An Introduction to Cloud Servers
Windows or Linux? It’s a tale as old as time and a choice that’s been violently debated amongst PC users for years. It’s evolved through the decades. It ended friendships. It’s probably even created some. But how does it apply to cloud-based server technology?
Windows and Linux each have advantages as operating systems for cloud-based servers. Linux is a popular OS for web servers and has numerous features enjoyed by web developers, while Windows excels in cloud hosting by providing easier data handling and increased flexibility. Both are best for small business phone system but which one is better for you? We’ll have to dive a little deeper into the differences between both systems before you can adequately decide which one is the best option for your system.
What is a Cloud-Based Server?
The term might not be a regular part of their lexicon for many users with little programming knowledge. Cloud servers are a centralized resource that is hosted and conveyed via the internet to users. If you’re familiar with OneDrive, however, or even Dropbox, you’ve used cloud-based services provided by a cloud server. Most websites these days run, in some form or fashion, using cloud-based technology.
Windows vs. Linux
There are several significant differences between the two operating systems regarding their ability to handle cloud servers. Below, we’ve listed a few key differences that can help you choose which one is right for you.
- Cost and Licensing
For those seeking a more cost-effective means of running your cloud servers, Linux takes the cake. Windows is a for-profit company that will require you to pay for a windows hosting license. This is still a cost-effective price at under $10 monthly. Linux is open-sourced, and the most you’ll pay for hosting is a few dollars each month. However, many Linux users will still prefer to opt for a paid service to help with their operations. For the most part, the costs will be pretty similar between the two.
- Overall Popularity
Linux has enjoyed increasing popularity, with many web providers preferring to use Linux for their web development. By 2020, more than 70% of all websites on the net use some form of Linux system for their hosting. Microsoft users, however, only account for 28% of websites.
- Technology and Adaptability
Technology is one of the widest gaps between the two hosting systems. Linux supports most programming languages, while windows will require proprietary software to host. Linux cloud hosting works well with almost all forms of programming language, such as MySQL, CGI, Python, and nearly every language not proprietary to Microsoft.
Additionally, Windows uses MSSLQ as their database management system and ASP.NET as its primary programming language. This technology requires most newer programmers to invest considerable time to become proficient. However, many programmers hoping for corporate jobs will significantly benefit by mastering this technology despite its difficulty.
Linux offers the most streamlined approach for regular users who won’t need to take extra time to configure and customize their hosting service. All it requires is a working knowledge of CPanel, a web hosting control panel interface.
With a site hosted with Windows, you’ll only be able to secure the licensed version of Windows Server Datacenter. For regular users that are proficient in configuring Linux, this provides ample opportunity for custom configurations. Linux has a farther market reach, with website platforms like WordPress being built for this system.
- Technical Support
Both Linux and Windows offer extensive technical support. Windows support is more accessible and even offers support contracts for its customers. Linux, however, will offer more comprehensive support via forums, peers, and websites.
Most programmers consider Linux to be the more secure of the two systems. However, much of the security hinges on the server configurations and the skills of the administrators running it.
This is an important aspect for many users that value their privacy. Windows systems collect user data while Linux does not.
Windows is notorious for springing updates on users, both in terms of OS and web hosting services. But with Linux, users are free to update their systems on their time, and updates will not require a system reboot.
So which way does the gavel fall? Windows or Linux? The decision can be quite complicated and can vary wildly depending on what type of website you intend to host. Windows may be the better option for developers working for corporations or larger businesses as many corporate servers are run through Windows hosting. However, if you’re a studied developer whose main programming language is Python, PHP, or Perl, you may prefer what Linux has to offer.
The debate will continue to rage for years. There will always be dedicated Linux users, and others will swear by Windows cloud hosting. But for you? It will all boil down to what type of website you intend to host, what programming language you prefer, and how much customization you’ll need. The choice may be a complex one, but it’s yours!
If you’re hoping to learn more about cloud server hosting, you’ll want to contact a knowledgeable IT professional for a consultation. They’ll be able to efficiently guide you on many different IT-related issues, including cloud-based website hosting, networking, structured cabling, and even hosted phones and PBX system for small business!