Windows or Unix hosting?

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Post 3+ Months Ago

I would like to hear from you guys how many of you are using Microsoft based technologies like ASP and for web development. We currently offer only Unix hosting and we have always shied away from Windows hosting, but it seems there are actually some people out there who have a need for it :)

  • Daemonguy
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Post 3+ Months Ago

You've probably shied away from it to retain some measure of stability in your operations environment.
We now have approx 20 Windows servers running in our environment, (compared to the thousands of others). This was, unfortunately, a customer requirement and as such they are being billed directly for our time. Time, which I might add, is several orders of magnitude higher than that required for "alternate" operating systems. (On a per system comparison).

You can get (READ:find) the capabilities for such proprietary programmatic requirements that function on *nix systems. I don't recommend it, but they exist, should a customer absolutely deem it necessary.

We usually try to convince them otherwise. As it turns out, the customer who required the use of MS server has now seen the error of their ways and is waiting for their software vendor to release an AIX version.

There are factors to consider when choosing an architecture; stability, scalability, cost (to include MTBF rate, maintenance, updates, hardware requirements on a per transaction ratio) and functionality.

MS servers are not nearly as stable as say power pc platform p-series running AIX. Plain and simple. The hardware architecture is more sound and developed for extended periods of use. From an OS perspective, MS lacks in stability as well. They constantly have buffer problems, and can't seem to shake the whole memory leak issues which constantly plague them.
Scalability, in my estimation, involves certain levels of redundancy that MS continues to ignore, such as multi-geographical location across the WAN and core grid technologies. Their idea of scale is 2 dimensional -- add more memory, add more drives, add more servers. Replication is not something MS SQL handles well; requires hours of downtime each night. Not fun. MS; learn live replication! oi.

I could go on and on -- as some know all too well -- but I don't wish to bury you in the details. Suffice to say, unless you have a serious business "need", stay away from MS Servers. IMHO, anyway. Everything you wish to do there can be done -- largely better -- with alternate technologies.


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