In the age of Digital Darwinism, it is all about being tech-savvy and being on top of your game. Business word-wide chose to opt for the most effective and efficient solutions for security and reliability of programs, applications, and a series of embedded software.
The year 2020 brought many challenges to our lives, but tech giants somehow survived the battle, but the war is not over yet. 2021 brings us more challenges but are we on top of our game?
The chicken and egg paradox may seem apparent. Simultaneously, users and administrators would argue about delivering top-notch websites, services, and development at the forefront. However, one thing remains in the discussion: the best OS for architecture, performance, and security.
It may seem like a straightforward decision to many, but experts say that the choices rely on second-hand information.
So, if you are concerned about procuring a server for your business needs, read this article to gain insights into making better decisions.
Understanding the Pricing Models
Let’s start with the pricing models. Did you know? Much of Linux distribution is free because it is backed up and supported by the open-source movement and community. Windows, on the other hand, is a closed source software owned and distributed by Microsoft. Interesting, isn’t it?
Now, for leading businesses, money, and time do matter more than anything else. Hence, to save money, most companies automatically resort to using Linux. Yet, we understand that some businesses spend money buying expensive Windows licenses to save as much time as possible.
Here, the question arises, why does Microsoft charge money when Linux is available for free?
The fee charged by Microsoft isn’t just to distribute you a copy of Windows. If you run into a Windows-based issue, you can get in touch with Microsoft’s technical support team to help solve your problem. However, the opportunity cost you pay for running Linux is the unavailability of customer support. You may also hire a consultant to help you out if you run into an issue or do it yourself. Also, the beauty of open-source is the community, so you can always post your problem in an online forum, and others will help you. Someone else might have already had the same issue as you, and you can see what worked for them.
Opting for Linux is a wise choice, especially if you are well-equipped with the knowledge needed to handle the systems administration required to operate a Linux machine. Over time, Linux has become more comfortable to use, thanks in particular to the popularity of Ubuntu.
If we look back in history, Linux distros developed in affiliation with IBM like Red Hat Enterprise Linux (aka RHEL), Fedora, and CentOS lead in server-side market share. Out of all of Linux distros, CentOS dominates the server-side most. Ubuntu dominates the client-side market and is available for home users. It acts as a hosting OS for those who seek something friendlier to use.
Linux machines work great as VPS (Virtual Private Server) thanks to being lightweight and having very little performance overhead. Having robust network tools built-in, a Linux based machine as a VPN (Virtual Private Network) server is the perfect use for it.
The best thing about Linux is that you can install any other OS and revert without haste if you decide to switch your mind.
The massive popularity of Linux comes from it being free and open-source as opposed to Windows that requires a license. That makes the barrier of entry non-existent. The open-source community supports the Linux project actively develops new tools to be used by Linux users. If you need something, you can quickly look for it within the package manager, and you will be up and running in no time.
What is CentOS?
CentOS is a rebuild of RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux), which means that the developers behind CentOS transformed and stripped-down RHEL with the sole purpose of being used as a hosting OS. It works just like any other Linux distro, but with the added benefit of being robust enough to be run 24/7 without failure. The uptime on CentOS based servers is always the best, which is why it has successfully stayed the most popular operating system for servers. You do not need to restart the server running on CentOS for months and even years on end.
cPanel is a Linux based control panel explicitly used for hosting web purposes. It runs on Linux and is the most popular control panel, second by CWPanel (CentOS Web Panel). So, if you use Linux, you will be using either one of these for managing hosted accounts and databases, etc.
Using cPanel also reduces the burden of knowing how to use and administer Linux, as 90% of the management you can do through cPanel.
Windows needs no introduction; everyone has used it at some point in their lives. Because of having a long history of adaption as an operating system, support for applications is excellent on Windows. You will easily find the exact tool you need for your use case, whether free or paid. You’d be hard-pressed to find a piece of software that doesn’t work with Windows.
Thanks to its ease of use, Windows is famous as a VPS OS. On top of the UI, Windows Server supports multiple CPUs over multiple sockets natively. Windows server is not confused with the personal licensed Windows like Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro.
The best part about Windows is the familiarity and ease of use, and excellent support from their technical staff.
Suppose you use many Microsoft focused technology stacks, including C#, ASP.NET, .NET Core, MS-SQL database, etc. In that case, you will need a Windows machine to host these applications. Windows natively manage dependencies for .NET applications without having to install anything separately.
Getting a Windows Server license, as mentioned earlier, brings you something that you will miss if you go with Linux – dedicated technical support from Microsoft. Besides having access to staff, the documentation and product knowledgebase present on Microsoft’s website for Windows will be far superior and well organized than anything else you look for.
Like cPanel, Plesk is the de facto control panel used for Windows-based servers. While Windows is comparatively user-friendly, there still can be a case for users who are already familiar with cPanel and want something similar on Windows. Plesk is perfect for those who need the same level of orchestration they get with cPanel without the bloat of navigating within Windows and the Windows File Explorer.
It’s a Wrap!
With the thriving Linux community and the reliable Windows platform, it seems as if there is an endless choice of operating systems. There are pros and cons to both Windows and Linux. What is best for you depends entirely on your needs. So if you are trying to evaluate your needs, in that case, you will suffer, and your organization.
Some users choose Linux because it is free, only to realize later that Windows is more user-friendly. Similarly, people end up using Windows and later learn the security breach issues. Taking a little bit of time to research will save hours and days worth of agony and relieve you of having to tinker with the server regularly.