For reference. Windows Server 2019 operating system supports up to 64 separate physical CPUs and 24 terabytes of RAM
What OS to install on the server? Of course, it depends on the problem being solved and the application. Usually the hoster has several systems to choose from: for example, CentOS, Debian, Ubuntu, Windows Server. In addition, you can upload your ISO image and install an arbitrary system with any set of software.
Statistically, most installations are on Linux. But there are situations where Windows Server is better suited. This is not a holivar, but a purely rational choice.
It would seem, why would you need Windows Server, if the entire stack of web technologies is focused on Linux, and a free OS wins in all respects – in terms of reliability, security and productivity? How did it happen that 28.4% of websites on the Internet work under Windows, if you believe statistics from W3Techs?
But statistics are deceiving.
Perhaps the bias is due to the fact that Microsoft is actively promoting Windows Server among corporate users. The vast majority of companies use Windows for office computers. On desktops, Linux is still far behind.
Simply put, the company has a system administrator or technical support department that has been servicing a fleet of Windows computers for years, including document flow, office applications, Outlook mail, and other facilities known to any office worker. In such a situation, opting for Windows Server seems like a logical option for the server infrastructure. By Statista data, about 72% of corporate server infrastructure runs on Windows.
IDC researchRed Hat gives Microsoft about 48% of the paid server market and 29% of all server installations, including free ones. Interestingly, in the paid server market, Red Hat is not too far behind Microsoft at 34%.
Commercial server market (left) and the share of different operating systems among all server installations, including free ones (right), IDC 2019
Linux has an overwhelming advantage on cloud hosting. Even on your own Microsoft Azure cloud now Linux is used more often than Windows… Microsoft itself offers users eight Linux variants: CentOS, CoreOS, Clear Linux (from Intel), Debian, Oracle Linux, RHEL, SUSE and Ubuntu.
Other cloud providers run almost entirely on Linux. It matters for the entire market, because today more than half of all servers in the world are bought by cloud hosting and giant data center operators such as Amazon, Microsoft, Google and Facebook.
For hosting providers, Linux is considered the main option and the default choice. Although there are options for using a Windows server. Let’s see what these options are.
A standard web application stack is released for Linux, but if necessary, you can bring it up to Windows if this operating system is required for some reason. But you need to understand that this means sacrificing server security and reliability, increased resource consumption, etc. The main problem is that it is more difficult to find qualified specialists in Windows server administration, and there is less information on this topic in the public domain.
However, there are packages like Xampp or Wamp Server to run a standard software stack under Windows: Apache web server, OpenSSL, MySQL, PHP.
Alternatively, good old fashioned to maintain the website and mail server. Microsoft IIS Serverthough its popularity in web development has been declining and declining for years.
There are good tools for administering and monitoring a Windows server. For example, one of the most advanced and expensive server monitors on the market SolarWinds Server and Application Monitor (SAM) is only installed on Windows Server 2016+.
SolarWinds Server and Application Monitor
RDP surfing, VPN, proxy. Bypass censorship and anonymity
To maintain anonymity when working on the Internet, it is advisable to go online through your own server. In this way, the client disguises his real IP address and protects the security of the home system.
Several options for using the server for anonymization:
- Launching a browser on the server via an RDP client
- VPN (OpenVPN, SoftEther, Shrew Soft)
In principle, most of the server software is available in both Windows and Linux versions, so the decision is left to the user’s choice. But if Windows is installed at home, then it is convenient to run Remote Desktop on the Windows server.
Corresponding clients for remote connection to a Windows server via RDP are available for all popular operating systems, except Linux:
- Windows desktop: client Windows Desktop
- Android: Remote Desktop 8 on Google Play
- iOS: client Remote Desktop Mobile in the App Store catalog
- macOS: client Microsoft Remote Desktop on the Mac App Store
Installing Remote Desktop Services on Windows Server 2019
RDP, VPN and proxies are often used to access foreign internet services and sites that are not available in your country. Accordingly, in this case, the server must be located in the target country where you want to connect. For example, through a foreign server, you can connect to foreign services that do not work in Russia.
Some services that restrict content for users from Russian IP addresses
Alternatively, the service may not be completely blocked, but other content will be offered to a foreign audience. Or the price for an American user may be lower than for ours, so it makes sense to use a proxy too.
In the end, through a proxy, the easiest way to access resources blocked by local authorities, like the famous Lurkomorye… According to Russian law, the user has the right to use services to bypass the blocking, that is, using a VPN / proxy is not a violation of the law. In most countries, the legislation is similar.
Windows VPS is great for running a game server around the clock. On your own server, you will receive much less ping, you can limit the number of participants and set your own rules. Here is a small list of instructions for installing servers for various games under Windows and Linux, in regular and Steam versions:
Some games are installed only on Windows, so there are no special options.
Downloading files, file sharing, backups
Windows VPS is convenient to use as a file server and media server for downloading and distributing files, as well as broadcasting video content.
For some professions, your server is simply necessary. For example, if you are a web developer or designer, and a client asks to transfer 10-20 sites of 10-20 gigabytes from one hosting to another, then it is difficult to do without automating the task through a VPS. Of course, you can automate everything from your home PC, but on the server the channel is usually thicker, so the work will be done faster.
It is convenient to store backups on your server, automatically downloading them on a schedule.
Finally, you can share a collection of media files from the server for broadcasting to the entire Internet or to a closed group – to make a kind of “local YouTube” on your hosting. For example, put a family video archive on the server, opening access only to relatives.
The easiest way to stream multimedia content from a Windows server is to install Plex Media Server… This free software, however, also works for Linux and macOS (server side), and there are clients for any platform.
Plex conveniently organizes and indexes movies, music, and photos, transcoding videos on the fly, and streaming content to any client.
Alternative option – Universal Media Server, it also supports all possible operating systems and client devices.
A primitive trading bot on the WebMoney Exchanger exchange is able to bring in a few dollars a day and recoup your hosting.
Some users rent a server to trade Forex, although trading with high leverage is a huge risk.
However, the software MetaTrader works under Windows, and remote control of trading bots is possible from a mobile phone.
It is convenient to start tasks from your server that you want to automatically perform on the Internet at regular intervals:
- scraping useful information from sites;
- automatic outbidding at auctions;
- promotions / sales (for example, $ 0.01 items on AliExpress are dismantled within a few seconds every morning)
- booking a queue at the embassy, ordering scarce tickets for concerts, a table in a restaurant;
- and so on.
There are a lot of such tasks in the everyday life of an ordinary person. They are varied – and new ones appear regularly. So nowadays it is desirable for every housewife to have her own server at hand in case of need.
VDSina proposes Windows VDS with a license already included in the price and a daily payment starting from 4 GB of RAM for a variety of tasks requiring Microsoft operating systems. Choose from Windows Server 2012, 2016 or 2019.
A remote server is more powerful than a home computer – it’s real, order and make sure;)