Linux vs. Windows Server: Which Is the Better Operating System Platform for Your Business?

Building your IT infrastructure is a significant milestone in your business’s growth. Before ordering your machines or hiring more people for your team, you may want to consider the details of their daily operations.

Determine what tools they will use the most, how much support your team requires, and how fast you expect to scale up. These will inform your final choice in choosing a Linux vs. Windows server for your company.

Learn more about server operating systems, find out which Linux or Windows matches your server operations best, and be ready with your next steps after this article.

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Linux Server vs. Windows Server

To the unfamiliar, servers are dedicated computers that host, run, and manage your business operations. Typically, when you work on premises, your workstations are connected to the network so you can access company data and resources as needed. Linux and Windows are the leading providers of server operating systems.

Basic Features of a Linux Server

Linux systems are open-source platforms that stand out to programmers and IT specialists who prefer to manage the inner functions of their servers. This is preferable to professionals who are particular about their systems since they can set it up to their standards and keep it accessible to multiple users for free.

  • No licensing fee to maintain a Linux server
  • Applications function through command line prompts
  • Flexible open-source system to match any tools you may require
  • Comparably more secure against cyber threats
  • Support for MySQL and PostgreSQL databases, using Unix languages such as Python, PHP, and Perl

You can integrate additional open-source software as needed in your operations with an open-source server. This is one of the major advantages of using a Linux server over Windows, as your IT specialists will be thoroughly familiar with managing the platform.

While you may choose to manage it yourself, you can also hire technical staff to maintain it, as Linux is open to multiple users. That said, there’s no official authority to assist with your potential queries, so you’ll have to get in touch with the large community of Linux specialists you can meet and network for support.

Basic Features of a Windows Server

The leading contender to Linux is Windows, which is arguably the more prominent name thanks to its status as a commercial server system. It has a user-friendly interface, making it more accessible to the general public. However, what may limit access to it would be the licensing fee to host and maintain with a Windows server.

  • Convenient to use for beginners and larger companies
  • Can receive maintenance and support from authorized admin
  • Automated updates to keep Windows servers secure and private
  • Compatible with third-party applications you may use for your business operations
  • Operates with Microsoft SQL and Microsoft Access, using ASP and ASP.NET script

There’s a reason why Windows is a household name. It’s easier to learn how to use, highly optimized and provides regular updates. Along with the platform's community, you also receive admin monitoring and support from Microsoft admin. Using Windows also alleviates the pressure of having the comprehensive technical knowledge to set up all the applications and integrations you may need. These are considerably good reasons to invest in its licensing fee, depending on the edition you get.

Pros and Cons of Windows vs. Linux Server

While both Linux and Windows are excellent server operating systems, they have varying features and functions that may make one or the other preferable to your team. Consider your long-term business objectives, how your IT specialists will manage your company servers, and how you can best manage your operations.

You may have hired your team of in-house specialists or partnered with a third-party provider for your IT department. Either way, you can rest assured that they’ll be able to advise on the most appropriate tools they need to support your work.

Whichever one you may decide to use, we can also recommend integrating cloud hosting into your operations. This can be a hybrid setup, mixing physical infrastructure with cloud-based services, or you could opt for a fully cloud-hosted database.

Benefits of Using a Windows Server

The primary benefit of choosing a Windows OS for your server is its intuitiveness. Knowing this, you can see how its other features work to make it as user-friendly as possible. Enter the Windows ecosystem with their well-developed enterprise software applications to boost your productive efforts. With this, it has dominated the server computer OS market share with over 72%, which speaks volumes for its effectiveness and convenience.

What other advantages would you have with a Windows server?

  • It receives extensive support from the official admin.
  • It’s convenient and complete applications that require less setup.
  • Server administrators can remotely access the system.
  • It’s simple and customizable to the end-user.

Considerations for Windows Servers

As capable as Windows can be, some details may not match your needs. Keep the following in mind before you make a final decision about your server OS:

  • It can be a considerable expense for small to medium-sized businesses.
  • It’s more susceptible to, but not defenseless against, security threats.
  • It isn’t the go-to tool for multi-user operations.

Benefits of Using a Linux Server

At 37.3%, many users can attest to Linux offering productive advantages for your server OS requirements. Though you may have to set up most of your tools yourself instead of having them ready right off the bat, it also gives you a lot of room to develop them as you please. This makes Linux the tool for the most fastidious specialists and programmers. It’s on trend to be worth $15.64 billion in 2027.

What do you have to gain when you select Linux OS for your server?

  • It’s a versatile tool you can set up and modify according to your organization’s needs.
  • It’s a more cost-effective option for small to large businesses.
  • It pairs well with open-source applications your IT experts can configure.
  • It requires fewer resources while also improving reliability and optimizing efficiency.

Considerations for Linux Servers

While Linux’s primary advantage is being as customizable as your team can develop; it falls short on a few points that may be crucial to your business operations.

  • It takes time to configure and program your server and its application.
  • Assistance and support are mainly available from its community of Linux users.
  • It may be less compatible with gaming or entertainment platforms than the Windows server OS.

Windows or Linux Server: Which Is Better for Your Project?

Before deciding which system matches your team’s needs best, you’ll have to take inventory of what your work processes are and how you can provide them with the most appropriate equipment to get the job done.

One example that can initiate the discussion: Think of your website, the platform representing your company to your audience. What pages will you feature? Will you integrate eCommerce functions? Are your customers encouraged to create accounts, and how will you store and secure this information? These details will guide you in choosing your server OS and hosting providers and domain registrars for your online headquarters.

Below are some points to consider to help you decide whether a Windows or a Linux server would be the right fit:

Know Your Team’s Skillset and Capabilities

This applies to either your in-house team or a third-party IT department. Knowing your business objectives, you can plan what skills and expertise you require from your team.

  • How do you need them to function?
  • What roles do you need to fill to be able to accomplish your objectives?
  • How skilled do they need to be at the start, and will you be providing training opportunities?

Linux would be an excellent fit for a team with an extensive skillset who prefers to customize applications and software to their exact specifications as necessary. Windows is the top choice for a busier team who needs their tools ready to use after easy installations.

Consider Your Business Operations

Understanding the ins and outs of your operations allows you to plan appropriately for your immediate and long-term actions. This encompasses your HR and finance department, business development team, and IT and infrastructure strategies.

  • What tech and tools will your teams be using?
  • Will your team be encouraged to use their machines, or will you provide them?
  • How compatible will your hardware and software be throughout your early days until your busiest enterprising periods?

Determine Your Company’s Rate of Growth

This part may come a bit later, depending on how far into your business and how much you're preparing for your future milestones. Knowing how your team will grow can help you decide whether a Linux or a Windows system would better match your business requirements.

  • How prepared are you to progress?
  • What qualitative and quantitative metrics will you set to measure business growth?
  • Will you keep your business local, or do you have plans to go global?

Answering these questions at the start can help you decide between Linux and Windows for your server OS. Take some time to talk it out with your stakeholders and key decision makers to determine which would match your needs best.

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