Web Hosting Operating Systems-Windows versus Linux

Comparison of Windows and Linux- The two major web hosting operating systems:You might be a bit confused when you have to choose a web hosting operating system for your new website. While a hosting company can choose from a number of operating systems to run internaly on or to be used as a platform to run its clients’ sites, the selection of operating system has been narrowed down between Linux and Windows. Though Linux is the first operating system used in web hosting, Windows has started catching on a fast step. Both these hosting systems have their own pros and cons and while one is the better option in certain cases, it is the opposite in other cases. Here are some of the important points you have to consider before the final decision.

First, you should have a clear idea about the applications you will have to run on the server. Though it is possible to run several applications on these two systems and some are made for only one platform and could be ported to the other, there are still certain applications which compel you choose either Linux or Windows. Usually, these applications perform best in their own environment like Apache on Linux and .NET on Windows. So technologically you have already made your choice because it is not that easy to migrate a system later.

If you think security is very important in hosting, no webmaster will say he/she has no concern for security. But in certain cases, security is so essentially vital that you cannot make any compromise with that. Linux is considered to offer more security, but with an efficient administrator, Windows also can score well in safety measures. So you cannot say which is better in providing security if Linux poses a security risk with a poor administrator and Windows has a really skilled professional to administer it.

Now, coming to the price, since Linux is free, it offers free or cheaper hosting packages while Windows is proprietary and the hosting company has to pay an amount to get the operating system and it will charge a few cents or dollars more. Since several factors, other than the operating system used, determine the price for the third-party hosting, both Linux and Windows have more or less the same pricing structures.

Support of Technologies: Both the web hosting operating systems, Linux and Windows have support for MySQL, PHP and various other open source technologies for web development. Microsoft technologies like .NET, SQL, VB development, MSAccess and ASP require a Windows server only. While Linux hosting machine can have ASP code on it, it cannot be said the same for SQL, MSAccess and .NET. So to use these technologies, you have to choose the Windows hosting package only. Windows server can easily host a website programmed and designed to be hosted by a Linux-based server. This is an additional advantage that makes Linux programming a better option.

Both perform in low-stress situations in the same manner, while Linux serves better than Windows under high load. One word, your personal preferences might play a strong part in the final decision-making process-Linux or Windows?