Do you prefer Linux or Windows server for your website?

by garyv
43 replies
When ordering website hosting, do you prefer Windows or Linux - and why?
#linux #prefer #server #website #windows
  • Profile picture of the author mesimoniv
    Linux specifically running Apache.

    Every large data center I've encountered is run by Linux and I am talking the datacenters that collect over 100 terabytes of data a day.

    Windows servers are complete crap, IMHO
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  • Profile picture of the author The Pension Guy
    It was told even by hosting companies (I mean the decent ones!) that unless you are planning to run some M$-specific program/software - nobody in their right mind should ever use crappy Win servers
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  • Profile picture of the author garyv
    Thanks for the replies - That's pretty much what I figured. I just wanted to see if anyone had a good reason for using a windows server.
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  • Profile picture of the author MichaelHiles
    lol @ "crappy win servers"

    I've been told by hosting companies (I mean the decent ones) that people believe what they're told because the person telling it seems smarter than themselves on a particular subject.

    I don't necessarily have technology religion, because both have good attributes and bad ones... I've used both extensively. I just enjoy these kinds of comments because they demonstrate a remarkable lack of knowledge and the perpetuation of a lot of misinformation by those who do represent a bias.

    The truth is that there's a gnat's arse hair difference between them in most specifications. Each does something the other doesn't, each has it's specific weakness.

    If you want to run .NET applications, you have to use MS.
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    • Profile picture of the author garyv
      Originally Posted by MichaelHiles View Post

      lol @ "crappy win servers"

      I've been told by hosting companies (I mean the decent ones) that people believe what they're told because the person telling it seems smarter than themselves on a particular subject.

      I don't necessarily have technology religion, because both have good attributes and bad ones... I've used both extensively. I just enjoy these kinds of comments because they demonstrate a remarkable lack of knowledge and the perpetuation of a lot of misinformation by those who do represent a bias.

      The truth is that there's a gnat's arse hair difference between them in most specifications. Each does something the other doesn't, each has it's specific weakness.

      If you want to run .NET applications, you have to use MS.
      If it came down to choosing one or the other, which would you choose?
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      • Profile picture of the author MichaelHiles
        Originally Posted by garyv View Post

        If it came down to choosing one or the other, which would you choose?
        In a previous life, as a MCSD, I tend to lean towards .NET for applications, but also as an Oracle OCP I lean towards Red Hat for database stuff. Development cycles are much shorter in .NET and you can serve exponentially more on the same hardware because it's pseudo-binary, not purely interpreted script like PHP that has to be parsed at runtime. This gives you more mileage on your hardware.

        For database scalability, reliability, etc... nothing compares with Oracle running on Red Hat. Period.

        It honestly depends on what you're doing and how you're doing it.

        For Internet Marketing, the defacto tools seem to largely be PHP script with MySQL, so if you're planning on using any existing scripts, WordPress, etc... then you want to be linux.

        But that's if you're using other existing tools that you buy from the IM community.

        We grow our own largely based on .NET technology. I can have a custom site up in minutes with a complete content management framework, skinned, membership (context security management) with a database CMS back-end. Drupal does this in PHP but the drawback is that it's parsed script... PHP.

        None of our sites have ever once been hacked. They're not scripted, they're compiled binaries. (executable files)

        Also, it's a complete falsehood that linux is "cheaper". The total cost of ownership from the infrastructure level is much higher because it's not as robust with the interfaces, therefore the availability of capable talent raises the labor prices.

        Of course, that's my C-level view.

        FWIW we have next to no down time with any of our servers. Windows or linux.
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        • Profile picture of the author Lloyd Buchinski
          Originally Posted by MichaelHiles View Post

          Also, it's a complete falsehood that linux is "cheaper". The total cost of ownership from the infrastructure level is much higher because it's not as robust with the interfaces, therefore the availability of capable talent raises the labor prices.

          Of course, that's my C-level view.

          FWIW we have next to no down time with any of our servers. Windows or linux.
          Thanks Michael. I appreciate the intelligence, the experience and the attention to detail. A lot of the threads are just sort of expressing an opinion with nothing offered to back it up. You are adding a little variety.

