Dedicated servers give a person or business plenty of flexibility when it comes to web hosting. That flexibility encompasses the ability to choose a dedicated server operating system that suits your needs. There are several options available involving either a Linux or a Windows based system, each of which we will discuss briefly below.
Linux is a Unix-like operating system that is completely open source, and predominantly used on servers. Based on the Linux kernel written by Linus Torvalds, Linux is free to use, modify, enhance and redistribute under the GNU General Public License.
CentOS, which stands for Community ENTerprise Operating System, is a Red Hat Enterprise Linux based operating system for use on dedicated servers. The operating system is provided for free, and is supported by the community. Basically being a clone of RHEL, CentOS boasts numerous benefits over others, including speedy rebuilds, testing and a growing community.
Ubuntu, which means “humanity towards others”, is a Debian based Linux operating system. Ubuntu for the server is energy efficient and requires little maintenance. Community support for the product is growing, and it is available free of charge, including security updates. Ubuntu is available in desktop server versions and now a special netbook version.
Debian is a free operating system that is based on Linux with various tools that were taken from the GNU Project. Both server and desktop versions of this software are available, as well as access to a software repository full of thousands of useful applications.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux
Red Hat Enterprise Linux took the place of the original Red Hat Linux version in 2003. At that time, Red Hat Linux was available for free with money being made by providing support. Now, Red Hat Enterprise Linux source code is available to those that want it, but those individuals will not receive support or update notifications that are available with a paid subscription version from Red Hat themselves. Any versions, such as CentOS, that are based on the source code do not receive any support or consultation from Red Hat.
Microsoft is a popular provider of operating systems commonly referred to as Windows. Run by the famous Bill Gates, Microsoft produces Windows operating systems for desktops, servers and mobile devices.
Windows Server 2003
Released in April of 2003, Windows Server 2003 replaced Windows 2000 with a number of updates and features. Some of these features include an upgraded version of IIS, the new Active Directory and the addition of a server role management tool. Another version, the Windows Server 2003 R2, was released in 2005.
Windows Server 2008
Windows Server 2008 is one of the more recent versions of the Windows Server OS having been released in 2008. A more recent version, Windows Server 2008 R2, was released in 2009, and it contains the first 64-bit only OS known to Windows. The R2 version expands on the original by giving organisations greater flexibility and control through various tools and features. Windows is of course not free or open source like Linux.
Choosing to go with a dedicated server offers big benefits, but also requires a big decision to make. We suggest customers have some knowledge of server operating systems, unless they are willing to pay extra for management features. Read more about our dedicated server management plans on our website.