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Server Question :  Windows Vs. Linux

Quick question for the group...

A couple years ago I read that the web server world is roughly two thirds Linux/Unix and one third Windows or IIs, with Sun and the others filling in a tiny percentage.

My question is, are there clear trends now indicating Windows is now climbing in popularity with ISP's and other providers? I read that that might be the case now.

Reason Im asking is I want to find a good argument to continue using ASP.NET as my framework for web development. Im concerned that ASP.NET product development will continue to be hurt by the lack of Host Providers supporting IIs. Im hoping that ASP.NET may be taking a bite out of the PHP group, but with the server situation, I think PHP may actually be climbing in popularity.

Thanks for the input...
gemini Send private email
Thursday, January 25, 2007
 
 
PB
Thursday, January 25, 2007
 
 
Thanks! Interesting data, and important. Seems like Microsoft is gaining "a little bit". Not much though. Apache is slipping somewhat....but no real solid change since 2000. Interesting! I bet this explains why Microsoft recently bent over backwards to offer better support for PHP and Zend products on future releases of their web servers. Its all about getting market share. If you product (ASP.NET) cant beat them, then I guess join 'em. Seems more like a war against Linux and Apache than PHP to me.

 - Gemini
gemini Send private email
Thursday, January 25, 2007
 
 
Domains can mean a lot of things. It can mean it's being parked by a IIS/Apache/* server. It can mean a business card site. It can mean a grid containing 50 million dollars of web serving hardware.
Li-fan Chen Send private email
Thursday, January 25, 2007
 
 
The netcraft isn't a very reliable survey - there are lots of deals with OS suppliers to park unused addresses on their servers boosting the score.
Similairly the surveys of what the top 10 sites are running are fairly useless - does what Yahoo / Amazon / Gmail runs on effect your business.

Knowning open-standard / cross platform solutions is always valuable but I don't think asp is going away soon.
Martin Send private email
Thursday, January 25, 2007
 
 
mike Send private email
Thursday, January 25, 2007
 
 
> Im concerned that ASP.NET product development will continue to be hurt by the lack of Host Providers supporting IIs

What matters is what industry you are trying to sell to:

1) Large web based companies (e.g. Google, Yahoo, Amazon etc...)
2) Large corporations (e.g. Ford, Boeing etc...)
3) Small companies
4) mISV's
5) Home users (via free webspace)

I would guess that 1 and 5 are normally unix/linux based. 2, 3 & 4 are likely to be more of a mixture.

Any total numbers will be skewed by markets that are not potential customers.
Adrian
Thursday, January 25, 2007
 
 
>Reason Im asking is I want to find a good argument to continue using ASP.NET as my framework for web development.

Does it work for you?  That seems like the best argument to keep it!
Bill Rushmore Send private email
Thursday, January 25, 2007
 
 
I'm a Microsoft fan boy but even I will admit that Linux on servers makes a lot of sense for certain functions.

HOWEVER, you need to look at your application and who you are selling it to. Many businesses are more than happy to use Windows to host corporate applications. What they want is a solution that works well and they don't usually care about what it is written in. So if you currently know .NET and you are able to sell it then why worry about what the PHP people are doing? There is plenty of business to be had and you would be better off working on your marketing than making some huge jump in technology just for the sake of doing so. Especially when making that jump could lead to LOWER profits. Keep in mind that the OSS side is filled with expectations of much lower costs/profits. I'm not saying that is always the case but there is a certain stigma that OSS has brought upon itself in terms of pricing and "freedom". I personally would prefer to get paid for my work.  ;)
dood mcdoogle
Thursday, January 25, 2007
 
 
Also keep in mind that while Apache's *market share* has gone down marginally, the *total* number of sites has still gone up.  Most of Microsoft's gain is from new sites, not from existing sites switching.  (The exception being large site-parking operations switching to IIS.)

But really the important question is whether your preferred platform faces a reasonable possibility of becoming obsolete/unsupported.  This is actually one place where the Unix world's slower upgrade cycles help.  You rarely have applications "sunsetted" by the manufacturer.

Am I saying that you should *drop* .NET?  Not at all.  I agree with the people above who said to use what works for you.  What I'm saying is unless your chosen platform is in danger of becoming unsupported, and that causes a problem for you, then looking at market share charts should never get you to switch.

