VPS Hosting – Should You Go for Windows or Linux?

Many businesses and e-commerce websites require private environments with dedicated resources when it comes to hosting their sites – their online presence is their bread and butter after all! They simply can’t run the risk of not having enough resources available to accommodate their traffic and usage. Their revenues and sales are on the line.

For this reason, many businesses opt for virtual private servers hosting . A VPS hosting environment provides a nice midway web hosting platform that is not nearly as expensive or intensive to manage as a dedicated server, but offers much more power and scalability than shared hosting.VPS hosting is highly reliable and resource rich, and thanks to its lower price tag, is often chosen over its dedicated counterpart.

What is a VPS?
So what is a virtual private server anyways?
Virtual private server, usually shortened to VPS, is a virtual server installed on a computer that is simultaneously serving many different websites. A computer can house multiple virtual private servers with each having its respective operating system (most popularly, Windows and Linux, which we will get into later on in the post) that runs hosting software for a specific user. VPS caters to the specific needs of individual customers and is configured to run the server software and applications they need.
It is a customized and completely isolated environment that can be rebooted independently at any time. Virtual private servers also offer their own root access, memory, applications, configuration files (and more!) – running a VPS is just like having a stand-alone server with a comparable level of control, at a fraction of the cost.
As long as your website and the applications you run don’t have super high resource demands, a VPS is a great option for you.
If you’re wondering whether your business should opt for the simpler and less expensive shared hosting environments on offer or go for the more robust and sophisticated virtual private server options, have a read through our discussion of Shared Hosting vs VPS Hosting to help you decide which is the best web hosting option for your needs.

Linux VPS or Windows VPS?
Once you’ve decided that a virtual private server is the way to go for you and your website, the next decision is which operating system (OS) you will run.
With VPS, you have the choice between a Linux based server or a Windows based server. Although there are many basic functions that are common between the two, there are important differences as well and the operating system chosen will depend on the specific user and their preferences. So, let’s get into these differences to help you make your decision about which to opt for.

Right off the bat, the most obvious difference between the two is the cost.
Linux is an open source OS and is free to use, whereas Windows is a commercial operating system. Therefore, both usage type and price of Windows and Linux VPS servers are very different.
With Windows, licensing fees must be taken into consideration. Also, Windows VPS servers can be subjected to more specialized tasks and therefore they come with a higher price tag.
Linux VPS servers are a great choice if you have a more limited budget and don’t have demanding requirements and functionality needs. A Linux VPS server, as a general rule, is cheaper than a Windows VPS server with the same specification.

Tech Considerations
The next important thing to think about is the technology your website and business run on.
Obviously, if you develop in classic ASP or ASP.NET, you will want to leverage the robust integration for these programming scripts that a Windows VPS environment offers. Same goes if you have a MS SQL database; choosing a Microsoft Windows product for your hosting makes the most sense. Windows VPS servers are geared for those that businesses that run on Microsoft programs, offering a broader base of support featuring more regular and seamless updates.
If instead you’ll be going for open source options such as PHP for developing or MySQL for your database, then a Linux VPS is a great solution. Linux also does offer many different distribution options, such as CentOS, Debian and Ubuntu among others.

Ease of Use
If you are a beginner or don’t have a seasoned IT team behind you, a Windows VPS can be easier to manage thanks it its remote desktop with direct GUI access.
A Linux VPS on the other hand is managed via SSH, which does require more technical know-how and expertise to ensure that everything is set up and running properly. However, if you or your team has this knowledge, then Linux is a very effective OS through which to manage your server. Many with the technical know-how would argue that they find that it’s easier to accomplish specific tasks and control their environment with Linux.

Windows and Linux VPS Comparison at a Glance
To sum up, here are the main differences between the two operating systems…
Windows VPS

  • Higher price tag
  • More regular updates
  • Broader support base
  • Accommodates more demanding requirements

Linux VPS

  • Open source
  • Budget friendly
  • Good for simpler requirements
  • Requires more technical knowledge

Cirrus Tech offers both Windows and Linux VPS options, each with dedicated and scalable resources and the award-winning Parallels Plesk Panel. Whichever operating system you choose, your Cirrus VPS will have an independent OS with its own web server, FTP server, mail server and hosting control panel and applications.The independence you need with a price that meets your budget.Click to learn more about our private virtual servers , including both Windows VPS and Linux VPS plans.
When it comes to choosing between a Windows or Linux VPS, it all comes down to the specific needs of your business.
Have more questions? Want to speak with a tech expert about your options? The Cirrus support team is at the ready to help you out. Contact us at 1.877.624.7787 Opt. 3 or 1.905.881.3485 Opt. 3 locally in Toronto. Or send us a message.