TMCnet Feature
April 05, 2021

Why is Linux the Preferred OS for Commercial Servers?



Linux is preferred by computer programmers, IT experts, and even regular users because it is the safest open-source OS with amazing versatility, stability, customizability, and community support. As far as server operating systems are concerned, the entire industry is dominated by just two names: Linux and Windows.



Windows has a lower market share at this time than Linux, mostly due to the closed-source nature of Microsoft’s (News - Alert) Server OS. There are certain limits to using Windows servers, as compared to using any Linux server out there. With time, it is expected that Linux will take over the market to an even greater extent, especially considering how fast the kernel has been evolving in recent years with community support, as well as commercial interest. Let’s go through a few factors which should help us understand why Linux is now the most popular commercial server OS.

Compatibility

Windows servers are not as compatible for clustering or even communicating with other server operating systems built on Linux. The fact that most server manufacturers also prefer Linux OS is not helping Windows much in this scenario either! Server-grade Linux OSs can cooperate with Windows to a degree, but unless the communication is a two-way bridge, maintaining that compatibility becomes very difficult. Clustering and communicating in the commercial space become much easier when you choose a Linux server, which is why Linux is the preferred choice for commercial servers, and that fact in itself is ensuring more companies make that easy shift towards Linux.

High Availability in Clusters

Although every OS based on the Linux kernel cannot provide high availability, when put together into an HPC system, the SUSE high availability Linux server OS can. This translates to negligible downtime, especially when used with high-quality servers like the LinuxOne, or the IMB Z solutions. It will have the entire HPC cluster performing at peak availability, while simultaneously mitigating chances of data loss through storage corruption/failure and a robust, automated data recovery system.

Reduced Maintenance or Down Time

If you remember, we mentioned that there are certain limitations to using the Windows server OS, which often keeps it from being the number one choice as an OS for commercial or enterprise-grade servers. A large number of those limitations are related to the fact that Windows simply requires far too much maintenance on both ends. A well-developed Linux OS, on the other hand, does not. There is no need to reboot a server running on Linux periodically, as Linux updates do not need a reboot to be integrated. Windows, on the other hand, will slow down the server eventually if the system is not rebooted after a certain period of time. On top of that, Windows servers also need to be restarted after a major update, which will add to the downtime.

Other than these, perhaps the most important and the most common reason why commercial servers are better off with Linux lies with its open-source nature itself. The level of user control Linux offers is unmatched and provides the perfect environment for coders to work with, helping them develop features, tools, etc. that are specific to the client’s needs.



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