Cloud servers offer a choice of operating systems. You can choose between a Linux system and use distributions including CentOS, Debian, Ubuntu, Red Hat, Fedora, SUSE or OpenSUSE, or alternatively choose Microsoft Windows. Cloud servers are adaptable so the choice is yours.
There are two types of cloud servers in common use. One runs a Linux system, the other has Windows hosting. It is a choice you have to make when you sign up to cloud servers hosting and if you make the wrong choice, it could cost you money. This is a complicated and highly technical issue so it is crucial that you ask your cloud servers provider for advice first. Once you explain your website needs and the types of programs and functions you need to run, the customer services department will help you make the correct decision for your needs.
Many people will think that because they may run Windows at home, the obvious choice is to get a Windows server. This is not actually the best way of deciding because Windows servers work in a very different way to the computing operating system on your home computer. The only reason you would want to use Windows cloud servers is that Microsoft servers can run other Microsoft software too.
If you need to use programs like Access and other Microsoft services such as active server pages, (ASP) or Microsoft MSSQL databases or visual basic scripts you will need to use a Windows hosted server. Therefore, in these cases, Windows is your best option.
The drawback to using Windows is that it is more expensive than Linux. Windows software is protected by Microsoft and cannot be changed by your cloud servers hosting service. This makes it more expensive for your cloud servers hosting service to run and as a result, this added cost is passed onto you, the end user.
On the other hand, Linux uses open source software, which makes it very suitable for running servers. It is more cost effective for cloud servers hosting companies because software can be altered and updated free of charge. Open source means that anyone is allowed to change Linux software because it is not protected by a conventional license. You will need Linux if you have pages that need to run programming languages or databases like PHP or Perl.
Apart from that, it is to do with your own costings and preferences. Unless you really need Windows, most sites run on Linux so for many customers this is the most popular choice. WordPress was written for Linux so this will be compatible with Linux cloud servers.
When it comes down to it, most sites run on Linux but some sites need Windows. You need to contact your cloud servers customer advice to be sure you have the best information for your site or application’s needs. However if you do not specially need your cloud servers to run on a Windows system, you can benefit from a much lower cost offered by running Linux.
Many thanks to the guys from lunacloud for this article!
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