          My stuff is pretty small scale and it probably doesn't matter at all which, but I do some volunteer work on a couple of massive websites for a non profit organization that uses windows servers from hosting.com. I was just looking over the hosting.com site a couple of hours ago (curiosity) and was really thoroughly impressed.

          best wishes,
          ../lloyd
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    • Profile picture of the author mojojuju
      Originally Posted by MichaelHiles View Post


      If you want to run .NET applications, you have to use MS.
      With the Mono runtime you can run .NET apps on Linux and some other non-Microsoft operating systems.
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      :)

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  • Profile picture of the author greenovni
    While I have used both, Linux servers are my poison of choice. Right now, I built my own web server using linux and am hosting all of my customers websites right from here.
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  • Profile picture of the author Voon
    I need Apache, PHP and MySQL for my site to run. They are developed on Linux platform, ported to Windows. I guess it is best running on Linux? And I'm too dependent on cron, cpanel, sendmail, etc already. So, Linux would be my choice of web server. Unless I require ASP, MS SQL or .NET applications which run best on Windows server.

    Just my opinion, not saying Windows is bad. As I'm using Windows on my desktop too.
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  • Profile picture of the author ejfern22
    I think Linux servers are way more reliable than any win server. If you want to have a reliable type of server than you would use Linux rather than windows. I also use Linux on my servers and I haven't had any problems with it.
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  • Profile picture of the author TheRichJerksNet
    No way would I run a crappy windows server ... Linux all the way and much more secure...

    James
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  • Profile picture of the author MichaelHiles
    Orly?

    Yankee Group Study Evaluates OS Reliability — ServerWatch.com

    IIRC, Win2K3 Server was more reliable than Red Hat, but UNIX was more reliable than both of them.

    Like I said, parrots repeating bias... I swear I am in a union hall meeting.
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  • Profile picture of the author piotrusgliwice
    linux linux and one more time linux!
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    • Profile picture of the author MrYossu
      Hee hee, it constantly amuses and amazes me the way the same stock answers come out whenever this subject is raised. People get very religious about it

      My personal experience, having worked on both systems for years I don't think there's any genuine difference in speed, scalability or reliability. Sure, people will swear blind there is, but I have yet to see any hard facts that prove it one way or the other. Most of the claims are either unsubstantiated or not well tested.

      Also, a significantly large amount of the "Windows is cr*p" brigade base their opinions on Microsoft as a company, not on the technical quality of the products.

      And if you are renting server space, it really doesn't make any difference as the hosting company will be responsible for maintaining the servers, and they will make very sure they're up and running. You won't see a difference.

      For people here, it really comes down to what you are going to do with the web space. If you are going to run a static site, then it doesn't make a blind bit of difference, period.

      If you are going into scripted sites, then it depends on who's doing the scripting. If you are buying scripts for IM, then Unix (or a variation) is probably better as IMers seem to have a love for PHP and MySql. These do run under Windows, but seem to run better under Unix.

      If you are writing your own scripts, then it mainly depends on what you like using. Again, I've worked extensively with both, and can tell you that there's not a lot of difference overall. Personally, I prefer ASP.NET as it comes with a huge amount of built-in features that PHP just doesn't have (as far as I can see). That doesn't mean you can't do things with PHP, but it either takes longer (as you have to write more code), or you have to install 3rd party modules to achieve what comes out of the box with ASP.NET.

      Having said all that, I suspect that the number of IMers who write their own code is very small compared to the rest, so these last comments will only apply to a small minority.

      Just my 2c, like everyone else
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  • Profile picture of the author TristanPerry
    Linux is the industry standard. I prefer it, and it has a lot more hosting-related scripts available for it.

    Although I don't think that Window's Server OSes are rubbish or anything; just that I prefer, and have more experience, with Linux server OS distros.
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    • Profile picture of the author MichaelHiles
      Originally Posted by TristanPerry View Post

      Linux is the industry standard. I prefer it, and it has a lot more hosting-related scripts available for it.

      I must have missed that in the "industry standard" memo.

      Unless you meant "most Warrior Forum level internet marketing people at the low end use pre-existing solutions that have been pre-written in PHP for linux" then I would sort of agree with you. But that's more of a function of getting things that they don't have to pay a lot of money for or for free because they don't have a lot of capital. It's certainly not a function of someone at the average technical capacity of the folks that frequent this forum sitting down and engineering a best-of-breed solution based on the technical merits of each functional requirement.

