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How to choose right Linux based server

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Old 28-07-2012
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How to choose right Linux based server
  

Server is important aspect of every business. They act as the central location for your data transfer and storage. Enterprises invest heavily to get the best from market so that they are business operations are never halted. If we try to find alternative in operating system then there are very options we have. No one is interested to take risk on adopting a new operating system. Many systems in market survive on prebuild os which are either commercial or free. Those who own commercial sever os has certain benefit. They get appropriate tech support, regular updates and lots of compatibility features. While open source lacks due to a stable technical support team. But still the same is surviving and had gain a great importance among bright users. For end user, Linux can be complicated compared to Windows or Mac. But as we can have latest open source distro in market like Ubuntu, Linux Mint, etc, we are having more choices to work on it. The question arises here why to invest time, dedication or hire a person who knows Linux well.

While compared to that Windows is easy to configure. All you need to do is pay for the license follow the Next button and your server is up. A person with bit technical knowhow can download a guide from web and configure Windows server very easily. The same is applicable for Mac. I am here talking about small and mid size business. Where a server act as a gateway for data storage and transfer. One thing we all know but does not express is that Windows is not the safest environment. Even though maximum number of servers is occupied by it. Linux server gives you more stability and performance. We can get into details about the same one by one. It is first necessary to understand that do you want to go for a stable environment or not. For that you have to put some time to learn and understand some technologies. The most complicated Linux use, the more easily it became if you start working on it. But if you had never touched it, then it can be a headache. Lets beings with some points that differentiate Windows server and Linux in many ways.


Open Source:

The first thing is price. Every business wants to reduce its cost to some extent so that they can invest more to expand. But if a large amount of money is already occupied by the IT department, then many companies cannot plan further for future. You had already kept provision for hardware maintenance. Open Source community offers you a free world. Nothing is charged here. With an intension of serving humanity open source community gives rich products to its user. They provide you a very cost effective product which is not only stable, but good in performance. And it is one of the best operating system in the market from security point of view. Open source simply means free. You have nothing to pay, no license fee, no renewal charges. etc. Free does not means that it may be malicious. It is completely secure.

The new kernel just released recently offers better stability and graphics. Many of you are not aware that compared to Windows Linux is 25% faster. I had done a test to check same out. I noticed that my ram usage in Linux was 200mb while the same in windows was around 700mb. The reason is some unnecessary services in Windows keep on running in the background. And from server point of view, you need a kind of system that can work better 24x7. There are many benefit of adopting an open source operating system. People worry to find application that they can find on windows. Like a good Office suite like Microsoft Office. Open Source does not lack that also. You can us Open Office on the same to meet your file needs.

Stability:

This is another important factor which cannot be ignored. Linux distro are quiet stable for longer time. I am not saying that compared to Linux, Windows is not stable. It is, but Windows is easily vulnerable. There are maximum chances of getting infected with a virus or worm while this issue does not appear in Linux. The more core version you use, the safer you are. Till today, there is hardly any news which is based on Linux infection. Day by day Linux is making its place in stability. No doubt Windows give you the best feature, but if you are quiet serious about stability and does not want your server to get overloaded with stuff, then at that point switching to Linux is recommended. There are major enterprises that are on Linux fully. It has been found in years that distro based on this open source platform are one of the most stable one. Yet there is a bit low awareness among the people about it.

Security:

Now if you deploy Windows Server, then you have to deploy a powerful antivirus package also. An antivirus package comes with yearly removal. If there is no such security tool, then you system is more vulnerable to virus attack. In Linux you do not need to add any antivirus package. It does not means that this is 100% secure. There are threats but they can be controlled more easily, while if once windows are infected, whatever system you have in the network all will face the same trouble. Unlike Windows, every time you do not need to download a patch and run in your system to avoid any security threat. Linux distros are light and are not overloaded with much stuff. To some extent because of open source, Linux can get affected also. If you are enough confident to use the right repository for application you will stay secure.

