Windows or Linux web Hosting- which one is Best for us?

By: Trafficwala

One of the first questions that a business decision maker is faced with when considering a managed dedicated hosting solution is whether to go with Windows based or Linux based hosting. Armed with nothing but an existing familiarity with Microsoft products, Windows might seem to be more comfortable territory, at least on the face of it. In reality, for many businesses Linux is actually a better choice, but those advantages may not be immediately clear.

In simplistic terms, Linux is an open source version of the UNIX operating system code that powered many old mainframes in the early days of business computing. A strong argument can be made that the explosive growth of the internet in the 90s was largely due to Linux powered servers springing up as quickly as they could be plugged into the network. That early entrenchment is still seen today, with Apache and similar Linux web server software running roughly of all domains according to a June 2009 survey by Netcraft. That large installed base brings excellent established reliability, stability, and performance to managed dedicated hosting services.

Linux is also extremely flexible for dedicated hosting. Part of the stated goal of open source projects is an open, accessible architecture that can be built on and remixed in new and exciting ways. Nearly 2 decades after the initial kernel was written in 1991, Linux stands on the shoulders of a broad, rich development history, and deep customized utilization has made it a favorite of developers worldwide. Many web design and development companies are built on Linux environments, and it's not an accident that Linux has made its way into the Apple world.

It's worth mentioning that there may be philosophical reasons to go with Linux managed dedicated hosting. Not every business is motivated solely by capitalism, and without getting into pros and cons, there are differences between open source software and commercial software. Certainly there's nothing wrong with letting personal philosophy guide your business decisions, the key in this case is understanding how that decision will impact your overall capabilities.

Almost paradoxically, Linux is a great choice for SMBs on either end of the spectrum. When it comes to 'set it and forget it' web site hosting Linux is a proven leader. Many IT administrators like to boast about a Linux dedicated server that's gone years without a reboot. At the same time, when developers really need to get under the hood and utilize the deepest functions of the operating system, Linux also stands apart. It's a testament to all the people who have worked on Linux over the years that it does both jobs so well.

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