      You'd be using compiled code instead of scripts, and database architectures with real stored procedures and functions.
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      • Profile picture of the author TristanPerry
        Originally Posted by MichaelHiles View Post

        I must have missed that in the "industry standard" memo.

        Unless you meant "most Warrior Forum level internet marketing people at the low end use pre-existing solutions that have been pre-written in PHP for linux" then I would sort of agree with you. But that's more of a function of getting things that they don't have to pay a lot of money for or for free because they don't have a lot of capital. It's certainly not a function of someone at the average technical capacity of the folks that frequent this forum sitting down and engineering a best-of-breed solution based on the technical merits of each functional requirement.

        You'd be using compiled code instead of scripts, and database architectures with real stored procedures and functions.
        It's the industry standard in shared hosting environments.

        I never said about company-level infrastructures and all (or at least, didn't mean to suggest that)
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      • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
        Originally Posted by MichaelHiles View Post

        I must have missed that in the "industry standard" memo.

        Unless you meant "most Warrior Forum level internet marketing people at the low end use pre-existing solutions that have been pre-written in PHP for linux" then I would sort of agree with you.
        I feel your pain man (I missed that memo too) but I learned a while back not to get into these PHP/Linux only love fests. Most of the people who are fan boys don't have the first clue what .net offers. They think a namespace has something to do with domain names.

        Me. I'll use PHP when its called for .net when its called for etc. i even started getting into actionscript and flex. Technology is too cool to lock yourself into a box. I try and use all of it. Right tool for the right job like everything else in life.

        I do think its funny though that almost everywhere I see this kind of "Windows sucks" stuff its always people typing away on their keyboards connected to a windows box and their necessary companies like their banks, insurance companies etc are all being run on Windows.
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    • Profile picture of the author TheRichJerksNet
      Originally Posted by TristanPerry View Post

      Linux is the industry standard. I prefer it, and it has a lot more hosting-related scripts available for it.

      Although I don't think that Window's Server OSes are rubbish or anything; just that I prefer, and have more experience, with Linux server OS distros.
      It is easier to hack a windows server ....

      James
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      • Profile picture of the author MichaelHiles
        Originally Posted by TheRichJerksNet View Post

        It is easier to hack a windows server ....

        James

        It can be, when its not properly configurd on a domain.

        But the real players hack at the router level.
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      • Profile picture of the author TristanPerry
        Originally Posted by TheRichJerksNet View Post

        It is easier to hack a windows server ....

        James
        Like with many things, "it depends"

        A linux server can be hacked - I've heard of Linux server's even being comprimised whilst being provisioned.

        Anything can be hacked. I am not a fan of Windows desktop operating systems, but that doesn't mean that Windows servers are inherently insecure, IMO.
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    • Profile picture of the author um1001
      I feel both will work fine but I personally prefer the cost of scalability with Linux-based systems and I'm much more comfortable with the management of Linux.

      I've written .NET applications and the platform is nice to develop under but using the nice features (like LINQ to SQL or ADO.NET) require you to use somewhat expensive MS SQL Server. If it's shared hosting, that may not be a problem but if you're paying for individual licenses, that can definitely add up.

      Scheduling for a web application is often easier with *nix servers. Doing repetitive maintenance on .NET requires you to use Windows' horrible "scheduled tasks". Cron is so much nicer. (And yes, I realize there are some ways you can "hack" .NET by using things like expiring system cache objects but I've found it to be very unreliable.) None of that matters much unless you need to schedule things though.

      I think the short answer for me is... If I'm going to have access to the box (via SSH or some other remote login) I would prefer it to be Linux. Otherwise, it just doesn't matter because both OSs will handle the most common scripting languages (including .NET on Linux via Mono ... albeit not pretty :p)
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      • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
        Originally Posted by um1001 View Post


        I've written .NET applications and the platform is nice to develop under but using the nice features (like LINQ to SQL or ADO.NET) require you to use somewhat expensive MS SQL Server. If it's shared hosting, that may not be a problem but if you're paying for individual licenses, that can definitely add up.

