A server is a computer program or a device that provides a service to another computer program and its user, also known as the client. Servers are often dedicated to carry out hardly any other tasks apart from their server tasks.
Divided into categories, there are kinds of servers that include file servers, database servers, print servers, and network servers.
Theoretically, whenever computers share resources with client machines they are considered servers.
Speaking of servers, there are two main web-hosting services on the market, Linux and Microsoft Windows.
Linux is an open source software server that is why it is cheaper and easier to use than a Windows server. Windows server (a Microsoft product) is often subject to charges so one must pay for the operating system and a periodic use license.
But for many companies, profit is worth the price with Windows server, because it generally offers more range and more support than Linux servers.
So how did we conclude that Linux is far more popular than Window servers?
For more evidence, let us see the statistics.
For Web Servers
According to W3Cook, Linux powers the servers that run 96.5% of the top one million domains in the world (as ranked by Alexa).
The statement was even further discussed by W3Techs claiming that Linux powers around 70% of the top 10 million Alexa domains. Windows controls the remaining 30%.
Linux utterly dominates the list of the top 500 most powerful supercomputers in the world.
Compare to Windows, Linux maintains a noticeable lead.
Linux isn’t just common on laptops, mobiles, and servers, because governments from all over the world have been using it in their military operations and educational systems.
It is far more secure and is the only OS used by TOP500 supercomputers. Further, it is designed to handle demanding business requirements like system administration, networking and database management.
Linux: Fast with High Security
Linux is a family of free, open source software operating systems built around the Linux kernel.
This was invented by Linus Torvalds in 1991, who was then a student at the University of Helsinki in Finland with the commencement of his personal project to create a new free operating system kernel.
According to studies by the Linux Foundation and SUSE, Linux is fast-becoming the operating system (OS) of choice for many organizations that operate servers that host cloud and big data applications.
Different industries including finance, healthcare, military, government, internet, etc. have been using it to manage operations. Also, Startups and smaller businesses often choose the open-source OS for their operating servers because much of the distributions are freely available.
Something that makes Linux to stand out
It is a free and open source.
The first truly free Unix-like operating system, Linux is completely an open source project. There is no commercial vendor trying to lock users into certain products or protocols. Thus, businesses are free to mix and match and choose what works best for their needs so getting a genuine copy of a Linux distro (i.e. Ubuntu, Fedora) is absolutely free.
No wonder governments, organizations and major companies like Google, Amazon, and Netflix, are using the open source operating system in their own production systems.
It is more secure.
Linux based operating systems are secure and suitable for servers. It implements a variety of security mechanisms to secure files and services from numerous attacks and abuses.It highly restricts influence from external sources (i.e. users, programs or systems) that can possibly destabilize a server.
Integrated control features include centralized identity management and Security-Enhanced Linux (SELinux), mandatory access controls (MAC) on a foundation that is Common Criteria and FIPS 140-2-certified.
It has better control.
The open source project allows a certain business to employ multiple vendors – effectively avoiding what is called the vendor lock in. Plus, system admins have powerful tools at their disposal, such as how to use systemctl.
It is more stable and reliable.
Unix-based, Linux systems are widely known for their stability and reliability. Many Linux servers on the Internet have been running for years without failure or even being restarted.
Linux systems are stable due to lots of determinants which include management of system and programs’ configurations, process management, security implementation etc.
With Linux, you can modify a system or program configuration file and effect the changes without necessarily rebooting the server, which is not the case with Windows:
- When a software is installed you must REBOOT
- When you recently uninstall software you need to REBOOT
- If you just installed a Windows update, REBOOT
- When the system seems to slow down, REBOOT then.
Linux helps your system run smooth for a longer period of time.
In case a process goes unstable, you can send it an appropriate signal using commands such as kill, pkill and killall.
It is perfect for businesses.
For enterprises,Linux let them receive vulnerability security updates continuously from the upstream community itself or a specific OS vendor, which remedies and delivers all critical issues by next business day, if possible, to minimize business impact.
In addition, it automates regulatory compliance and security configuration remediation across business system and within containers with image scanning like OpenSCAP that checks, remediates against vulnerabilities and configuration security baselines.
It is more private.
Privacy concerning Microsoft’s Windows 10 does not look convincing and has already received an enormous criticisms of how it collects data, having you to put off all spying modules in its privacy setting.
On the other hand, Linux distributions do not collect much data or completely none. In addition, you don’t need to have additional tools to protect your privacy.
It has better community support.
Linux forums provides better solutions because you let others to solve your problem. Just post a query on some of the Linux-related forum threads on the web and expect tons of replies with a detailed solution. So no need to hire an expert and lose a fortune.
Even though Linux’s edge has been already discussed above, still you must need a deeper understanding between Linux systems and Windows.
Try to cite each pro’s and con’s, balance everything in different perspectives.
Also, you can work across platforms with Windows and Linux, to better experience each of their capabilities.
By Tuan Nguyen