By Jonathon Linnell
Choosing an operating system best suited for your dedicated server is one of the first steps in selecting among the various server options offered by your hosting company. The choice is mainly between a using a Windows based server, or a Linux based server. Once the type of operating system is selected, there will also be a version of the operating system to choose – as in, a type of Linux server such as Debian, or the appropriate Windows server version. We’ll discuss the main differences between the two popular iterations of Windows Server below.
If your computer at work or home uses Windows, that does not mean you will need choose a Windows server over Linux, or any other operating system. The dedicated server is distinct from the computer you may use to connect to it, and may be accessed by any desktop computer – including those that use Windows, Linux, or Macintosh.
However, if you or your business uses specific Microsoft based software, it may be necessary to operate on a Windows server. On the other hand, there are other types of software that may only be run on a Linux based server. Therefore, you should be aware of the software you will need to use on the dedicated server before choosing the appropriate operating system.
The Microsoft software that requires a Windows server include:
- Tools and websites that are developed using .NET
- Databases that use MS Access, MS SQL and MS VB
- Microsoft web development software likeVisual Interdev and FrontPage
- Microsoft SharePoint
The software that is used on a Linux server include:
*PHP, MySQL and Perl based websites and applications
*Databases that use PostgreSQL, MySQL, and mSQL
What is the difference between Windows Server 2008 and R2
Just when you finally got Windows Server 2008 up and running, Microsoft comes out with yet another update, Release 2. Before you make yet another upgrade, it’s probably a good idea to find out what’s the difference between Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server R2. As expected, Windows Server R2 expands upon existing technology found in Windows Server 2008, adding new features that allow you to increase flexibility and reliability in your IT infrastructure. Windows Server R2 includes features like the following:
- Management Enhancements
- Web Resources
- New Virtualisation Tools
- Windows 7 Integration
These exciting new features providing a platform upon which you can create scalable, reliable server infrastructures in a time-saving, cost-efficient manner.
Windows Server R2 improves upon several key tools previously included in Windows Server 2008. Internet Information Services (IIS) version 7.5 is Microsoft’s most power, robust web application platform to date, offering updated Web server roles and greater .NET support. IIS 7.5 focuses on improvements enabling Web administrators to deploy scalable, reliable Web applications with ease. IIS 7.5 further includes streamlined management capabilities providing additional methods by which your Web serving environment may be customized to better suit your needs.
With virtualisation rapidly becoming more and more important in today’s datacenters, Microsoft released their newest version of the Hyper-V platform, allowing IT administrators to make better use of hardware through a variety of virtualisation strategies, including both Client, Server, and Presentation virtualisation provided by Hyper-V and Remote Desktop Services. Virtualisation on these three levels is the key to reducing operational effort and energy usage. This new Hyper-V version includes numerous improvements in its core functionality, including improved performance, increased availability, improved management, simpler deployment methods, and live migration.
The new Windows Server R2 also brings Windows PowerShell version 2.0 to the table, an extensible automation engine with improved command-line shell and scripting language abilities. PowerShell allows you to run Windows Server R2 without a graphical user interface (GUI).
More than likely you will want to upgrade to R2 as soon as possible, as so many features and updates have been added it’s hard to think of a case where one wouldn’t want the improvements.