        http://www.microsoft.com/web/websitespark/

        Pretty sweet deal for 3 years. $100 for three years payable only at the end of the third year.
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        • Profile picture of the author mgkimsal
          Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

          http://www.microsoft.com/web/websitespark/

          Pretty sweet deal for 3 years. $100 for three years payable only at the end of the third year.
          Yeah, it's not bad. It probably won't get a huge number of people to switch, but MS has definitely been putting some effort behind PHP the last year or so. If you only use websitespark to help test and ensure that your product/site can work cross-platform (when needed), it's worth it.
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          • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
            Originally Posted by mgkimsal View Post

            Yeah, it's not bad. It probably won't get a huge number of people to switch, but MS has definitely been putting some effort behind PHP the last year or so.
            LOL! "Its not bad"? Its FREE for three years. As for switching. You are aware that Windows has little problem with the corporate (paying) world right? Anyway like I said I don't get myself trapped in these linux vs windows arguments. I use them both but with windows you are generally dealing with a language and technolgy you can migrate across platforms.
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        • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
          Warning: The following is based on personal opinion and anecdotal evidence. Any resemblance to an established fact is purely coincidental...

          Right now, all of my stuff runs on Linux/Apache servers. It's what I got used to, and the third party tools I use are written for it. I've also noticed that the sites which seem to freeze my wife's laptop or browser run on Windows servers, more times than not.

          I don't know enough to tell if the fault lies with Win servers, .asp programming, or simply poor programming. All I know is that when she hollers because her computer is frozen, it's usually a site running on Windows.
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        • Profile picture of the author um1001
          Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

          http://www.microsoft.com/web/websitespark/

          Pretty sweet deal for 3 years. $100 for three years payable only at the end of the third year.
          I actually am participating in Website Spark already and yeah it's a pretty nice deal... although you can get most of it anyway just by using the Web Platform downloader without joining that program.
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  • Profile picture of the author thenewevilisgood
    I think it truly depends on how large you wanna grow.

    Like I'm developing a more enterprise system that could accompany millions of users, or even perhaps, billions ("Okay, Dr. Evil, sett the heck down"), so my team of developers recommended to go with a Windows box running Oracle as the back bone to the database.

    However, now Amazon has a Relational Database service to host your MySQL...

    Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS)

    I have a database on one of my servers that's about 37 gigs that's pretty tough to lug around and copy.

    Anywho, I'm kinda torn, but the current huge database is in MySQL which seems a lot more favorable to host on the Amazon cloud when there's really nothing to even do, just adjust the settings of where the database is hosted, and zappo.

    You literally don't even need a server and can make out with a share hosting account or a VPS that just bolts onto Amazon services.

    The web is SO different from when I came on board in 2001 when Rudl was still alive.

    At the time, I don't think there were internet marketers really, all I remember seeing was every single affiliate promoting Corey's course.

    A dedicated server would cost you around $2,000+ and this video stuff was non-existant.

    Almost like 20 years has gone by in just 8.

    Scary to think where we'll be in the next 20 years.

    Back to the issue at hand, I'm still at a toss up, but I'm sure that Oracle devs are going to cost you a BUNCH more and they have that "Windows Certified" moniker which will cost dearly and such.
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  • Profile picture of the author Louise Green
    Linux for me.

    I prefer working with mySQL and PHP over ASP.
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  • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
    I run Linux. Once upon a time, I ran both Linux and Windows, and the reality from my testing is that Windows is better at scale - but for smaller IT needs, Linux outperforms. When you really need to load-balance your system across three or more servers, Windows is the clearly superior choice. Until then, there's effectively no difference in performance, but the expense for Windows is higher.

    There's one clear exception to this rule, and that is when you have to sink the expense for Windows anyway. When I've got full-time IT staff, the general rule of thumb is to have one full-time admin for every five servers. Since I rarely need more than three internal servers, but one admin is one admin, and I buy server licenses in packs of ten - adding a Windows web server to the mix just takes my staff usage from 60% to 80% and my license usage from 30% to 40%. You effectively get the web server for free, instead of needing to hire a Linux admin for it.
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    • Profile picture of the author MichaelHiles
      Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

      I run Linux. Once upon a time, I ran both Linux and Windows, and the reality from my testing is that Windows is better at scale - but for smaller IT needs, Linux outperforms. When you really need to load-balance your system across three or more servers, Windows is the clearly superior choice. Until then, there's effectively no difference in performance, but the expense for Windows is higher.