On Windows the scene is entirely different. If there is a virus and you do not receive the right update you might end to an infected network. It depends on your safe practice how you deal with the security measures. Linux is more comfortable in this. You do not need to heavily invest on various stuff to stay protected. Networking is another important aspect of Linux. Compared to commercial software, Linux is rich in networking operations. It gives you number of options through which you can easily customize your existing app permission making it more secure. It is very flexible to configure on your existing network. We had discussed about the low cost already.

Some Tips to choose open source server:

Before providing you highlights on existing server version letís have a look on some points on choosing the right server os. A number of times due to improper advice or lack of discussion you land into a faulty decision. The result appears when the server is deployed completely and you are not aware what to do next. So before deployment it is important for you to understand and find out options to choose a server. There are some important points which are very necessary to understand. Only after that you must go for the right server upgrade. Some of the most common points on the same are technical support, compatibility, complete documentation and third party app support. There are many Linux distros in the market. As time goes on, it is more enhancing. It is never a complicated choice to choose one among them. But depending on your needs, getting the right one is what matter. You are already ready to put some money for buying commercial product. This process needs some time instead of money. Letís take all the important points one by one.

Tech Support:

This is one of the most important parts of every software or operating system you have. It does not matter what software you use, you receive a technical support. There is a team of experts to guide you for various issues. A number of times you get stucked in installation or face crash issue. At that point you can contact the tech team and figure out a proper solution. Under open source there are chances to get poor tech support. There are open source web communities that can guide you for errors. But if you go for commercial product that is based on Linux platform like Centos or SuSe Linux you get an appropriate tech support for the same. There are prescribed charges and plan for which you have to pay. Another important thing to consider is the support life cycle. This means till what time you are going to get support on the existing operating system. Will that be lifetime or some year. In commercial product like Windows support life cycle in never ending. You receive new upgrades as time goes one, and a proper tech support. But the same is not possible on open source community. There are chances that in future the distro that you are choosing will never get upgrades. So when you are going for a new Linux server you must ensure or find the support on it.

Downloadable Packages :

Maximum open source operating system works on packages provided by the official and third party support. It is very important that whatever server version you are going for much have a good package support. There must be new upcoming, along with additional support to existing. If there is low package support then you might be able to use the server fully. You can have a look on package detail on web. Till yet there are thousands of packages available for Linux so there is nothing to worry about the same. But still it is recommended that you inquire. The most recent operating system if has major changes, then there will be lesser package for it.

Server Settings and Management :

This comes when you had deployed the server well. Now what matters mostly is a proper management, and migration method. Somehow you have to hire someone who will control the server and change settings as per need. If the same is experienced then well enough but if you have to train him then it must be easier. There must not be complicated commands. Adaptability is another great feature of an open source server. It allows you to easily control and change settings that you need usually. There are some better server os but on the same hand they are too complicate to handle. Documentation is provided for the same which allows you to read each and every settings of your server and make changes as per your need. If there are lesser documents then things became more complicated. It is very important that you must find and download all guides, documents, notes, etc with the server for reference purpose. For open source environment document plays a very important role.

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Old 28-07-2012
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Re: How to choose right Linux based server

Red Hat Enterprise Linux :

This is one of the most recommended operation systems. It is also very reliable and secure. This is not a free server version, but still I listed here for those who want to get a commercial product under the open source series. It is not costly and with the commercial license you get enough tech support to deal with various errors. Centos is not complicated to use. It is recommended best for small enterprises. You can run regular applications like Skype or Firefox on it. So it adds more the functionality as per usage. There is a basic desktop added to give you easy to use interface.

Centos

Centos is another GUI mode tool meant for server platform. This is completely open source. The setup and installation is quiet easy here. You just have to follow the paths properly on the screen. It is comfortable to use also. It offers you some minimum options which are only needed for a server. Without putting out complication, Centos can give you quick setup more easily. It supports a number of hardware and easy to configure. If you need a trimmed and quick version o configure your server then going for Centos is far more recommended. Many of have doubt to choose Centos over Red Hat.

Other than this there is SuSe which is another powerful paid server on Linux platform. You can choose for a lower version by going for debian and ubuntu distribution. For simple work, you can go for Ubuntu Server. This is well suited for a home network which offers you clean interface and easy setup.
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