Linux Virtual Servers

If your website has outgrown a standard shared hosting account or you need the extra features offered by your own server, a VPS server might be for you. One of the major benefits of VPS servers is price. They are considerably cheaper than having your own dedicated server because although you are getting the same functionality of a dedicated server, you no longer have to deal with the costs of buying and maintaining the physical hardware. When trying to choose a server, the first and most important choice that you have to make is whether you are going to use a Windows server or a Linux virtual server. The most obvious difference is the cost. A Windows server will normally cost quite a bit more as the licenses for the Windows operating system and the software which runs on it are considerably more expensive than the Linux alternatives. While one of the biggest advantages of a Windows server is that it uses an interface that most people are already familiar with, if you use a Managed Linux VPS rather than an unmanaged Linux VPS, you will have support from the company which is providing the server if you need any assistance in setting up the server. As with desktop machines, a lot of viruses are created to target Windows servers rather than Linux server. This means that by using Linux Virtual Servers you are less likely to encounter any issues with viruses. One of the biggest differences will be the language of the software you want to run on the server. For example, if you are planning to develop or run a website which is coded in ASP, you will be better off using a Windows server as ASP runs well on a Windows server. On the other hand, if you wanted to run a PHP website, Linux VPS Hosting would be the better option. The database systems that each operating system uses vary slightly as well. Windows uses MSSQL while Linux uses MySQL. The biggest problem with Linux VPS is that most of the Linux distributions, which are used for web servers, are command line driven rather than the graphical interface most Windows users would be used to. This means that there is often a steep learning curve for those who are not already familiar with Linux. With Linux VPS also lose out on features such as remote desktop which are not usually available on VPS Linux servers. It should be noted similar remote desktop functionality can be added on some Linux servers however the circumstances depend. To summarize: the main benefits of VPS Linux Hosting are that they are usually cheaper than the Windows alternatives; less likely to be attacked by viruses and they usually run quicker than the same server running Windows. The biggest disadvantages with Linux are missing from a VPS Linux Server which you might expect to find on a Windows server and the lack of a graphical user interface. Whichever type of VPS you decide to use, both have their own advantages and disadvantages which need to be weighed up before you purchase either.

Choices

If you have basic Linux knowledge or you don’t need to make many changes to the Linux server once it is setup, the best option would be to use a managed Linux VPS. This would allow you to take advantage of the discounts of using a Linux host, without having to worry about the disadvantages. An unmanaged Linux virtual server is only recommended for those who have experience with installing and configuring Linux distributions from command line. On the opposite side of the equation, for users who want a server which is simple to use and easy to configure and do not have a strict budget or require specific functionality, a Windows VPS would be the best option. It is important to make the right decision between Windows and Linux because once decided it will not be possible to transfer your setup from Windows to Linux or from Linux to Windows. For example, if you setup a web server on a Linux VPS, it’s not a simple process to switch that to a Windows server. You will need to reconfigure the new server from scratch and possible rewrite any software or scripts that you have running on the server. If you have written a large site in ASP, while switching to Linux may save you money due to license costs, you are likely to have a large bill to get the script rewritten into PHP so that it is compatible with your new Linux server. This obviously works the other way as well, so if you have a script designed to run on a Linux server, it will not work on a Windows server. The moral of the story, make the right choice when you start off because going back is, well, hard.