      There's one clear exception to this rule, and that is when you have to sink the expense for Windows anyway. When I've got full-time IT staff, the general rule of thumb is to have one full-time admin for every five servers. Since I rarely need more than three internal servers, but one admin is one admin, and I buy server licenses in packs of ten - adding a Windows web server to the mix just takes my staff usage from 60% to 80% and my license usage from 30% to 40%. You effectively get the web server for free, instead of needing to hire a Linux admin for it.

      Heh... anyone using Red Hat in a clustered environment will very quickly learn about the mandatory support contract required to download the clustering module.

      but but but it's free...
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  • Profile picture of the author jacktackett
    Personal preferences are one thing - but in order to support your customers you should be more concerned about getting the right tool for the right job.

    So my answer to a slightly modified version of your question question is - it depends.

    If I stick directly to your question then its Linux - because of its cost, open-ness, ease of use (to me) , and efficiency in delivering basic web pages.

    If your goals and preference align - great, but don't go trying to stuff a round peg into a square hole just because you want to use X - use the right tool for the right job.

    best,
    --Jack


    Originally Posted by garyv View Post

    When ordering website hosting, do you prefer
    Windows or Linux - and why?
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  • Profile picture of the author blur
    Lots of viruses waiting to take down windows servers.
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    • Profile picture of the author bgmacaw
      Originally Posted by blur View Post

      Lots of viruses waiting to take down windows servers.
      I've worked in the high security environment of medical, legal, banking and insurance applications for over 10 years and I've never seen a Windows web server or server cluster in those industries compromised by a virus, even the infamous "Code Red" and "Nimda". If you treat your servers like most people treat their Windows desktops/laptops, yes, you're asking for trouble. I've seen some businesses in less security conscious areas be that stupid. However, a properly configured and maintained Windows server is quite secure.


      For IM, I use LAMP (Linux/Apache/MySQL/PHP) since it's more common in the shared hosting environment and there are more scripts available. If I'm going to build a corporate application or a web services framework, I'd go with C#/ASP.NET and either SQL Server or Oracle on the database side. I'm quite happy to use the right tool for the right situation.
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    • Profile picture of the author Andy Fletcher
      Originally Posted by garyv View Post

      When ordering website hosting, do you prefer Windows or Linux - and why?
      If you're in the Internet Marketing world and have to ask then get yourself a bog standard Linux server running Apache (with all the trimmings) and CPanel. This is the easiest way to ensure the most "stuff" will "just work" for you in this world.

      Originally Posted by The Pension Guy View Post

      It was told even by hosting companies (I mean the decent ones!) that unless you are planning to run some M$-specific program/software - nobody in their right mind should ever use crappy Win servers
      Of course nobody in their right mind would use crappy Window's servers. Personally I like to use good Windows servers.


      Originally Posted by robbie foster View Post

      Linux server. It is cheap than windows. Also performance wise it is good. I found windows host having too much downtime for me. But maybe it's just me.
      If your Windows host suffers from a lot of downtime then it is the hosting company that is failing, not the OS.

      Originally Posted by MichaelHiles View Post

      In a previous life, as a MCSD, I tend to lean towards .NET for applications, but also as an Oracle OCP I lean towards Red Hat for database stuff. Development cycles are much shorter in .NET and you can serve exponentially more on the same hardware because it's pseudo-binary, not purely interpreted script like PHP that has to be parsed at runtime. This gives you more mileage on your hardware.

      For database scalability, reliability, etc... nothing compares with Oracle running on Red Hat. Period.

      It honestly depends on what you're doing and how you're doing it.

      For Internet Marketing, the defacto tools seem to largely be PHP script with MySQL, so if you're planning on using any existing scripts, WordPress, etc... then you want to be linux.

      But that's if you're using other existing tools that you buy from the IM community.

      We grow our own largely based on .NET technology. I can have a custom site up in minutes with a complete content management framework, skinned, membership (context security management) with a database CMS back-end. Drupal does this in PHP but the drawback is that it's parsed script... PHP.

      None of our sites have ever once been hacked. They're not scripted, they're compiled binaries. (executable files)

      Also, it's a complete falsehood that linux is "cheaper". The total cost of ownership from the infrastructure level is much higher because it's not as robust with the interfaces, therefore the availability of capable talent raises the labor prices.

      Of course, that's my C-level view.

