Windows Vs. Linux: Servers

Windows

By: Jerry Hernandez

To start off the Windows Vs. Linux discussion, what gives Windows servers the upper hand over Linux is the fact that it provides a large amount of options readily available for its users.  Windows is better in the long run, for things like software compatibility, hardware compatibility, and development.  If you are planning to run a server, then using Windows will allow more users to connect, although letting that happen may cause more risks of infection or malicious user encounters.  Allowing nearly universal software and hardware allows for the easier repair or upgrade to a server.  Though the downfall of a Windows server are the facts that they do not come free (like Linux), and at times, the server can actually lack or lose security because of the lack of encryptions and compressed files that are readily available, and the server must be rebooted constantly to reduce any errors.

True, the Windows server is more user-friendly, but the security can very easily be broken through.  Also, managing a windows server uses up a lot of RAM, so if a user does anything else in the process, it may slow the server down, or let alone the whole computer.  What’s also good about a windows server is that the software included also includes cloud servers.  The benefit of this is that after the setup of a cloud server is complete, it must be operated properly in order to allow the processes to function correctly, which is where Window’s disadvantage arrives once again.  Without proper management of the cloud server, several different events may occur, which includes vital functions ceasing, and the SQL Database purging much needed information.  

Since Windows is generally user-friendly, most users will not know how to properly operate the server, instead relying on quick tools and helpers to assist in running the server, for example, running autonomous scripts, resulting in performance issues or errors, such as the server crashing too many times, especially if there are too many users connected.  Since higher tier cloud servers involve simple or advanced networks, through which connections are routed to various specialty server systems, users may have problems with software, such as data protection servers, SQL databases, main consoles, and update managers.

So, how would you be able to tell if the processes are running as intended?  Well, within the server, a program called Operations Manager monitors all of the operations on the network.  What Operations Manager does is inform the viewer whether the running processes are healthy or unhealthy, otherwise it displays a warning on the screen.  As for the hardware compatibility, the price of a Windows Server Edition does not come cheap, easily ranging well above the hundreds, which makes it hard for businesses and personal users to invest in.  

Windows is the easier route to travel, assuming a computer has a hefty amount of RAM to be able to manage one, if not multiple servers in one structure.  Although, what still comes along with Windows is the fact that all of the products, from the barren motherboard and up to the supercomputer, are scaringly all too universal, making it the perfect hometown of advertising, bargaining, spamming, chain mail, and any other malicious acts involved.

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VS.

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Linux

By: Vincent Fraser

Unlike Windows server distributions, Linux is simple to use, has extremely low failure rates, and is open source.  The failure rates for a Linux server is so low that the server would have the ability to run for years unsupervised, but yet would still continue to function, unlike most  Microsoft Windows servers that constantly need supervision.  In addition to being open source, free, and reliable, Linux also contains a massive online community dedicated to assisting others in setting up their own custom services using open source free software, which can be installed onto almost any models of Linux servers.  During the installation of software, Ubuntu Linux will ALWAYS authenticate the user by asking for a password before installation, which in turn stops viruses and attackers almost instantly.  As the software is installing onto the server, the console will then say “this download will use 1GB memory” or however much memory it requires to complete the operation, then it will continue to prompt for a “Yes/No” option.  If the amount of memory is too high for the server to handle, the user will have the option to enter “No”, which immediately cancels the installation.  Ubuntu Server Edition has no Desktop (Graphical Interface), which in turn results in the server running via command line.  The style of the Linux command line is similar to that of old outdated computers, and the interface still remains simple and easy to use. The command line for the Linux server may look a bit un-user friendly at first, but in reality it is simpler and safer than having a graphical desktop like other servers.  Without the desktop, many security holes are removed due to less background software running behind the scenes, which means less background code and software, and more speed and security for the server.  What makes the command line so efficient in Linux is that the users will only have to implement the installation of the software, and let the computer do the rest.

Since Linux will run via command line with a large online community, there will be plenty of instructions and tutorials on how to deploy the software onto the server, but most of it is copying commands from instructions and putting it into the server.  If the command line is too intimidating, a single command can be entered in order to deploy the desktop version onto the server, resulting in a modern graphical interface, but weaker security.

Upon a fresh install of the server system, the computer will inform the user that only the core has been installed with no additional software. The additional software that can be selected includes OpenSSH (Encryption Server), DNS Server (Domain Name Service), LAMP (Linux,Apache,MySQL,PhpMyAdmin), Mail Server, Print Server, PostgreSQL Database, SAMBA File Server, Java Server, and Virtual Machine Host.  Upon selecting any of the optional choices from the small chart that is displayed on the screen, the server will automatically set everything up at default options.  As an addition, most of the options can be selected at once and ran on the same host system but on different ports or addresses, in order to avoid conflicts on the server system.

Server distribution and software costs can also be saved when using a Linux server, because Linux promotes free commercial use with the license, which means no fines.  As a result, many medium and small businesses will prefer to use Linux to save time and money for their business operations.

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Overall, both Windows and Linux servers have their advantages and disadvantages over each other, because they are both very different in their own ways.  Windows is better in the long run, for things like software compatibility, hardware compatibility, and development, whilst Linux is simple to use, has extremely low failure rates, and is open source.

 

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