IIS vs Apache: Which is the Right Choice?

Last Updated: 08/25/2019

Both Apache and Microsoft IIS (Internet Information Services) have great abilities to host many kinds of websites for many kinds of people and businesses. If you are looking into starting your own web-server, you probably came across the old IIS vs Apache war.

True…Apache does have the most compatibility with websites mainly with .htaccess files and with older web applications, but IIS is a really powerful, capable web-server as well (supports the ASP.Net framework, a powerful web application framework).

Over the years, IIS has gained much attention from the web hosting crowd in supporting web applications (e.g. WordPress). Also, PHP still supports Windows (as they have for years already).

Both IIS and Apache can be installed and used instantly, out of the box, with hosting HTML files. However, both need to be configured to make use of other technologies (such as PHP or Perl).

IIS also sandboxes people’s websites from each other, and allows for separate security permissions via Access Control Lists that are in the NTFS file-system as well as the rest of the Windows operating system.


Here are my opinions on which web-server software performs the best in certain areas.

Specific Area Winner
Easy Website Sand-boxing (websites, hosted on the web-server, protected from each other) IIS
Quick and Easy Initial Setup IIS & Apache (tie)
Easier to Manage IIS

(because of its powerful GUI interface)

Most Compatible with Websites (excluding ASP and ASP.Net websites) Apache
Amount of Available Internet Support Apache
Best PHP Performer (assuming that you use FastCGI) IIS & Apache (tie)
Lighter on your System Resources IIS
Native ASP and ASP.Net Support IIS

(there is .NET Core for Linux, but it is not 1:1 with the full .NET Framework)

Immune to the Slowloris attack IIS

(Apache can be configured to be resistant to the Slowloris attack, but without a rewrite, will not be able to be immune to this type of attack)


Notes

  • FastCGI allows servers to serve PHP enabled websites faster by keeping the PHP process or processes on, instead of turning them off when not in use, since creating a process and then terminating a process is resource intensive when a server has many requests to deal with.
  • There is Mono for Apache, but that does not count, since Mono is emulating ASP.Net, it’s not actually an authentic ASP.Net framework.
  • The Slowloris attack is a type of Denial-of-Service that causes a website to be temperately taken offline when using an affected web server (e.g. Apache).
  • The attack uses up all of the connection slots on the web server, so legitimate web traffic cannot get through. Unfortunately Apache can never be immune to this attack without a rewrite of its code.
  • For what it’s worth, the NGINX web server can also be affected by this attack. I tried it myself on a virtual machine, and was able to temporarily take down a test website running on NGINX using Slowloris.

Posted in Internet and Servers, Software

Is There Anything Wrong with Using Linux as a Server?

I have used both Windows and Linux on servers. They both are capable operating systems. What you need to ask yourself is “What do I need and/or want?”

I cannot (nor can anyone else) tell you “you need to use Windows…or…you need to use Linux”. If you know what your goals are, then it will make it easier for you to decide which OS to use as a server.

Here are some tips on which OS to use, based upon some possible reasons you have for choosing one OS over the other. Please note these are based upon my own opinions from using both for several years.

Supports the Most Popular Web Technologies Windows/Linux (a tie)

(Windows does support ASP & ASP.Net, whereas Linux officially does not)

Makes Better Use of Your CPU Windows
Makes Better Use of Your Memory Linux
More Flexible (not counting file-system security permissions) Linux
Out-of-the-Box Security Windows
More Stable Windows / Linux (a tie)*
Availability of Free Server Software Linux
Available Online Support Windows / Linux (a tie)
Flexibility of File-system Security Windows**
More User-Friendly Windows

* In my opinion, 99% of crashes on Windows are due to faulty hardware and/or drivers. However, both Windows (NT family) and Linux are stable operating systems, when using good, stable hardware and good, stable drivers.

** Due to the fact that Windows uses ACLs (Access Control Lists) by default. ACLs are much more flexible than UNIX Read/Write/Execute bits.


Posted in Internet and Servers, Operating Systems

Response to “5 Reasons Why Linux Is Better Than Windows”

This is a response to the author’s post of “5 Reasons Why Linux Is Better Than Windows(http://www.ittwist.com/2013/02/5-reasons-why-linux-is-better-than.html).

My responses are in purple and direct-quotes from the author are in red. Please note that no disrespect is intended with my replies.

 

1. Highly Secure :


The main plus point of the linux is security . In windows , we have generally noticed it is very much prone to viruses , threats and malware which destroys computer performance by slowing it down. in Linux , there is main  feature that it doesn’t supports viruses which doesn’t interfere with your computer speed.

Generally, viruses are made in .exe files ie., executable files , which windows uses as default for running applications but in linux there is no such restriction because it doesn’t supports exe files. So, it doesn’t supports viruses too.

Let us take these two paragraphs a little bit at a time.

The main plus point of the linux is security .

