The advantages of Linux as a data centre server are well documented . Businesses know it can save them money on licensing as well as maintenance. However, there may still be some indecision on what the best options are for Linux as a server operating system. This list takes a bottom-up approach to choosing Linux servers after taking into consideration the ease of use, cost, available support and data centre reliability.
Slackware is one of the earliest available Linux server distributions. It was released first in 1993 and since then, it has grown an extensive fan base. Slackware is not associated with commercial distributions but it maintains relationships with many companies that offer fee-based support.
9. Arch Linux
Arch Linux is a simple and lightweight Linux distribution designed with more competent Linux users in mind. It may not offer the same level of support and ease of use as can be found in other Linux sever operating systems on this list, but it has effortlessly functioned as a viable server for many more experienced administrators.
This is an open-source Linux operating system that is a combination of Red Hat Enterprise Linux and CentOS. It offers a platform that is a combination of server, network and gateway. Since the early days when it was known as ClarkConnect, it has come a long way and is now a viable option for small businesses. It has a highly touted administration interfacesand offers superior documentation. It is a good option for less-experienced admins and anyone looking for a quick Linux server deployment.
7. Mageia/ Mandriva
Launched in 2011, Mageia is an open-source based fork of Mandriva Linux. This Linux distribution may not be popular outside of Europe and South America but it is well constructed and capable. Mageia has maintained the strengths of Mandriva while continuing to roll out new features and capabilities.
6. Oracle Linux
For many people, this will come as a surprise but Oracle does indeed run an in house Linux distribution. Formerly known as Oracle Enterprise Linux, this is Red Hard Enterprise Linux made stronger by some nifty additions from Oracle. Oracle’s Linux competes directly with Red Hat’s Linux server distributions and it has been able to keep doing so effectively.
Debian was launched in 1993 and since then, it has seen several child distributions develop. In fact, it has more child distributions than any other parent Linux distribution till date. Some people may not understand why it is included here as there is no formal commercial support from the company but businesses looking to deploy Debian can connect with their consultants from all around the world. It is still a favourite amongst businesses that value stability more than the latest features.
“This is a popular option for web hosting companies around the world” says Brendan at Umbrella where you can get Linux or windows VPS @ OpenHost. “It is a variant of Red Hat Enterprise Linux and isn’t fully commercial. However since it is based on RHEL, leveraging commercial support for it is straightforward”.
3. SUSE Linux Enterprise Server
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) is owned by Micro Focus but operated independently. It is stable, easy to maintain and offers round the clock response and support. It is a good option for businesses without the time and patience for lengthy troubleshooting calls. SLES is another distribution that focuses on stability and support as against leading-edge technologies and features.
2. Red Hat Enterprise Linux
Red Hat launched as a small company but has since grown into a major force in the data centre world. It is now the Linux option of choice for large companies around the world. The company is innovative and offers high quality support which covers regular releases.
It is always at the top of most Linux-related lists. Ubuntu is Debian-based and is undoubtedly the leading standard in the industry. Ease of installation quality commercial support and excellent hardware discovery means Ubuntu’s standards is hard to match.