      FWIW we have next to no down time with any of our servers. Windows or linux.
      I have to disagree with you on several points you've made in this post.

      Saying that you can serve more off the same hardware because it's binary rather than interpreted ignores the fact that compiled languages generally take longer to develop in than interpreted ones. You're simply trading off cheap CPU cycles for expensive developer ones. Although that said C# and ASP.NET in general is so sickeningly fast to develop in these days that I'm not convinced by my own point necessarily

      Saying that nothing beats Oracle on Red Hat for scalability and reliability is a bit of a falsehood. I'm sure it might be a couple of percentage points better in some ways but the cost is disgusting, especially when you have to deploy RAC for true scalability. No one outside of big corporates (eg banks) that are already locked in is doing this. Most new stuff that is springing up runs on sharded MySQL with tons of memcached servers and it's an order of magnitude cheaper than going Oracle/RedHat. I know naff all about scaling MSSQL so please don't think I was ignoring it, I'm just ignorant on that front.

      Finally you seem to be saying that MS development talent is cheaper than PHP talent. That's simply not true. You'll find far more and cheaper PHP guys than C# guys. But that's a falsehood anyway since the guys that can actually get real work done all cost the same regardless of language (and interestingly can use just about any language anyway).

      Incidently if the above comes off a bit blunt I'm sorry. I'm quite tired but really interested in getting involved in this thread before I go to bed (never a great plan).


      Originally Posted by MichaelHiles View Post

      I must have missed that in the "industry standard" memo.

      Unless you meant "most Warrior Forum level internet marketing people at the low end use pre-existing solutions that have been pre-written in PHP for linux" then I would sort of agree with you. But that's more of a function of getting things that they don't have to pay a lot of money for or for free because they don't have a lot of capital. It's certainly not a function of someone at the average technical capacity of the folks that frequent this forum sitting down and engineering a best-of-breed solution based on the technical merits of each functional requirement.

      You'd be using compiled code instead of scripts, and database architectures with real stored procedures and functions.
      Why do you believe that compiled code is somehow better than scripts?

      Originally Posted by thenewevilisgood View Post

      I think it truly depends on how large you wanna grow.

      Like I'm developing a more enterprise system that could accompany millions of users, or even perhaps, billions ("Okay, Dr. Evil, sett the heck down"), so my team of developers recommended to go with a Windows box running Oracle as the back bone to the database.

      However, now Amazon has a Relational Database service to host your MySQL...

      Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS)

      I have a database on one of my servers that's about 37 gigs that's pretty tough to lug around and copy.

      Anywho, I'm kinda torn, but the current huge database is in MySQL which seems a lot more favorable to host on the Amazon cloud when there's really nothing to even do, just adjust the settings of where the database is hosted, and zappo.

      You literally don't even need a server and can make out with a share hosting account or a VPS that just bolts onto Amazon services.

      The web is SO different from when I came on board in 2001 when Rudl was still alive.

      At the time, I don't think there were internet marketers really, all I remember seeing was every single affiliate promoting Corey's course.

      A dedicated server would cost you around $2,000+ and this video stuff was non-existant.

      Almost like 20 years has gone by in just 8.

      Scary to think where we'll be in the next 20 years.

      Back to the issue at hand, I'm still at a toss up, but I'm sure that Oracle devs are going to cost you a BUNCH more and they have that "Windows Certified" moniker which will cost dearly and such.
      If it's truly a question of how large you want to grow then you'll pretty much have to end up with a Linux based solution. I severely doubt you could build Google on Windows. The total cost of ownership argument only extends so far and Google is definitely past that point. But that said for 99.99999% of sites out there it will make no difference to your life what-so-ever. The team you have to build it will play a far greater role than the specific technologies you chose. Even if my own personal preference is to question the sanity of anyone who wants to build on Windows with Oracle

      Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

      I run Linux. Once upon a time, I ran both Linux and Windows, and the reality from my testing is that Windows is better at scale - but for smaller IT needs, Linux outperforms. When you really need to load-balance your system across three or more servers, Windows is the clearly superior choice. Until then, there's effectively no difference in performance, but the expense for Windows is higher.

