operating system is best for your web site?
What operating system is best for your web
One of the first things you will need to do in setting up your
business on the Internet is to find a web host. The Web expands
every day, and so do our choices. Just how do you find a web host
to meet your business needs? There are literally tens of thousands,
each one with a different focus and services designed for a specific
segment of the market.
The operating system used by your hosting company may limit your
flexibility as your company begins to grow. As you study your options,
you might consider the following tips:
An operating system or "platform," such as Microsoft's
Windows NT or DOS is the basic set of commands that tell your computer
how to open applications and store files. In the early days of Internet
activity, most servers operated on a UNIX platform, an extremely
powerful and flexible system that requires considerable technical
expertise to administrate. UNIX is still as popular as ever, but
today you have a choice: Windows NT and UNIX variations such as
Sun Microsystems Solaris, and Berkeley's BSD.
Experts offer significantly different opinions as to which platform
works best for web sites, we will however give a brief description
and analysis of the different systems. In the end, the choice depends
largely on your budget and what you want to do with your site.
Linux, a version of UNIX, is a very versatile platform that serves
a number of functions well. It is particularly suitable for meeting
your Internet requirements, such as mailing, streaming, Web serving,
and fileserving. Linux is a very cost-effective choice it uses hardware
efficiently, and allows for more web sites per server, thereby lowering
the cost of hosting per account. Linux servers are compatible with
certain Microsoft extensions and applications, for example, MS SQL
(a database program) or Microsoft Front Page (a web authoring tool).
Many engineers prefer the flexibility, security, and control of
Linux servers. Linux is Open Source (free) software and a host of
free programs are available to users of Linux.
Microsoft Windows NT/2000
Window's 2000 graphical user interface makes it user-friendly and
provides a familiar interface for most IT teams to work with. It
integrates well with other Microsoft applications and there are
a wealth of commercial applications available for this platform.
Particularly attractive is the integration with Microsoft Application
Server (ASP) which allows the creation of dynamic web pages linked
to SQL databases, and other Legacy back office systems.
Sun Solaris servers offer the highest level of resources and power
- these are the most robust servers! Sun has a proven track record
and is deployed in many large Fortune 500 corporations. It is a
mature platform and there are a large number of applications and
development tools available. Because of Sun's capacity and stability
it is ideal for high-traffic functions, such as database servers,
high-traffic Web servers and mission-critical servers.
The RaQ was designed for virtual (shared) hosting of multiple Web
sites. It's simple administration makes it a great first Web server.
Its flexible administration interface also allows you to share administration
responsibilities among your staff.
FreeBSD is a version of BSD that was designed for the X86 processor.
FreeBSD is a very stable open source operating system, and a good
alternative to Linux. It is an extremely well-integrated and tested
system, and is inexpensive. There are a large number of free applications
available for use with it
How do I choose? As your site grows in size and complexity, in
all likelihood your needs will change and the capability and scalability
of a particular platform will come into question. It's best to anticipate
this contingency and choose a web host that offers a variety of
operating systems which are scalable and backs them up with technical
About the Author
Godfrey Heron is a distributor
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