If you do some research online for figures regarding OS usage, you will see that the stats differ and estimates vary. However, one thing that most surveys and studies agree on is that Linux has an overwhelming share of the OS market, especially when compared to Windows, which is widely viewed as the main competitor. Did you know that Google uses over 15,000 Linux servers in order to dish up its content? With that being said, in this article, we are going to take a look at the different reasons why a Linux server is such a popular web hosting option, as well as drawing some comparisons to Windows so that you can understand why that solution often comes up short.
Industry preference and performance
Industry standards naturally develop as the hosting industry matures. Robust maintenance and management tools have been created for use with Linux servers, and this makes the administration process a lot easier. Certification systems have also been set up, as technicians need to know their way around Linux if they want any hope of working in the hosting industry. All of this has built Linux up to the level whereby it has become the industry standard OS. Typically, when something is an industry standard, it is easier to convince people to get on board.
Linux is held in such high esteem because it excels in the following areas:
- Total Cost of Ownership and Maintenance
- Hardware support
- Stability and reliability
One of the main reasons why so many servers are run on a Linux OS is because it tends to be much more affordable. Linux is an open source operating system, which means you can essentially install a Linux server for any purpose free of charge. The same is true for the three fundamental pieces of software that are required to serve a website:
- PHP, which is the most popular scripting language
- MySQL, which is the most prominent database management system
- Apache, which is Linux’s leading web server application
As there are no licensing costs to cover, you can benefit from lower expenses all across the board. The only thing that you would need to pay for, if you choose to do so, is the optional control panel tool and the optional support that your host provides. You can also apply this cost angle to the hardware of Linux too. When it comes to slower machines, Linux is arguably the best operating system. This means that you are able to get more use out of aging equipment if you go down this route.