      There's one clear exception to this rule, and that is when you have to sink the expense for Windows anyway. When I've got full-time IT staff, the general rule of thumb is to have one full-time admin for every five servers. Since I rarely need more than three internal servers, but one admin is one admin, and I buy server licenses in packs of ten - adding a Windows web server to the mix just takes my staff usage from 60% to 80% and my license usage from 30% to 40%. You effectively get the web server for free, instead of needing to hire a Linux admin for it.
      Why do you say Windows is the clearly superior choice for load balancing servers? There is an order of magnitude more load balanced services running on Linux than Windows.

      Originally Posted by MichaelHiles View Post

      Heh... anyone using Red Hat in a clustered environment will very quickly learn about the mandatory support contract required to download the clustering module.

      but but but it's free...
      But but but it is. I've run several clustered Linux environments without paying silly support contracts for the modules. RedHat is for corporates who are too scared to *not* pay fees for their stuff. Tons of distros (Debian being my poison of choice) have tons of options for such things without paying money for it.

      Obviously the above ignores the level of technical skill required to do so but I'd say you need a similarly skilled admin to do it on windows as you do on Linux so the lack of licensing fees favours Linux on that one.

      Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

      Warning: The following is based on personal opinion and anecdotal evidence. Any resemblance to an established fact is purely coincidental...

      Right now, all of my stuff runs on Linux/Apache servers. It's what I got used to, and the third party tools I use are written for it. I've also noticed that the sites which seem to freeze my wife's laptop or browser run on Windows servers, more times than not.

      I don't know enough to tell if the fault lies with Win servers, .asp programming, or simply poor programming. All I know is that when she hollers because her computer is frozen, it's usually a site running on Windows.
      I don't see why the OS the server is running would have any effect on crashing the browser the site is viewed in.


      Originally Posted by jacktackett View Post

      Personal preferences are one thing - but in order to support your customers you should be more concerned about getting the right tool for the right job.

      So my answer to a slightly modified version of your question question is - it depends.

      If I stick directly to your question then its Linux - because of its cost, open-ness, ease of use (to me) , and efficiency in delivering basic web pages.

      If your goals and preference align - great, but don't go trying to stuff a round peg into a square hole just because you want to use X - use the right tool for the right job.

      best,
      --Jack
      No one wants to use X, we're just stuck with it because no one did a better job yet. (Geek in joke, if you don't get it please ignore me).

      Originally Posted by blur View Post

      Lots of viruses waiting to take down windows servers.
      A few years ago this was true. MS had a pretty bad time of it, particularly with MSSQL getting exploited repeatedly but both platforms are far better now and pretty comparable as long as they are setup correctly.
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      • Profile picture of the author turbostar52
        Linux servers are much better. They have way more capabilities and better security than Windows servers.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sirago
    If you don't really care about the backend configuration of your server, I don't think it'd make that much of a difference. I prefer linux but I like to SSH into my server and set up Apache to my specific needs and configure other services. If you're just doing web hosting and you don't really know the difference, I doubt beyond choosing the platform when you sign up with the provider, you'd ever really take it into account.

    On that note, I vote linux.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jim Parker
      If I want to host websites developed using ASP, FrontPage, ASP.NET environment, Windows Streaming Media, Access, MS SQL Server, or any of the other Microsoft's owned technologies then I choose Windows based hosting packages or servers.

      Otherwise, Linux is what I prefer
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  • Profile picture of the author RebeccaL
    Although I learnt some ASP.Net and C# a few years back, I dont touch windows servers... cant beat the WHM/Cpanel combo of Apache.
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  • Google started on one Linux server. Now it runs on a whole bunch of them. How's that for "scalable"?

    I've run both side by side. Linux out-performed in every way, plus, because it's open-source, holes get found and patched more quickly. I wouldn't drive a car whose hood was welded shut. Why would I use software that won't let me see the code? Use the Source, Luke.
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  • I prefer linux servers because they are easy to work with and I like using the LAMP (Linux - Apache - MYSQL - PHP).

    I tried using a Windows server once and it ended up costing me a lot more than a Linux server. Some things I got free with linux costs more with the microsoft server. I also had a hard time finding anyone on scriptlance who would even mess with a windows server or programming languages.

    I think Windows servers may be good if you are a larger company with big bucks to spend unless you know how to administer Microsoft stuff (.net, asp) yourself. That has been my experience.
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  • Profile picture of the author Paulz0r
    I'm a Windows guy, but when it comes to hosting, I generally prefer Linux.
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