For small and mid-sized businesses all over the world, hosting web sites on virtual Linux servers is an effective and affordable option. Virtual server hosting packages, featuring either Linux or Windows operating systems, meet these business' needs for a price point that falls between affordable shared hosting solutions and the pricey dedicated physical server web hosting options that larger companies often need. Virtual Linux servers exhibit many of the key benefits of both dedicated physical server hosting and shared web hosting at a price attractive to small and mid-size businesses. Consider the two major solutions. Dedicated physical server hosting is at the highest end of the spectrum, where businesses pay top dollar to rent actual physical servers for web hosting. At the low end is shared hosting, where businesses pay for server space, resources and bandwidth on a web server, sharing all these with web sites of many other companies. These web servers dedicate resources on demand and administer the sites through site management applications like Internet Information Services or Apache. Virtual hosting rests firmly between these two options.
In both virtual and physical dedicated hosting environments, a company rents access to a server to host their sites. They are granted full control over the server itself, allowing for maximum flexibility and power over server side software, configuration and content management. The only difference is that a virtual server exists as software. It is essentially a series of files that hosts its own operating system and files and acts just like a real server. Functionally, a virtual server is indistinguishable from a physical server. Aside from its incorporeal nature, a virtual server only differs from a physical server in price. Since there isn't a complete piece of dedicated physical hardware being rented to the client, the hosting fees for virtual Linux servers or virtual Windows machines are dramatically lower. Once the decision is made to go virtual, the client only needs to decide which operating system will be run on their virtual server. Windows definitely has its benefits and specific cases where it's a must to run Microsoft's popular OS. Still, Linux is the worldwide leader in hosting and it has a long list of benefits to prove why.
Greater Stability: Linux is lightweight, doesn't require much in the way of system resources and rarely crashes or requires a reboot. Sites that need a high degree of uptime and dependability need to run on virtual Linux servers.
Cheaper: Linux offers a more affordable licensing model than Windows and hosting companies will pass that savings on to their clients.
Better Performance: Linux needs far fewer system resources, like processor and memory, than Windows. This means virtual Linux servers can grant more resources to sites, increasing performance.
Greater availability at an affordable price: Virtual Linux Servers are stable, rarely crash and can dedicate far more in the way of server resources to their sites. Since they are virtual instead of dedicated physical servers, there's no cost associated with hardware. It's quite a rare combination of value and affordability.
Small to Mid-Size Business: If your company is small and doesn't need much in the way of a stable web presence, then shared hosting will work fine. Meanwhile, renting a dedicated physical server is a fine option if you run a large scale enterprise with very advanced needs. Linux virtual server hosting is aimed at businesses that fall between these extremes
Are you experienced with Linux?: Experienced Linux administrators are more rare than Windows experts. If your IT department has a resident Linux guru or even someone who is eager to learn, however, virtual Linux server hosting is a safe bet. Even if this doesn't describe your situation, hosting companies can perform admin services for a fee that may still be lower than the cost of going with Windows.
Do you have no need for Windows-specific platforms?: No .Net, ASP, MySQL or other Windows-specific apps? Try Linux.