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KB (Knowledge Base) : Linux Vs Windows
 
Linux(Unix) vs. Windows Hosting
Linux is a flavor of Unix.
The following discussion gives insight into our opinions regarding which platform should be used for virtual server hosting. For UNIX, we use a modified version of Linux. Unlike Windows 2000, UNIX comes in many different flavors, such as Solaris, Red Hat Linux, and FreeBSD. This discussion examines the difference between these two operating systems from various perspectives, all of which should be considered when determining which platform you should use for virtual server hosting.

Important: One of the biggest misconceptions is that you have to run UNIX on your own computer in order for you to host your site on UNIX platform. That is not true. Which operating system you run on your computer is irrelevant in making your decision. This means that if you are running Windows98 or Windows®2000 on your computer, you can still choose UNIX.

  UNIX Windows
Ease of use
Reliability  
Speed
Functionality
Price  
Integration with Microsoft solutions
Free/Open Source Software  

User Friendliness
While the consensus holds that UNIX based webhosting is more user friendly than Windows, it is our belief that with our Control Panel's for both the UNIX and Windows platforms make both user friendly. However, UNIX does have some features, such as Telnet/SSH that makes it easier to administer your webhosting account.

Stability
Without question, we feel that UNIX is far more stable than Windows in a shared-server, or multi-user environment. Given the background of UNIX, which dates back into the early 1960's versus Windows birth in the 1990's, UNIX has had far more time to improve in efficiency and stability. It is our opinion that Windows 2000 was not developed for the multi-user, shared-server hosting environment (which can be a high demanding environment at times) where UNIX kernal has been developed under these conditions.

Functionality
Many commercial applications, especially e-commerce packages, are developed for the Windows environment. While UNIX does have commercial support for popular application such as Real Networks G2, Miva and now WebTrends, the history of UNIX software development is Open Source, or GNU software (non-commercial). Therefore, many more commercial applications for e-commerce and web development are developed for the Windows environment. On the flip side, may open source applications which have gained tremendous popularity, such as Perl, PHP, and mySQL were developed for UNIX operating systems under the GNU license. Commercial applications versus GNU software can easily distinguish which platform should be used when considering functionality.

Our Experience

Nexus has been working with Red Hat Linux for over 3 years now, and general UNIX OS's including Open Source software (Slackware, Open BSD Linux, Free BSD) for about 4 years. However, we have been working with Windows 2000 for only 2 years now, so our experience much heavily weighted towards UNIX, especially the Linux Operating System.
 
Price

Here UNIX holds a slight edge due to the fact that the most of the software licenses are free and that it’s easier to maintain UNIX servers than Windows®2000 servers for the same level of reliability and performance. You will see that our hosting prices reflect this. Unless you specifically plan to use Windows®2000 platform specific features (see below), it probably makes sense to choose the UNIX platform. 

Supported Features

Features UNIX Windows
MS FrontPage 2000,2002
Multiple FTp accounts  
Flash
Shockwave
RealAudio/Video
Cgi-script
Perl
PHP
SSH (Secure Telnet)  
MySQL  
ASP (active server pages)  
MS Access  
MS SQL  
Visual Basic Scripts  
Windows Media  

The following specific features are supported in both UNIX and Windows®2000 platforms

-Control Panel - advanced web based hosting control
-Knowledge Base 
-Site Statistics 
-Web Based Email 

Technical information for advanced users

  UNIX Windows
Web Server Apache  IIS (Internet Information Server)

Our Final Opinion
It is our opinion that the Linux platform is much more suited for multi-user functionality than the Windows platform. For clients looking to create a simple website with little experience or dynamic features with GNU software (Perl, PHP), we recommend a UNIX-based virtual server. However, clients looking for custom scripting and e-commerce add-ons for their virtual server or with high-end databasing or development needs, we recommend the Windows platform.

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