| Microsoft Windows
2003 and Unix (of which there are many varieties, or flavors, including
Linux, AIX, Solaris and more) are computer operating systems. Both
Windows 2003 Server and quality Unix implementations are enterprise
application servers that can be used for a variety of critical purposes,
including, but not limited to, Web, email, and database hosting. Windows
2003 was developed by Microsoft and is, in many ways, the flagship
of their software solutions.
UNIX's development roots begin about twenty years ago - jointly at
Berkeley University and AT&T Bell Labs. UNIX is often referred
to as an "open system", which means that its source code
is publicly available. This has both its advantages and disadvantages.
While it has allowed many thousands of developers from all over the
world working for different companies to contribute to its development,
it is also more complex and less coordinated.
Both of these operating systems make excellent
platforms for mission-critical Web hosting, and they function well.
There are some differences of the two systems:
||Windows 2003 supports most Microsoft
products including Microsoft FrontPage - a popular Web authoring
||Windows 2003 supports Active
Server Pages (ASP) - a popular programming that allows you to
build dynamically database-driven web pages (connecting to Microsoft
Access or Microsoft SQL server).
interactive access, via telnet or SSH is only supported under
UNIX. Generally one is able to do more configuration/setup tasks
themselves rather than having to request services from web hosts.
||The majority of existing
CGI programs (generally Perl scripts) that are available on
the Internet have been developed on Unix platforms and hence
tend to install and operate much more smoothly under Unix. Many
Perl Scripts are FREE!
The bottom line is that for many web sites the
operating system on which the Web server is housed is largely inconsequential.
The real question is, "Are you using a specific web site or
database technology that is more appropriately hosted on Windows
2003 instead of UNIX (or vice versa)?" If your web site does
not require special features offered by Unix or Windows 2003, you
can choose either Windows 2003 or Unix to serve your web site.