Windows vs. Linux servers image

Server operating systems are not created equal. There are many things to take into account when choosing an operating system to run on a dedicated server or a VPS. We’re going to take some time today and go over a some of the most important things a person should think about when making this choice.

Keep in mind that there are certain applications that work better with one operating system over another. We’re here to help users make an educated decision. With that being said, lets begin.

Stability & Efficiency

The stability of a server is mainly based on what types of applications it is running. The operating system has a large part to play in stability overall. Windows servers have a habit of needing restarts, and at times some applications may crash. Linux on the other hand, is well known for being incredibly stable. Some Linux users claim to have not had a crash in years, or that they’ve never even seen a crash at all.

When it comes to efficiency, Linux takes the cake. Linux was designed to use very low quantities of system resources. Windows on the other hand may require upgrades over time to accommodate software updates. If a system is going to stay the same for many years, Windows might be your best option, but Linux is better for systems that require more flexibilitiy.

In a side by side comparison, Linux beats Windows in stability and efficiency.

Software Compatibility

Software is one of the main choices users will have to make. If a user is going utilizing or creating ASP.NET applications and/or MS SQL then Windows is the only option. Most Linux based systems use MySQL databases

If a user is flexible with software, then either operating system can be used. The user must first do a bit of research and decide which software will be best for his or her specific applications.

Cost Of Operation

Cost is the deciding factor for many users. Most Linux server operating systems are completely free. There are a few that aren’t free, such as Red Hat. If a user chooses a Windows server, a license must be purchased.

One benefit of the paid versions of either system is that support is included. If a user is savvy enough, they can use a free version of Linux using information they find online. This isn’t always the greatest solution for businesses, but with competent in-house IT support, Linux can be a viable, cost-reducing option.

Ease Of Use

An important aspect of server operation is how easy or difficult it is to use on an everyday basis. Linux typically uses command line systems. For an unexperienced user, the command line can be scary. Windows operating systems can use command line but generally have an interface where a user can login and use freely. This makes Windows a bit more user-friendly than Linux systems.

If a user is comfortable with the command line, Linux is no problem.

Security

Any system can be vulnerable to intrusion at times. This is an almost unescapable truth.

Windows being one of the most popular operating systems in the world, is unfortunately more prone to viruses and hacking attempts. Experienced users can add software that keeps Windows completely secure. This can provide the necessary protection and make the system a bit less vulnerable. Because it is the most popular operating system, there will always be new vulnerabilities to keep track of. This is one of the major downsides to using a Windows-based system.

None the less, this can all be overcome with research.

Linux is historically a very secure operating system due to the way the file system is set up. Don’t let that fool you, though. There are some vulnerabilities. The same is true for both operating systems: paying attention to server news can protect you from these vulnerabilities and keep your system safe.

Viruses and intrusion attempts are an unfortunate reality for any computer or server connected to the internet. Either operating system can be kept safe by keeping systems up to date and following simple steps to reduce attacks.

To Wrap Things Up

The Windows vs Linux battle rages on. Each operating system has its own group of loyal users. We can’t say one is specifically better than the other because each has many positive attributes. It’s up to users to decide which one makes the most sense specifically for their next project, or for their business.

Whats your favorite server operating system? Let us know in the comments below.

  1. JohnMc says:

    Unless your app requires it, if you are not running Linux, well ya take your chances. But if one opts for a dedicated server does it really matter? I would visualize that iron in a heartbeat and I then have the ability to tweak out the VM OS as I need it.

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