those who look to managed hosting often find their needs changing, and the suite of tools that run on Linux make it an ideal platform for those who need flexibility. Instead of being locked into a proprietary operating system and having to deal with time-consuming data migrations, Linux users can often switch seamlessly. Growing businesses, in particular, can benefit from these flexible tools.

Linux is not common on the desktop, and many people know little about it. When it comes to running a professional, safe server, however, it is important to use the best operating system around. With managed hosting solutions, there is no need to deal with administrative tasks. Contact Volico to find out how Linux can help protect your data.

Advantages of Windows Dedicated Servers

The only other major server operating system aside from Linux, Windows Dedicated Servers offer an alternative to the flexibility and functionality of Linux by providing a comparably secure platform while adding the user-friendliness of Windows. This allows less experienced server admins to take advantage of a number of built in functionalities and security features that on a Linux system would be inaccessible without an in depth knowledge of the operating system. 

This ease of operation is one of the primary advantages of Windows Dedicated Server OS. For server admins of all experience levels, Windows Dedicated Servers are low maintenance and require minimal exertion to keep functional. In an environment such as a server farm, time is one of the most valuable available resources, and Windows Dedicated Server OS helps maximize the amount of time saved. 

Microsoft Access

Microsoft Access is a cornerstone of the Microsoft Office platform, and it provides a number of great tools for user and document management. While it is possible to use it with other platforms, Windows offers the best way to interact with workstations using Access. Many large companies that use Linux and other operating systems have at least one managed server to handle Access interaction.

For many contexts, Microsoft Access and its integration into the Windows Dedicated Server can be a tremendously useful tool to help less technologically-inclined workstation users the ability to complete their tasks in a timely manner. The average office worker at a firm is unlikely to possess the ability to grasp the nuances of the Linux operating system, so a familiar, user friendly platform like Windows Dedicated Server is a great option. 

Niche Apps

Many popular business apps started as relatively small apps. Over time, these desktop apps grew into server apps, and they supported Windows along the way. Because of this, there are a number of niche apps that function best on Windows, and some of these apps cannot run on any other operating system. Businesses that rely on these apps may find that a managed Windows server is the only way to use them.

These apps vary widely in their intended purpose and functionality, but many of them are only accessible to companies with managed servers running Windows Dedicated Server OS. These programs include financial and accounting software, record keeping applications, analytical software, and many other niche applications that won’t run on any other platform.  

Familiarity

Almost all computer users have at least some familiarity with Windows, and it’s been in use on the desktop and as a server for decades. While some claim that Unix-like platforms offer superior functionality, the familiarity of Windows makes it tempting to use as a server. Windows has proven itself to be a quality server, and those who enjoy it will want to consider using it for their business needs.

While Windows may never dominate as a server operating system, it remains the most popular non-Unix platform, and it can provide great solutions. Contact Volico to find out how Windows can work in a managed hosting environment.

Ready to focus less on your hardware and more on your business? Like to take the next step with the world’s leader in hosting? Got questions? Want to talk specifics? That’s what we’re here for. Have one of our friendly experts contact you to begin the conversation. Discover how Volico can help you with your Hosting Services needs.

•  Call: 888 865 4261
•  Chat with a member of our team to discuss which solution best fits your needs.

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