Making the move from a shared or virtual private server environment to a dedicated server is a big step to take for both you and your website. Offering increased memory, bandwidth and storage space a dedicated server is designed to handle just about anything you throw at it from huge traffic levels to extreme file storage and downloads. In moving up to a dedicated server comes the the additional responsibility of choosing from a range of options including operating systems, backups, type of storage and server monitoring to be included within your new server. All of this can become overwhelming, particularly for those who have never experienced the use of a server before or with limited knowledge of web hosting and it’s associated hardware.
One of the most important steps in configuring your server is making a decision on what operating system best suits the requirements of your website, business or online application. If you have an IT team who manages your online presence that it may be worth selecting an operating system that they have experience with, or already use across your business. For those running a website on their own and have little knowledge of what operating system may be the best options, the following provides a range of information on those available on most dedicated servers.
DEDICATED SERVER OPERATING SYSTEMS
A wide range of operating systems are available across most dedicated server products and choosing the one for your server, or VPS, should be based on multiple factors including ease of use, prior knowledge and specs that best suit your website or web application. One of the other factors that also comes in to play is whether you want to run a Windows or a Linux server, depending on your choice you will be limited on the amount of operating systems you can choose from and the effect it will have on your overall server cost. The following information has been designed to try and give you a better knowledge of some of the operating systems available and help you to find the right one for you.
Debian is one of the most popular linux based operating systems for both personal computers and network servers which is released open source and free under the GNU General Public License. Debian is viewed as a powerful, reliable and stable linux distribution which are important characteristics for a good dedicated server operating system.
Ubuntu is another of the highly popular linux server operating systems and, compared to many others, is far newer. One of the biggest perks to using Ubuntu is that it is generally much easier to use than some of the other Linux based options and is often classed as being one of the most user friendly operating systems. Ubuntu is free to download and use as an open source application and is updated on a regular basis under the Ubuntu rolling-release model.
CentOs, or Community Enterprise Operating System, is a powerful community distribution based off RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux). As with the majority of other Linux operating systems, CenstOS is available for use free of charge under an open source license. The aim of CentOS is to provide an enterprise-class, community-supported linux distribution that is functional and stable which makes it a great choice for those looking to use a powerful and popular Linux operating system.
OpenSUSE is another good choice for those looking at installing a powerful and stable Linux operating system onto their new dedicated server. Just like the others, OpenSUSE is available to download and use for free under an open source licence and development is community driven which promotes regular updates and releases.
Microsoft provide a range of Windows based operating systems geared towards use as a server operating system that shares the same functionality and power found within their standard PC operating systems. Some of these include Windows server 2008, Windows server 2012 and Windows server essential, all of which are available on a commercial basis. For those unfamiliar with servers and operating systems it may be a good choice to use a Windows based system as they may be more familiar with it and support is directly available.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT ONE
With many choice available it could take a small period of time to choose the right dedicated server operating system for your use. In order to decide on what one is best for you it may be worth visiting the websites of these operating systems and learning more about each one before speaking your your web host to gaining information from their trained staff. One thing that may affect your decision is the fact that the majority of Linux operating systems are free of charge whereas a Windows OS does require a license fee to use and maintain, so this could be a decisive factor if you’re looking to avoid spending more than you need too.