Why Linux Servers?
Here at Kaweb, we have a variety of servers – both Windows and Linux based. If it wasn’t for the takeover of River Internet, we would have probably have stuck with Linux based servers for all our hosting. That said, we do think that having some Windows based servers has meant more flexibility in the services we now offer to clients.
Linux mail server
Over the last couple of months, we have slowly but surely, moved River Internet clients from the old Windows mail server on to our brand new Linux based one. The main reason for this was because of the spam filtering we have installed on this server (Spam Assassin) through Plesk. This, together with the fact that the server is more highly specified (it includes RAID, redundant power supply etc.) we feel Linux gives us much more control and more power when it comes to customisation. It’s flexibility, security and the amazingly low virus count (as opposed to Windows), make it ideal for what we need.
So is Linux secure? What about BSD (unix)?
Most of our experience has been with Linux (predominantly Red Hat distributions) and although the learning curve to FreeBSD or OpenBSD would be small, Linux gives us many of the required packages and software etc we need built in. Also, the choice of Unix or Linux distribution would solely depend on the purpose you need it for. OpenBSD is an extremely secure server with many encryption options etc but for a webserver is a bit too much. We choose CentOS 5 as our main Linux distribution (based on the Red Hat core) as this is very stable and performs extremely well as a web server.
But Linux is free, are you just going for the cheap alternative?
Not at all. Yes Linux is free but that is because it has to be under licence restrictions. Some may bring up the argument that not all Linux operating systems (OS) are free but this is wrong. The actual OS itself is free or preferably open source (allows you to view the original code yourself), but what is being paid for is usually support and proprietary software that’s not allowed to be “given” away. CentOS 5 is pretty much identical to Red Hat except all the “paid” stuff is taken out and references to Red Hat is changed to CentOS 5. But we don’t use Linux because it’s free (even though that is an advantage over Windows). We use Linux because it acts as an extremely capable, stable, flexible and very secure server. A high percentage of servers around the world use Linux or Unix including larger companies such as Google and GX Networks (Pipex).
So are we totally disregarding Windows?
No – not at all, some customers request hosting on a Windows based server mainly due to their need for ASP or other Windows architecture for their sites. And, although Apache in Linux does have support for ASP, it’s not completely reliable as of this date so we prefer these websites to be hosted on our Windows 2003 servers.