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How does Unix Compare to Linux and Windows NT?


How does Linux Compare to Unix and Windows NT? I though it was just a cut down version of Unix...

I have just spent a lot of money getting a site developed and the designer has said he wants to run it on his own server which is running Linux.

How does Linux compare with Unix or Windows NT? I haven't heard of anyone hosting a site on Linux before and I am worried that the developer is trying to force me to pay for hosting the site when that wasn't part of the deal!

Please give me an honest assessment of the pros and  of Linux.

1 Solution
Kim RyanIT ConsultantCommented:
Linux has the same basic functinality as the commercial versions of Unix such as Sun Solaris, and there are no licence fees. I think the issue is more about what type of web server you want to run. The choice is Apache for Linux (open source, free), NES for Solarais or IIS for NT. All 3 are widely used and supported, with Apache being the most popular.

If you have paid to have a site developed, you should be able to specify where it is hosted. This could be on your own hardware, a commercial hosting serevice (probably the cheapest) or by the developer. Hopefully, the site has been designed in a portable way so it will run on any web server, Linux, Unix or NT based.
Hmm, I don't know if I can agree 100% here.  Sure, Linux is basically modeled after Unix, but the commercial Unixen definitely have some advantages over Linux like more robust filesystems and better scalability to lots of processors/memory, and support for some high-end or industry-specific applications that aren't on Linux (yet?).

NT also has the applications advantage in some areas, but it certainly can't be said that it has any technical advantages.

The real question, as aluded to above, is which web server you want to run.  Apache is the most popular, and is fine for many circumstances.  However, Netscape Enterprise Server (and it's iPlanet follow-on) does have advantages like supporting more third-party plug-ins for strange extensions, and better support for LDAP for authenticating zillions of users.

Linux with Apache represents about half of all web servers on the Internet acording to most studies I've seen, so it's obviously "good enough" for most purposes.
I think the bigger issue is not Unix/Linux/NT unless the code produced ties it to any particular technology. - They all have strengths & weaknesses. I'd still recommend hosting it on the same type of system as it is developed on unless were talking standard HTML etc & as it cost a lot I guess it isn't.

Look at your contract (I assume you have one!). Who 'owns' the code created by the developers - You/Them/Not stated. If it's compiled is it in escrow/have you got the source code?  

Is web hosting mentioned? Then, if you think they are trying to call the shots & control you - their customer, ask a lawyer to check out the contract & find out where you stand.  

Another thing to think about is - who will support the code when it needs changing (& it will). If you stick with them it's worth pointing out that maintenance will generate an income stream for the future & potential additional business. Then get the contract sorted - especially of code ownership & escrow etc.

It all sounds a bit heavy, but you seem very concerned about this. I'm not a lawyer, or even a great fan of them, but it can be very worthwhile using them in situations like this.      
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Kim RyanIT ConsultantCommented:
Mindwave, does this answer your question? Some feedback would be appreciated.
If your new site uses, or will be using in the future.., ASP (active Server Pages) Front Page server extensions, definately make sure you provider supports this! That means running Microsoft internet Information server! Sure, you're provider want's to run it on linux.., it's the cheapest solution (I'm not saying it's no good! Don't get me wrong on that one!)...

Linux, compared to WindowsNT or commercial Unix versions, does noet have a multithreaded IP stack, so when running a highperformance website, this is definately an issue!

A provider in my opinion is no good if he can't even provide support for a website on NT.
mindwaveAuthor Commented:
Thank you all for your input!

I think I now feel more comfortable with Linux.

There is a great site at http://www.netcraft.com/whats/ that tells you all about sites and their back-ends!

Thank you and I wish I could give you all points!


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