The operation system (more commonly referred to as the operating system) is the type of software that controls applications, services and other software on a system.  A dedicated server can use a wide variety of operating systems which can each provide their own set of pros and cons.  These are the most common options that most clients will use for their dedicated server:

Windows Based Dedicated Hosting

Windows Based Operating System – Microsoft windows has designed a variety of server OS versions which are useful in managing the server.  The reasons why a client would want to use a Windows based operating system is simple.  A number of brand name software titles and applications are available which can provide the necessary components for the server with very little configuration work.  The main drawback with the Windows based Operating systems is the fact that most of the software, along with Windows, is costly to acquire.  There are some open source applications available for Windows but support is very limited with them unlike paid applications.  Windows operating systems are capable of using ASP, ASP.net, SQL, MySQL, ADO.net and various other platforms.

Linux Based Dedicated Server

Linux Based Operating System – Linux operating systems have several options available which are very high powered.  Linux based systems will provide the highest levels of control with the server and can provide a large selection of open sourced and paid applications and software which can increase this control.  It is popular for its high levels of security and absence of vulnerability to viruses and other types of malicious codes which have a higher tendency to affect Windows based Operating systems.  Software is constantly being updated with open source options in Linux which can provide some of the most cutting edge options for server software.  Linux operating systems are capable of working with PHP, MySQL databases, Mod rewriting, Apache web server and other high performance software.

Alternative Operating Systems – There are also a variety of alternative options in operating system which can be used on a dedicated server.  These are often open sourced or can be custom built by the client for use with the server.  This makes it possible to run a variety of different options in software which are ported to the alternative operating system or specialized software which makes use of the strengths and capabilities of the alternative operating system.  Most of these alternative operating systems are free to use and are compatible with PHP, MySQL, Mod rewriting, Apache web server as well as other high performance software.

Choosing the operating system for the dedicated server ultimately comes down to the needs of the client.  What the operating system is capable of, alongside the software that is needed to efficiently process the needs of the client are also points to consider.  Most dedicated server hosting services will provide a list of the options which they can provide for the client.  Some hosting services will allow the client to manage the server and provide their own operating system as well.

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