Linux /unix Vs. Windows
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The total cost of running an environment based on Linux/Unix distributions vs. running an environment of a Windows Distribution is extreme. The chart below gives you the basic software cost.

(Image from Cyber Source, 2000)
In a server environment, based on the cost of a configured server through Go Daddy, a Linux Server is still considerably less per year than that of a Windows Environment:

Linux 2 Dual Hard Drive with Raid
Operating System Linux: Red Hat Fedora Core 4
Hard Drive Configuration Dual 120 GB Drives with Raid 1 (Disk Mirroring)
Bandwidth: 500 GB
Processor: Pentium® 4w/Ht – 3.0 GHz
Ram 2 GB
Control Panel: Cpanel Unlimited
Firewall: External Hardware Firewall
Software options- Any number of Open Source Software is available, PHP, ASP, JAVA or CGI
Supports multiple languages at no additional licensing fee
Monthly Rate $196.27
Windows 2 With Raid and Unlimited Domains
Operating System Windows Server 2003 STD Edition
Hard Drive Configuration Dual 120 GB Drives with Raid 1 (Disk Mirroring)
Bandwidth 500 GB
Processor Pentium® 4w/Ht – 3.0 GHz
Ram 2 GB
Control Panel Plesk Control Panel Unlimited
Software Options Plesk Pack Pro
Includes Spam Assassin, Tomcat, And Application Pack. MS SQL, Event Manager, Support Ticketing System, 1 Language Pack, and Game Hosting.
Firewall External Hardware Firewall
Monthly Rate $231.30
In all fairness to Windows, the above cost does not include the cost of training and man power. Most users are already familiar with the Windows Environment and Microsoft Products, such as Word and Excel, whereas they are not as familiar with the Linux Environment. It is also true, that an experienced Linux Administrator is necessary, though there does not need to be one on staff, as this can be outsourced at a considerably reduced rate.

This also does not take into consideration the cost of security and privacy. Both operating systems have their weaknesses. The first step in figuring total cost, would be to examine the requirements that the company or business would need, based on the type of business and the number of users. You would also have to consider the cost of the following, for example the cost of downtime and maintenance.

Unix offers more performance at 32MB than Windows NT offers at 64MB. Unix is usually more proficient in the use of its memory, especially when dealing with network services. Because Unix requires less memory and processor time than Windows NT, a Unix based system has more memory and processor power for other computer functions.

With Unix and Windows NT running on 133MHz PCs, Unix ran 27% faster than Windows NT when reading static HTML content, and with API generated content, Unix is between 47% and 197% faster. For CGI contents, Unix is 77% faster than Windows NT. Communications Week tested “five muscular Web servers” and reported the results in their magazine dated May 05, 1997 (issue 661):

three companies sent us twin-CPU machines. Two companies with BSDi-based Unix operating systems sent single-CPU machines and asked us to compare them to those of the two-CPU crowd … a BSDi-powered, single-CPU system [kept] up with-and in some cases outperformed twin-CPU machines running Windows NT. excerpt from Communications Week May 05, 1997, Issue: 661 (link known to be valid as of 1 May 1998)

Individuals and subsystems running on Windows NT crash far more frequently than a Unix system. Unix has been reliable for years due to its dependable software and technology.

Remote Management
Unix was designed and implemented with remote management in mind. This enables system administrators to remotely perform management operations from another building or across the world. Windows NT is configured so that most of the administrative programs have to be run on the physical machine, without the ability to remotely control the machine.

Internet Services
Unix has included things such as SMTP (Email), NNTP (News), Telnet, and DNS. All of these protocols and services were somehow forgotten by Windows NT. They can be covered up with third party products and Microsofts own programs. However, none of these programs and products can compare to Unix in terms of flexibility and power (Digital Daze, 2005).”

There is a considerable difference in Market Share for Linux/UNIX systems and Microsoft. Microsoft has tapped into the home users and most small businesses. The majority of Mid-sized to Enterprise Sized businesses do report having at least some UNIX/Linux based systems in place. The major difference in market shift from Windows to Linux would be in the Internet/ Server Markets.

“Due to stiff necks on both sides of the UNIX/Linux fence, and the Open Groups request to analysts that UNIX and Linux market share not be amalgamated in research reports, a major story goes unreported.

The latest IDC numbers tell a seemingly familiar story: “32 bit Windows” leads the pack in server operating system unit shipments, with 36% of the market, followed by Linux at 24%, Netware at 19%, and Unix at 15%.

Why is no one noting the obvious? The differences between Linux and UNIX are similar in scope and significance to the differences between NT and Windows 2000, or arguably even less significant. Why are the 32 bit Windows numbers amalgamated, and not the Linux/UNIX numbers?

What Ive been told by various analysts is that, for trademark reasons, the Open Group, which holds the UNIX trademark, has asked them to treat UNIX and Linux separately. I suspect that many in the Linux community have the same feeling, but for the

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Unix Distributions And Environment Of A Windows Distribution. (April 2, 2021). Retrieved from