The OS or operating system is the heart of any hosting package. It is in charge of all the basic functions and enables you to use tools and run programs in order to build, maintain, and operate your website. A common misconception regarding OS and hosting plans is that the one used by the host must match the one that you must use on your own machine. This is not the case. Even if you choose Linux hosting, you can still run your computer on Windows. Another misconception is that if you were used to using one type of operating system, say Linux, it would follow that you would find Linux-based hosting easier. For managed hosting, there are numerous operating systems available for you to choose from. It would pay to get to know each one in order to find the OS that will work best for you and your website.
There are many OS options offered with managed hosting
Success, in business or in other aspects, depends heavily on making the correct choices. In selecting the platform for your managed hosting, you will need to look at the scripting languages and tools that you plan to use for building your website. Once these have been established, you can now choose the perfect OS that will support them. Here are the operating systems that are often offered with managed hosting:
- Linux – This is an open source OS derived from the Unix OS. Linux is the kernel where over a thousand other operating system applications have been based.
- CentOS – To date, this is the most preferred Linux-distribution managed hosting operating system. It is stable, receives a lot of attention from system administrators and developers, and is free.
- Debian – This is a non-commercial distribution of Linux that is viewed as the most secure and stable of all distros. Besides being free, it includes over 25,000 software packages integrated into it.
- FreeBSD – This is a Unix-like, complete OS. FreeBSD is considered to be a well-structured operating system that can handle the heaviest network traffic with excellent stability and performance.
- Fedora – This is considered to be a well-structured operating system that can handle the heaviest network traffic with excellent stability and performance.
- Gentoo Linux – This is a source-based distribution of the Linux OS. It enables your system to run faster and enables quicker software upgrades.
- Ubuntu – This is another complete OS based on Linux. It is highly stable and can be used free of charge. It comes with a complete deployment tool.
- Red Hat Enterprise – This is a commercial type of Linux trusted by the largest organizations in the world. It offers a mature software package, top benchmarks in terms of TPC-C, and integrated security features.
- Windows – This operating system promises excellence in terms of system performance. It is also compatible with all proprietary software from Microsoft (ASP.NET, Access, FrontPage, etc.).
If you notice, there are just three general types of operating systems offered: Linux-based, Unix-based, and Windows-based. The minute details between the various Linux-distribution operating systems will still affect your OS choice.
What OS should you pick?
If you are asked by your hosting provider to choose an OS to go with your managed hosting, here are the questions that can help you arrive at the right choice:
1. Do you need to use specific scripting languages?
Each OS comes with its own set of scripting languages. This is why, if you require a certain database system or programming language for your website, then this may be a good basis for which OS to pick.
2. What databases will you use?
All managed hosting allows for the creation and use of databases. However, there are specific types of databases that work with certain operating systems.
- The Linux OS allows you to build in MySQL;
- You can utilize Microsoft Access and Microsoft SQL databases with Windows.
In general, you would need to pick out an operating system that caters to your needs and expertise.