That is something that Linux has been advertising for a long time. However, Linux may not be as secure as you may think. Technically Linux is just the OS kernel, not a whole distribution. For the sake of argument, if Linux were 100% secure, it would not really matter, since the software that you would run on Linux would have security issues.

In windows , we have generally noticed it is very much prone to viruses , threats and malware which destroys computer performance by slowing it down.

Granted there are more malware for Windows, but Linux has malware as well. Here is a good example.

https://blogs.rsa.com/thieves-reaching-for-linux-hand-of-thief-trojan-targets-linux-inth3wild/

A Trojan is being sold to infect Linux users’ computers. As you can see, Windows is not the only OS with bad guy problems. Do not ever think that using Linux makes you immune to malware. It does not! Also, not all malware, Windows or not, causes a noticeable slowdown to your computer.

in Linux , there is main  feature that it doesn’t supports viruses which doesn’t interfere with your computer speed.

That does not make sense.

Generally, viruses are made in .exe files ie., executable files , which windows uses as default for running applications but in linux there is no such restriction because it doesn’t supports exe files. So, it doesn’t supports viruses too.

Viruses are made in different file extensions, not just exe files! Saying that Linux does not get viruses because it “doesn’t support exe files” is silly.

A virus is just a program that runs without the user knowing it is there (at least that is the idea ;-]  ) and runs a pre-programmed set of tasks that the virus author(s) want it to do. Some viruses, I am sure, have some sort of A.I. in them to adapt to situations, but these are very rare to come across.

Also, it’s not really true that Linux does not support exe files, since if you install “wine” (a program that tries to run Windows programs on Linux) then Linux would then support exe files!

Linux can get viruses too, but without running a real-time anti-virus program on your Linux box, how can you have the potential to know that you do not have a virus on your Linux desktop/server? People who say that “no viruses” is a reason to switch to Linux do not know what they are talking about.

2.Fast Boot :


Now linux operating system boots faster as compare to windows operating system. The linux kernels are much improved which boots them up within few seconds .

Like Ubuntu , Linux Mint , Fedora etc. are linux operating system that boots within 15 seconds.

We are showing you a video depicted ubuntu , using linux kernel to boot at faster speed.

[The video can be seen on the blog’s website. The link to the blog post is at the top.]

Puppy Linux , a smallest linux distro that is about 150 MB boots within 5 s , that loads perfectly into RAM & consumes low hardware in your computer .

The video, for the boot time, looks fake. Regardless of that, Linux boot time is not a reason to say that Linux is better than Windows. Since most people may only boot their desktops once every week (or more), and since people can hibernate their laptops, this reason for Linux being better than Windows is negligible.

In addition, you cannot indirectly compare Puppy Linux with Windows. They are not in the same league.

3. Built In Software Packages :

In windows we have to install extra , must have softwares for eg., MS Office. But linux have much smaller size (Less than 2 GB) as compare to windows ( More than 2GB ). It includes the packages like Libre office, Cloud storage , browsers as default which is there when you install it.

This point does not make any sense whatsoever.

Keep in mind, size is not nearly as important as usability. Linux is not user-friendly (despite what others may tell you) when compared to Windows.

4. No Cost !!:

Windows operating system is paid ,which offers the users to try it & activate their operating system  at the reasonable prices. But Mostly users activate their windows operating system by unfair practices by using cracks or activators which contains viruses . To read what is difference between Original & Pirated Windows follow this link.

[The link can be seen on the blog’s website. The link to the blog post is at the top.]

 Linux is free of cost , you can easily download the distro on the manufacturer website & install it on your machine.

How does this count as Linux being better than Windows?

By the way, there are several paid Linux distributions too. For example, Red Hat Linux (CentOS is the free clone, but with no real commercial support), SUSE Linux, Mandrake Linux, Novell, etc.

5.  Crashes rarely :

If you are using windows , you might experience  a crashing problem means windows operating system generally involves blue screen of death ( Involves a blue screen after which your pc restarts ). But in linux , operating system crashes rarely . Sometimes the operating systems application programs freezes but do not lead to restart or unwanted crash.

Most of the time (I would say 99% of the time), crashes on Windows are due to faulty hardware or drivers. Linux is not crash proof. On Windows, you usually have several drivers installed from different sources. All of them having to work together with the OS.

On Linux, I believe many people use whatever drivers Linux has in its kernel for their hardware. This would technically make the computer more stable, since all the drivers they are using were put into the kernel by the same people who manage the kernel. The disadvantage to using generic device drivers from the Linux kernel is that you may not get your hardware’s full potential. It would be better, in my opinion, to use drivers from the manufacture of your hardware (if possible). Remember, if you have bad memory, even Linux will not be able to really help you there 100%.

Also, Linux has its own version of blue-screening called Kernel Panic.

 

Conclusion: Windows and Linux are both good operating systems. You must decide which is best for your needs/wants. However, please do not accidentally mislead people into thinking that Linux is king of the operating systems. It is not, but Linux can work for people if they need or want to use it.


Posted in Operating Systems