If you have been scouring internet for a Web Hosting Company for your website then you must have read about Linux servers and Windows server. By now, you must have deduced that world is divided in to two camps – Windows and Linux. Any discussion on which is better always starts a war among the devotees. Thankfully, most of these debates and wars are fought on internet forums and chat rooms which spares the world of real blood shed. But make no mistake, divide is loud and clear. But here we will not favor anyone platform but present to you the pros ands cons between both and how you can choose a platform which suits your requirements. Let us first declare right now that both are very widely used, competent and stable platforms capable of hosting largest of the websites.
Usability: Windows platform is easier to use owing to its easy to use and understand interface. Linux based Apache servers are on the other hand bit more difficult to understand and certainly not suitable for novices. But everything said and done, as an end user who will opt for shared hosting, you will be interacting through control panel such as cPanel or Plesk so interfaces are not much of a problem. If you decide to buy a dedicated server or VPS then ease of use can be a deal breaker.
Security: Windows web server called IIS has a very well designed security model which is lot better than Apache. But, IIS has been hit hard by many vulnerabilities which make it imperative to install patches and service release regularly. Apache though does not have such bugs but with release of newer versions, security and other problems will surface.
Efficiency: IIS have notched up its performance in recent years and has even bettered Apache. For static pages, the performances of both servers are at par. There is no clear winner here.
Hardware Requirements: Both platforms require almost similar configuration of hardware. What matters is that configuration. As an administrator you should not run needless programs and function in windows.
Server Farms: MS has a superior load balancing technology which means that IIS has many options available. In fact, advance Windows 2000 clustering make disaster recovery much simpler in Windows.
Stability: Both platforms are very stable. Only time you may need to reboot IIS is when patches and serve releases have to be installed.
Customization: IIS suffers from the lack of .htaccess type feature. IIS though, has a ISAPI filters.
Cost: Windows costs more than Linux based servers but prices even out when you take in to account higher salaries for Linux administrators and programmers.
The choice of platform depends on your budget, experience, knowledge, preference and usage.
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