Pros and Cons of Various Platforms for Web Hosting

Pros and Cons of Various Platforms for Web HostingA computer’s operating system (OS) is simply considered to be the bridge between the software and the machine’s hardware, assisting the computer to run smoothly. Usually, the choice of the OS doesn’t matter much in home computer use as it does in web case scenarios. This article looks at both the pros and cons of several popular OS platforms in a list that includes Linux, Windows and UNIX.

1. Windows

WindowsThis is without doubt the most popular OS platform today which is largely attributed to its numerous functions and the user-friendly interface. Earlier on, machines that used the older systems operated on the then Disk Operating System that featured commands instead of the current point and click system. As such, Windows is now the majority preferred choice for people looking to use Active Server Pages or MS SQL Server databases.

Pros

  • It is the easiest OS to maintain.
  • Considering its dominance in the market, the Windows OS garner wider support by numerous software vendors.

Cons

  • It’s relatively more expensive than other OS options.
  • Older versions are usually more susceptible to security breaches if not updated regularly.

2. UNIX

UNIXThis is arguably the oldest OS and one regarded as the “grandfather” of the operating systems. It has been in existence for several decades now and is one that is known best for its stability. For this reason, UNIX garners massive trust for use in huge and complex computer systems. As such, various hardware vendors such as HP, IBM and Microsystems have all made their machines compatible to this OS. UNIX is an extremely powerful OS but that comes at a cost- it’s pretty expensive. This means that a majority of regular computer users can hardly afford to purchase and use the OS that can cost several thousands of dollars. However, several small scale systems use basic free applications such as FreeBSD that’s essentially a free version of the UNIX OS. There are several unique concepts that characterize this OS system. Some of the key ones include the use of very large tools, use of plain text to store data, files systems that entail a hierarchical nature, programs that can be merged using a command line, and use of various intercommunication tools.

Reasons why the UNIX OS is popular

  • It offers a more direct interaction
  • Can be supported even by inexpensive hardware.
  • It easily adapts when moved to various other machines
  • When provided for educational purposes, the UNIX OS can be acquired at a much lower price.

Compared to other platforms, UNIX is seen to be a simpler model to use. The OS treats all its files as a range of bytes with the hierarchical nature of its filing system. This ensures that the interface presented is in uniform. However, the mechanisms used to access various features of the hardware may not fit into a model that steams bytes.

Pros of UNIX OS

  • It offers more stability and thus reliable for its users
  • Users can easily create servers that last for years without having to be restarted and with no leak in memory.
  • The OS is regarded as the most secure and rarely suffers security breaches and flaws.

Cons

  • The OS is extremely expensive and thus out of reach for a majority of users.
  • It is also quite complicated to use.

3. Linux

LinuxThis OS has grown to become a popular choice especially for those in the world of web hosting. The OS shares a lot of technical similarities with the UNIX OS although Linux is way too effective in terms of costs and is also open source. Perhaps the feature that attracts most of its users is the OS’s compatibility with various popular technologies such as PHP and SQL. Initially, the LINUX OS was developed for free use by personal computers. It’s based on the Intel 86 architecture which is one feature the OS has carried on to date. Typically, the Linux OS is used in running big and complex systems such as supercomputers and the mainframe computers. Besides, it has also been used to run on embedded devices and platforms that require built-in OS such as televisions, video games consoles, tablets, and routers. An example of the use of Linux OS is the Android system that’s used in most high-end user devices today. The fact that Linux is developed as a nearly-free and open source makes it attractive to a majority of users today. This means that its source code can freely be used and modified by anyone for both commercial and non-commercial purposes. Besides, the OS is readily available for use by both individuals and companies alike. Some of the commonly used Linux distributions include Arch Linux, Ubuntu, Fedora and Debian. Besides, the commercially available Red Hat Enterprise software is also a popular choice for many.

One of the biggest difference between Linux and all other major OS options is the fact that that the Linux kernel and other key components are available for free and are open source. For this reason, Linux OS is now among the most widely used system around the world. There could be other free OS options available today but most of them come with the inhibitive copy left principle. However, with Linux, anyone is free to use and distribute.

Pros

  • As is the case with UNIX, the Linux OS is also famed for its stability and exemplary performance in a server environment.
  • It’s also the most affordable among the three OS discussed in the post.
  • Various software vendors now offer software that are compatible with the Linux OS especially now that the OS is widely used across the world.

Cons

  • The OS is a little complicated with its configurations largely done using a command line. This, therefore, means that anyone in need of using this OS requires to have special knowledge to operate it.
  • Despite the OS now being part of the mainstream, it is still largely unpopular among key software vendors most notably the Windows.

Conclusion

If you’re looking to acquire a high-performance and proven OS for your server or computer, the three options outlined above are your surest bets. Consider the pros and cons of each before deciding on which among them is best for you.

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