Choosing an operating system for your server may seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be a difficult decision. Whether you are just getting started with your first website or looking to get set up on a more powerful server at GigeNET, these simple guidelines can help you make your decision.
Linux vs. Windows
- Budget Requirements – Many websites are small start-ups with strict budgets, and Windows licenses add a licensing cost to your hosting experience. There are a variety of Linux distributions available for no charge.
- User Interface Requirements – Depending on the level of technical knowledge at your organization, there are various levels of usability of the user interface to consider.
If you are accustomed to using Windows already, having a Windows server may be appealing to you. With a Windows Server, you can connect to the server through Remote Desktop (RDP) and use programs on the server just as you would on your computer at home. Though these tools may make the server itself easier for you to use, they may not make website administration as simple as having a control panel could.
If you are accustomed to using shared web hosting, such as a case where you are migrating from a lower powered shared hosting service to your own dedicated server, you may be best suited for a Linux server with a control panel. GigeNET offers cPanel licenses to our customers, so you can have a robust server control panel you can access from anywhere.
- Software Requirements – If you aren’t sure of your software requirements, your developers would be the best people to ask.
Will you need ASP, .NET, Microsoft SQL? Websites with such requirements will find a Windows hosting environment most suitable.
Will you need PHP and MySQL? These programs can be run on either Linux or Windows, however if they are your only requirements, you will likely find a Linux environment most suitable.
- Providing Access To Other Users – It is important to consider how you will provide access to other users. This may include other members of your staff, your development team, or even your own clients.On Windows servers, you can leverage the powerful user management options available through Active Directory and Group Policy. Authentication can be centralized with your Active Directory server, even across multiple servers so you only have to create your user accounts in one place. Group Policy can enforce your user restrictions across the Active Directory domain.
With Linux servers, you gain a robust file permission system designed with multiple users in mind. GigeNET also offers CloudLinux, a specially designed operating system enhancement with security and account isolation in mind. If you plan to sell hosting packages from your server to your own clients, a Linux server with cPanel and CloudLinux will be an unparalleled solution for you.
- Choosing Linux? Pick a distribution you are comfortable with – There are a variety of different Linux distributions out there, some common ones are CentOS, Debian, and Ubuntu. While you could install any of these for a Linux server environment, if you are new to Linux, you will likely find a CentOS server with cPanel to be the most accessible option for you.
Still unsure? Receive a free consultation.