Linux, OpenBSD, Windows Server Comparison: Applications Supplement OS
A significant number of Windows products are third party
products, specifically intended to supplement a Windows function
that is either lacking entirely or inadequately implemented in
the basic Windows OSs. The number of such products is at least
in the hundreds and possibly thousands. They include with
Microsoft's own Resource Kit and include backup, scheduling,
defragmentation, and log file management utilities. Personally,
I don't see how any Windows system can be used without the
addition of a UNIX utilities package, such as the MKS Toolkit or
the just as the good, free package, the Cygwin tool set.
There is no question, many of functions performed by third party
Windows utilities, have counterparts in third party commercial
add-ons for UNIX systems, but there is an important difference.
There are no system management functions that an administrator,
skilled in Perl or shell scripting, cannot solve using scripts and
the utilities that come with all UNIX systems, including all
versions of Linux and the BSD family of OSs. Windows servers
simply are not manageable in any but the smallest environments
without third party utilities.
As you move toward the high end, such as backup of terabyte and
larger disk systems, these functions are more likely to be
handled by third party products regardless of the platform.
Generally at the high end, commercial UNIX systems, in particular
Sun, IBM and HP systems have had a better selection of tools than
Windows. Many, perhaps most of these, have been ported to Linux
which is a much easier job than developing Windows counterparts.
With IBM's adoption of Linux as an interoperable OS that runs on
all hardware manufactured by IBM, its a good bet than any
important gaps that may remain, will be filled.
Another way to look at this, is whether support exists on each OS
under discussion, for all important application areas. In other
words, is there one or more commercial quality server for every
important type of server that might be needed. That depends on
how "important" is defined. I think a reasonable statement is
that commercial quality servers are available on Linux, for all
important application areas. This could be turned on its head to
say that there is such a diversity of commercial quality servers
available for Linux, that if there is no Linux product available,
then it's not an important area. If however, you need it for
your specific business and it's not available on Linux, you are
not likely to agree with either statement.
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