<<< Go to Part I – Scripting Languages & Windows

In the first part of this two-part series, we discussed the advantages and disadvantages of the two major operating systems used for hosting: Linux and Windows. The primary differentiation was that Linux is open source, more widely available, and usually much less expensive, but Microsoft is necessary for coding with .NET & ASP. After discussing the pros and cons of each OS, the first part took a closer look at Windows VPS hosting (specifically with Windows Server 2012 R2).

Now that we have discussed the differences between the two operating systems, this second and final installment of the series will discuss what Microsoft and Linux have in common (such as usability and performance). Also, since we discussed Windows in more detail previously, we will provide a fuller description of the Linux environment below.

Note that cPanel is the standard control panel used with Linux, so this series encompasses cPanel VPS hosting as well.

Commonalities between Windows & Linux

What is truly remarkable about the competition between Linux and Windows VPS Hosting is what strong contenders both of them are, as indicated by the five shared characteristics listed below (courtesy of the previously referenced article from Host Shopper):

  1. Speed – The two operating systems both excel with regard to performance: neither one stands out as preferable to the other. Your performance is more likely to be determined by the strength of your equipment, the quality of your hosting service, and how your environment is constructed and managed.
  2. Stability – Windows hosting systems used to have a reputation for being “notoriously unstable,” according to Host Shopper. That is no longer the case: both systems are incredibly stable, multiply redundant, and unlikely to crash.
  3. Static pages – Both of the systems are capable of static hosting of HTML files.
  4. Usability – Typically, the method by which you interact with your VPS will be FTP (file transfer protocol) or the control panel (which is typically cPanel, Plesk, or the hosting provider’s platform). Windows gives users access to a UI, but most users ignore that interface anyway, accessed by the above means.
  5. Security – This topic is one of heated debate between adherents of each of the two operating systems, partially because it gets to the core of the battle between proprietary software and open-source software. The fact is, security is similar.

Fuller exploration of Linux & cPanel VPS hosting

Like Windows or OS X, Linux is an operating system: it enables the user of a computer and desired applications to complete tasks and access hardware (such as communicating between an application and the device’s CPU). It is a primary infrastructural component of any computer – server or client – necessary for building, running, and managing environments and applications of all types.

Linux.com notes that one way the operating system stands out is that it is open-source, built through collaboration without one individual owner. When we look at the OS in action, though, what makes the OS distinctive – says the official Linux site – is the nature of each of its elements: the kernel, the operating system, the environments, the applications, and the distributions.

  • Kernel – Every operating system has a kernel, a central brain of core instructions to guide the behavior of the hardware. The kernel is the basis for layers of additional tools that are constructed as modules. With Linux, the kernel is highly adaptable because it is also built as a set of modules.
  • Operating system – Along with the kernel, the operating system is additionally composed of tools capable of communicating with the kernel and apps that make kernel interaction simple for third-party software. Linux is built in a developer-friendly way, making it easier to take the code and convert it to communicate with the kernel and do what a development team intends. Like the kernel, the entire OS has a modular design.
  • Environments – Many people think the operating system is separate layers called the desktop environment and the windowing system. In Linux, a user can determine what desktop environment or windowing system they want to use, whereas, in Windows, that is not possible.
  • Applications – There are two basic kinds of applications used within an operating system: core software and user-installed software. A closed, proprietary OS such as OS X or Windows does not allow users to determine the basic software, such as the compiler or windowing system. Linux gives you the flexibility to determine these components yourself.
  • Distributions – A distribution is considered the top layer of the OS. Its developers – part of a community that a for-profit organization sometimes sponsors – determine the kernel, OS tools, desktop environment, windowing system, and other tools to include in the Linux flavor or distro.

Choosing a VPS hosting provider

Whether you are interested in Windows or Linux with cPanel for your VPS hosting environment, Atlantic.Net offers a full range of solutions for your project or organization. We have been in business since 1994, and our data center in Orlando, Florida, is SSAE 16 Type II audited and certified. Here are our scalable VPS Hosting options for your review.

Atlantic.Net also offers HIPAA compliant hosting.

By Kent Roberts