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Which is better: Windows or Linux?

Which is better: Windows or Linux? What is Linux, anyway?

If you're totally new at this, you are probably like many people, asking yourself, which is better: Windows or Linux? You might not even be 100 percent sure what Linux is, right? So which one should you choose, really?

If this sounds confusing to you, relax.

We've created this page especially to help you make the right decision for your site's real hosting needs.

Sun Hosting offers you the option between the Windows or the Linux platform. We like to give our users the choice of the operating system on the server where they host their Web site. First, both technologies can fully support your site equally as well, and it really comes down to personal preference, system familiarity and your own comfort level. But there are still a few things you need to know before you choose one or the other, and the following information should be useful to you.

Microsoft's Windows operating system
As most people know by now, Microsoft is the world's largest software company in the computing environment, and powers about 90 percent of all the personal computers used in the world today. Microsoft is a multi-billion company with over 90,000 employees globally. Its Windows operating system has been widly accepted and is trusted by many computer users.

Sun Hosting's newer Linux and Windows blade servers.

Microsoft's Windows Server 2003 and Server 2008 hosting solutions are currently the latest high-capacity server operating system there is. Overall, Microsoft's Windows Server operating system is ideal for customers that want to use ASP (Active Server Pages) or other Microsoft applications to design their Web sites. At certain times, Microsoft hosting can offer some advantage if you wish to incorporate a form of a searchable database in your site. Sometimes, the Windows Server 2003 platform can deliver some reduced development time and perhaps some better functionality for some databases.

About 27 percent of today's Web sites are hosted on the Windows platform. With all else being equal, a Windows hosting package will usually cost more, since there are specific server licensing fees that we must pay to Microsoft for using their operating system. If your Web site uses scripts or programs that run on ASP (active server pages), or programs that need DOT.Net version 1 or 2, of if your site was developed using an Access or SQL Server database, then you WILL need a Windows hosting plan.

The Linux operating system
On the other hand, Linux is an open-source (freely-distributed) operating system that was created in 1991 by a young man by the name of Linus Torvalds. Linux is a derivative of the UNIX operating system that was developed by Bell Labs in the mid-70s so it has been around even longer than Windows. Today, Linux powers about 70 percent of all the Web sites on the Internet, and has had a major success in the server, email and Web hosting business. You might also be interested in knowing that today's fastest supercomputer runs on the Linux operating system.

It's a very stable operating system (OS) and the fact that Linux is free means there are no licensing fees to pay, which explains why a hosting plan running on Linux will usually cost less than a comparable plan under the Windows OS.

Sun Hosting's new 1U Windows and Linux servers used in many of its data centers.

Linux was created with the assistance of developers from around the world under an open license that has since made it freely available to everyone. Today, it is robust, reliable and very efficient and it has repeatedly proven itself as a popular solution for web hosting servers.

If your Web site uses PHP, PHP scripts, Perl, Python or a MySQL database, or if it was developed with the help of the XML language, then you WILL need to have your site hosted on a Linux server.

Overall, Linux is ideal for websites that display information as a brochure, in a newsletter format or as data sheets. Linux works equally as well for large and complex eCommerce sites as well as for interactive display sites like enquiry forms, online purchasing and other similar functions.

Site design programs like Microsoft FrontPage® or DreamWeaver can also be successfully used with Linux technology. Sun Hosting offers free FrontPage® extensions with most of its Linux hosting packages.

Please note that even if your company uses Microsoft's Exchange eMail software, you can still have your site hosted on a Sun Hosting Linux server. All we need to do in a case like that is to simply 'point' the MX records of your site to the IP address or your Microsoft Exchange mail server name. Sun Hosting can do this for you at no charge.

Linux comes in many various 'flavors' such as Red Hat Enterprise Linux, CentOS, Fedora, Ubuntu, Free BSD, Mandrake, Suse Linux, Gentoo and a few others, but on average, they are all extremely similar in their operation and in the features they offer.

As a footnote, some of today's largest eCommerce portals such as, eBay, and even the popular Facebook social website as well as LinkedIn all run on the Linux operating system. The NASA, the CIA and many banks and financial institutions also run their mission-critical applications on UNIX and Linux, so it is a proven OS that is very stable and that has been universally adopted, as well as Microsoft's Windows operating system in the personal computer business.

Disponible en français: Hébergement Web Canada    

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Copyright © Sun Hosting. The Sun Hosting logo is a registered trademark of Sun Hosting. All content, all photos and the Sun Hosting logo on this Web site are the property of Sun Hosting and are protected by Canadian, U.S. and international copyright laws. The Windows logo is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corp. The Linux Logo is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds. Any other logos, trademarks or service marks on this site belong to their respective owners or their companies.