Linux vs nt

This essay has a total of 939 words and 5 pages.


linux vs nt





Linux Versus Windows NT
Linux versus Windows NT
Forget the browser wars. This year's big nerd battle is the server shootout between Linux
and Windows NT - and it's not just a bunch of geeks nit-picking. While both offer more
affordable platforms for Web service than in the past, Linux and NT are polar opposites on
almost every other level. They look different, run differently, support different
software, and cost money in different places. So far though, most press coverage of the
Linux-NT debate has focused on the competing business models, and there's been little
helpful information for deciding which OS to use. At the other end of the coverage
spectrum, technical comparisons usually stick to performance tests, churning out reams of
numbers from the lab and missing the big picture of owning and operating a Web site.

The most obvious difference between NT and Linux is that NT attempts to bring the familiar
Windows graphical user interface to a server environment. Ideally, a Webmaster could
maintain NT (and its bundled Web server, Microsoft Internet Information Server, aka IIS)
primarily by pointing and clicking. NT also comes bundled with a singular set of Microsoft
site development tools.

Linux, on the other hand, builds from the long, varied tradition of Unix command-line
culture. It can be harder (or at least more daunting) to learn Unix from scratch than it
is to learn a Windows system, but Unix users who get over the hump of the initial learning
curve rarely express happiness over trying to do the same work in a Windows environment.
That's the "Windows rage" you observe whenever your local sysadmin (System Administrator)
has to get up from his Linux workstation to fix your PC.

If there's one area where NT stands out over Linux, it's the willingness of third-party
software vendors to develop versions of their software for it. Ad-serving software, search
engines, databases, application servers, and e-commerce shopping carts are almost certain
to come in NT versions, whereas big-name vendors such as Oracle, Sun, and IBM have just
begun to commit to Linux.

A Windows NT license costs about $300. A Linux license costs nothing. Not much overhead,
but the real costs come later: lost income from downtime or unfixed bugs, high prices for
technical employees who make things go, and extra machines and software as the site grows.

There's a notable lack of consensus as to whether Linux or NT delivers a lower total cost
of ownership. TCO, as the bean counters call it, is one of those numbers derived more from
bookkeeping than science, so it's easy for two companies to report wildly different
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