InfoWorld - The fight between Windows and Linux has been nearly as overhyped as a Don King venture in a monster Vegas arena, screaming fans included. In one corner, hard-core Microsoft fans avow Windows Server 2003 as the comeback kid of the new century, rising above all previous problems with Windows servers. In the other, Linux boosters claim the open-source operating system is poised to power the enterprise from stem to stern, trash-talking Microsoft's bloated code and licensing gotchas along the way.
The truth, unfortunately, is far less dramatic. The real battles take place in smaller venues, where Windows wins sometimes and Linux pulls off its share of victories with little fanfare.
Those looking for blood are bound to be disappointed, as the two would-be combatants increasingly make an effort to play nice. For instance, although it has been possible to share files to Windows clients from Linux servers via Samba for years, only recently has integration with Active Directory been solid. Domain integration has always worked, but it was occasionally tenuous and difficult to administer. No more.
On the Windows side, the release of Microsoft Services for Unix 3.5 has shown that Redmond is providing some semblance of integration with modern Unix systems. SFU's network information service and network file system services are reasonably complete, and its Unix tool set even includes Perl and the Korn shell. In fact, these tools will be officially distributed with Windows Server 2003 R2.
Rather than force all network services onto a single platform, most enterprises are implementing Linux servers in key areas. Although this trend is not exactly new, the areas served are changing. Any smart IT manager with carte blanche to design a new network should include both Windows and Linux as major players.
Historically, if a few Linux servers existed in a Windows network, they were orphans handling a single task that had little relation to the services provided by Windows. Today, Samba 3 provides true integration with Active Directory, making it easy to configure directory-authenticated Linux Web servers, FTP servers, file servers and especially database and network management services.
Conversely, stability improvements on the Microsoft side and Active Directory's reliance on the Domain Name System make the case for Windows servers to handle DNS and DHCP tasks. Although it's certainly possible to run an Active Directory environment with Linux providing the DNS and DHCP services, it's not as easy to manage.
File and print sharing may still be a toss-up. For the most part, both platforms are equally suitable.
But which Linux to go with? Red Hat is still
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- What Datapipe customers need to know about the new PCI DSS 3.0 compliance standard This handy quick reference outlines what PCI DSS 3.0 is, who needs to be compliant and how Alert Logic solutions address the new...
- The 12 PCI DSS 3.0 requirements addressed by Peer 1 Hosting This handy quick reference outlines the 12 PCI DSS 3.0 requirements, who needs to be compliant and how Alert Logic solutions address the...
- Defense Throughout the Vulnerability Life Cycle This whitepaper provides insight into how to leverage threat and log management technologies to protect your IT assets throughout their vulnerability life cycle.
- The Critical Role of Support in Your Enterprise Mobility Management Strategy Most business leaders underestimate the importance of tech support when they choose an EMM solution. Here's what to put on your checklist.
- Live Webcast Best Practices for the Hyperconverged Enterprise Network To the Age of Constant Connectivity and Information overload
- Live Webcast Unmasking the Differences between Consumer and Enterprise File Sync & Share The consumerization of IT combined with the rapid pace of the modern mobile workplace is forcing enterprise IT teams to evaluate file sync...
- Live Webcast Government Agency Webifies Outdated COBOL Applications Let this CTO tell you how his agency converted 1980s-era green screens into an e-filing portal for the 100,000 cases handled each year...
- The New Way to Work Knowledge Vault This Knowledge Vault focuses on how, in today's increasingly virtual world, it's more important than ever to engage deeply with employees, suppliers, partners,...
- Getting Ready for BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10.2 Find out how BlackBerry® Enterprise Service 10 helps organizations address the full spectrum of EMM challenges, while balancing the needs of both the... All Applications White Papers | Webcasts