Dawn, you and I have had chats about Windows vs Linux before. In many
ways the landscape has changed but honestly it's still the same for
many of the reasons you had for avoiding Windows in the first place.
My approach is the be versatile and many of our colleagues do the same
- just use whatever works in a given context and try not to lock
yourself in to any one OS. While that does introduce a need to add
more skills into the toolkit, overall it's not that bad.

I have more issues shifting mental gears between MV environments than
OS's. My rule of thumb is to use IIS when I need .NET and Windows
tools but to use Linux when I need shell and common FOSS packages like
Drupal, WordPress, Bugzilla, etc. I don't care if I "should" be able
to run WAMP, most GNU-based FOSS these days is coded with prejudice
against Windows and we simply need LAMP to run it. All in all, while I
haven't settled on a single provider yet, I have tried services with
Amazon, RackSpace, Dreamhost, and a couple others I can't recall.
They're pretty much all the same except when it comes to support when
you really need it - caveat emptor. There are a few companies in our
industry who also specialize in hosting MV environments - take a look
around.

As far as hosting, root-access hosts are dirt-cheap these days, and
most don't weigh you down with licensing issues anymore either. With
the exception of MV DBMS vendors, most tier-1 providers recognize that
they make more from having a 10, 100, or 1000 systems out there than
they do trying to get a single site to pay for 10, 100, or 1000
licenses. (Rant on clueless MV marketing and industrial suicide
omitted.)

Finally, we're talking about doing business. If you're running a
production server then your revenue needs to cover the total expense
of doing business. You're not paying support fees, your clients are,
and if that eats into your expected profits and budgeting then perhaps
your business model needs a tweak rather than taking chances with lack
of support. If you're not charging for services then you should
consider a freemium model, as this is how other sites manage. If this
is a totally unfunded operation then perhaps going with freeware is
your best option.

HTH
T



>From Dawn Wolthuis 
> We are nailing down costs from the hosting provider
> for each option. It looks like Windows 2008 Standard is less
expensive
> per month than RHEL 6 with the hosting site we are using (primarily
> because of the
> $500 annual cost for RHEL). My colleague uses his own perl scripts
with
> apache, so he is not excited about IIS. My only issue with IIS has
to do
> with poor experiences to date, but when I check the date, it is
> somewhere around 2001. Perhaps I need not hold a grudge that long?
> cheers!  --dawn


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