Now if you hadn't already chosen a platform, and you wanted to know what platform had a larger market, *then* you'd care about market share.
Drew K
Thursday, January 25, 2007
 
 
"Now if you hadn't already chosen a platform, and you wanted to know what platform had a larger market, *then* you'd care about market share."

I agreed with everything that Drew said up until this point. The sheer number of "servers" out there, whether they're connected to the internet or not, means that you could pick the smaller market and still have access to a market of millions.

Err... to be more precise, picking Windows or Linux based purely and solely on the number of people actually using it, is a stupid way to decide. I will grant that some industries have very specific requirements that preclude one or the other, but you're making the decision to target that industry and accepting the server choice as a requirement.

For example, real estate agents are notorious for avoiding fixed costs (since their revenues fluctuate all the time) and prefer Windows servers since they can lease them. Nuclear power plants on the other hand want a little more control over what goes onto their servers and try to use open source whenever they can.

So don't worry about which server has the larger "market share".  Find out what your customers tend to use and target that. Adrian's breakdown is pretty reasonable, except I'd say that #3 - small businesses, tend to be more Windows based than a mixture of both.
TheDavid
Thursday, January 25, 2007
 
 
Actually you don't disagree with me, you just disagree with what (it looked like) I said.  :-/

I didn't mean to suggest overall webserver market share should be the *only* consideration.  What I meant was that the share of *your target market* should be a factor.

I was contrasting that to the OP's question, where IMO anything short of "about to become obsolete and unsupported" should never contribute to a switch.
Drew K
Thursday, January 25, 2007
 
 
Long Answer:
You need to look at trends in the specific market your skills cater towards rather then overall market trends as they can be quite misleading.

Short Answer:
Switch to BSD and Lisp.
Mark Send private email
Thursday, January 25, 2007
 
 
Your ideal situation would be to work in something that ran equally well on either platform, like Java or PHP.  PHP is in use all over the place.

Given that you have a very large investment in .NET development already, and it's working for you, don't worry about it.  Unless you're looking to take over the world, there's no great need to worry about being on the most widespread platform, as long as your chosen platform has a big enough market for your product to be profitable.  IIS isn't going away just yet.
Clay Dowling Send private email
Thursday, January 25, 2007
 
 
Are you developing apps for internal or web facing.  I don't have any numbers to back it up, but I suspect that things are different as far as interal web servers go.  I've seen companies where everything on the inside of the firewall interal applications/intranets are Windows based, but the company will NOT put a Windows server in thier DMZ for any public websites those run Linux only.
Leroy Clark Send private email
Thursday, January 25, 2007
 
 
Don't forget that you could always host ASP.NET sites on Apache running on Linux thanks to Mono...
Nick Lassonde Send private email
Thursday, January 25, 2007
 
 
Does anyone know if Mono on Linux supports the full class library, and, would it support ADO and MSXML components put out by Microsoft?
gemini Send private email
Thursday, January 25, 2007
 
 
Also, to answer everyones question, my target market is home users with free or cheap hosting right now. My market is the mass market...I know, a tough one. But already gotten some feedback from people that already got Linux hosting and wont purchase because of the platform....its not compatible with .NET.

So, Im thinking I need to pick up PHP this next year and rebuild from scratch. I mean the number of small web sites owned by people and who need web apps is already a small market, and I cannot afford to them get cornered into an even smaller submarket of that class of users. I suspect because of .NET, and the host issues with so many ISP's pushing free or cheap Linux hosting, I cannot find my market.
gemini Send private email
Thursday, January 25, 2007
 
 
"Also, to answer everyones question, my target market is home users with free or cheap hosting right now. My market is the mass market..."

Would it not simply be easier just to provide your own hosted solution as opposed to an installable product?  If you are dealing with mass market the easier the better.  Plus, you'll have reduced support costs.
Almost H. Anonymous Send private email
Friday, January 26, 2007
 
 
"So, Im thinking I need to pick up PHP this next year and rebuild from scratch."

No offense, but I'm thinking what you really need to do is rethink your business idea. The market is saturated with PHP products for helping home users set up web sites of all kinds. Many of these are free. Will changing to PHP help you or is this idea doomed from the start? I'm not trying to be an a$$. I just think that you may want to take a good hard look in the mirror. If the business isn't viable using .NET then it likely won't be much more viable using PHP. But that's just my opinion and you haven't provided adequate background for us to do anything other than make assumptions.
dood mcdoogle
Friday, January 26, 2007
 
 

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