what is a linux server?
A linux server is a variant of the Linux operating system that is designed to handle more intense storage and operational needs of larger organizations and their software. Linux servers are widely used today and considered amongst the most popular due to their stability, security, and flexibility, which outstrip standard Windows servers.
Another major benefit of using linux over closed-source software like Windows is that the former is fully open-source. This helps keeps setup and maintenance costs low, as even many of the proprietary variants of the standard Linux OS (such as Debian, CentOS, Ubuntu, and Red Hat) give users significant flexibility in terms of set up, operation, and maintenance their servers.
Additionally, linux Servers are generally lighter to run on both physical and cloud servers because they don’t require a graphics interface. Unlike Windows, most Linux variants are fully command-line based, making it a lightweight solution that prioritizes functionality and optimized performance over ease of use.
Other benefits of linux server include the ability to maintain almost 100% uptime, since most servers don’t need to be taken offline to apply updates or correct errors. Linux is also excellent at managing multitasking, allowing it to handle multiple applications simultaneously.
Why choose a linux server?
Linux is frequently used for dedicated hosting because of its flexibility. It is compatible with most hardware, including that which supports Windows and Mac. Unmanaged servers, or those that allow full root access, go hand-in-hand with hosting on linux.
It’s a great option for anyone who prefers to do their research and find the right options for applications and customization.
What Can I Use Linux Databases For?
Linux servers are some of the most widely used around the world for a variety of reasons. Unlike Windows and other proprietary software, Linux is significantly more affordable, and gives you more control over how to configure your servers to get started.
This includes the ability to handle multiple applications on the same server. Because of the reduced resource requirements for Linux servers, you can theoretically manage a variety of tools from a single location including BI tools, analytics, and operations applications.
See Sisense in action: Additionally, it’s an excellent tool for software developers and even IT teams as Linux is famously known for the degree of control it delivers to users.
linux gives IT staff full root access on their servers, allowing teams to set everything from the most basic parameters to more complex permission systems that limit overlap and reduce the need for hands-on management.
Especially for organizations that develop SaaS tools or live applications, linux’s virtually 0% downtime, stability and efficiency mean that if it is properly configured, it can generally continue operating uninterrupted until it is manually shut down or experiences a hardware failure.
The benefits of linux servers
Here’s why you might want to look at putting open source servers in your data centre The debate between installing Windows or linux servers is one that’s been going on among IT professionals for quite some time.
While supporters of Window will firmly support its safety and familiarity, the more open-minded sysadmins would rather flock to Linux for its open source goodness.
But is one platform truly better than its competitor, or is it more of a case of preference rather than business freedom? We take a look at what each platform offers and whether open source is the way to go for all businesses.
Take back control
Whether to make the switch to Linux servers has historically caused a lot of debate, mainly because Windows is the more comfortable, secure and “safe” option.
IT professionals supporting open source have a lot of negativity for Microsoft because the company doesn’t offer flexibility in the same way as Linux, perhaps over-zealously policing the platform and directing sysadmins towards what they can and can’t do with their servers.
Linux offers a get-out for this closed ecosystem, allowing businesses to use multiple vendors to provide their services and avoiding the dreaded vendor lock in. On the other side of the coin though, organisations moving to a Linux-only environment may well find the services they once relied on aren’t supported by Linux, leaving them in a bit of a quandry.
The first thing that any Linux fan will tell you when asked about its benefits is that unlike Microsoft’s OS, it’s free to install. While this is true for desktops, it’s slightly more complicated in the server space.
You can technically download and run Linux in your data centre for absolutely nothing, but businesses will need support services in case things go off the rails, and those aren’t free. With that being said, however, linux is almost always cheaper to run than Windows Server, as there are no per-seat licensing costs.
Despite numerous improvements to Windows Server over the past few years, many people still view Linux as a more stable and reliable operating system, with a lower risk of crashes and errors.
Linux can also handle more simultaneous processes and don’t need to be restarted as frequently, leading to less overall downtime.
This is due in large part to the fact that it’s incredibly stripped-back and efficient. Because there’s very little in a linux distro that doesn’t absolutely need to be there, there’s less to go wrong and throw your data centre into chaos.
Light on resources
Linux has a reputation for being incredibly lightweight, and it’s a well-earned one. Most linux distros can pretty much run on a toaster, and this is just as applicable to server software as it is to desktop operating systems.
You can run a Linux server on a machine as comparatively under-powered as the Raspberry Pi, which means it’s incredibly easy to get servers spun up without necessarily needing stacks of expensive hardware to do so.
This isn’t likely to be much of a concern for larger enterprises, but if you’re a small business or startup, linux could slash your initial IT CapEx costs.
Another major selling-point of Linux servers (and open source software in general) is a belief that they’re inherently more secure than their counterparts.
The theory is that because everyone is free to examine the source code, bugs are found more quickly and patches can be pushed out by the community, without waiting for the manufacturer to roll out a fix.
While this doesn’t always hold true – the Heartbleed bug is proof of that – it must be said that linux generally has less colossal security blunders than other operating systems, and is often held to be more resilient by cyber security experts.