Countless decisions must be made when it comes to business technology needs: the types of workstations to set up, the software to run the business, your network infrastructure — the choices go on and on. While most businesses might default to Windows workstations, or OSX if the work is in the design industry, the choice is not as clear-cut when it comes to Web hosting. Linux might not end up on many workstations, but in the server world, it holds a good portion of the market. IDC reports 20.4 percent of servers use Linux.
If you’re not completely convinced a Linux server operating environment is right for you and your company, you can try it out through a Linux VPS before investing in dedicated server equipment. Consider Linux for your business hosting infrastructure:
Total Cost of Ownership
One of the main motivating factors for businesses choosing Linux is the total cost of ownership. Windows server licenses are expensive, and when you have a robust network infrastructure, the cost really adds up. Linux distributions are free or come with a paid support package that ends up being much cheaper to deploy than Windows server environments. If you need to cut down on your IT costs, going with Linux represents a significant cost savings over the latest Microsoft operating system.
The Linux operating system is an open source operating system, which gives you the flexibility to adapt it to your needs. The system does lend to a bit of confusion because its open source nature results in a great deal of variants on the market. If you need the operating system to do something it’s currently unable to, your programmers can work to figure out a way to make it happen for you. Linux has taken particularly well to cloud hosting and computing, with 76 percent of enterprise level cloud applications using Linux for the server environment, PC World reports. Red Hat even provides certification for Linux-based cloud computing administration.
Network and data security is an issue every business needs to deal with, especially if you work with sensitive data. Linux has a number of features that make it less attractive for hackers to attack, and it is more secure than Windows to begin with. Linux has a better method of handling user privileges, giving default users much lower permissions than Windows users. If the Linux user doesn’t have permission to run a malicious file, then a major injection point for trojans and other viruses is eliminated.
Due to the number of Linux distributions, it doesn’t make much sense for virus makers to target the operating system. There are too many variations with each distribution that make it almost impossible to deploy a one-size-fits-all virus. The virus coders prefer easier pickings through the homogenized Windows environment, instead of playing whack-a-mole to figure out what server operating system you’re using.
The open source nature of the code helps as odd as that might sound. Thousands of coders and developers look at Linux code day in and day out. With that many people keeping an eye on the code, areas where security holes could occur get fixed quickly.
What advantages do you think Linux brings to the hosting environment? Tell us in the comments.
About the author: Fred is a technology analyst and freelance writer originally from Washington.