Windows Server vs Linux Server: Pros and Cons
When choosing a dedicated server for your business, one of the first choices you’ll have to make is whether you want to go with a Linux server or a Windows server. There’s a lot of debate about which of these two servers is best, and many IT professionals will passionately argue for the merits of one server over the other. Cutting through this noise and choosing which server is best for your organisation can be challenging. To help you out, we’ll cover the top things to consider in the debate between Windows server vs Linux server.
Advantages of a Linux Server
If freedom and control are your top priorities then a Linux server is the way to go. Unlike Windows, Linux is a free, open-source solution that allows you to customise your server to your exact specifications in a number of different ways. This includes choosing from a number of “distros” such as Fedora, CentOs, and Ubuntu as well as the option to choose a packaged, proprietary solution such as Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Linux servers can also be quickly and easily modified, making it easier for you to scale your server as your organisation grows and changes.
Since Linux is an open-source platform that is available to the public, you’ll only need to pay for the technical support necessary to install and maintain the server rather than paying for the operating system itself. This means that using a Linux server may be able to help you reduce your IT costs. As an open-source platform, Linux also allows you to use open-source software, meaning that you should have no trouble using any software that you wish on your Linux server. This even includes Windows software, though creating an interface between the two does require a little more work.
Lastly, Linux servers are, as a general rule, are more reliable than Windows servers. Since Linux servers use fewer resources, they are typically more efficient and therefore less likely to malfunction.
Advantages of a Windows Server
The advantages of a Linux server may sound quite compelling, but it’s important to consider the advantages of a Windows server as well before you make your final decision. It turns out that there are quite a few benefits to choosing a Windows server.
To start, Windows servers offer better support than Linux servers. Of course, you’ll have to pay for this support, but it can often be well worth the cost. If you run into an issue while using an open-source platform such as Linux and don’t know how to take care of the problem yourself, you’ll either have to hire an outside, open-source professional – which can be expensive – or turn to community support – which can be time-consuming and unreliable. When you use a Windows server, though, you’ll always have a team of Windows experts that you can rely on.
Since Windows is a Microsoft product, it integrates better with other Microsoft products – products that may end up being very beneficial to your organisation. Microsoft, products can be used on a Linux server, but the integration is typically complicated and requires a lot of work. With a Windows server, though, integrating products such as Microsoft SQL and Microsoft Access into your server will always be an easy and seamless process.
Windows servers are also a more complete and refined product than open-source solutions such as Linux. They offer more features and, overall, are a more thorough solution. You can build a complete and thorough solution yourself using Linux, but it won’t come that way out of the box, so to speak.
Lastly, Windows servers are easier to manage remotely. Since Windows servers come with a Remote Desktop that includes a graphical user interface, you can manage your server remotely much more efficiently than you would be able to do using a Linux server, which is command-line based.
In spite of the fact that so many IT professionals are quite adamant about which server is best, the Windows server vs Linux server debate certainly isn’t cut and dry. Both Linux servers and Windows servers come with a number of advantages as well as a few drawbacks that need to be considered before you make your final decision. In the end, it comes down to what features you are looking for in your server.
If you want an affordable, customisable server that is easy to modify and easy to scale as well as quite reliable, a Linux server may be the best choice for your organisation. Meanwhile, if you are looking for a slightly more complete, refined, and feature-oriented server that comes with expert support, the ability to easily integrate Microsoft products, and the ability to manage the server remotely, a Windows server might be the better choice.
For a detailed comparison between Linux and Windows servers, check out the table below:
If you would like to learn more about choosing the right server for your organisation, contact Servers Australia today and let’s talk solutions. We can tailor solutions that make sense and provide peace of min for your business or organisation.