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Elixir Technologies Pvt. Ltd. is a leading offshore software development, Web Development Rajasthan company which deals in Customized Software Development, Implementation support, Quality Assurance, Hi-tech Multimedia Designing Solutions, Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) and Search Engine Optimization.

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Elixir Technologies is the software solution and web designing company which has built up an impressive list of clients, which pay testimony to the high quality, timeliness and value of our work.

We provide a highly reliable web hosting services to companies as diverse as the range of our services, alongwith the required infrastructure and technical expertise. Apart from the option of choosing from our feature-rich, scalable hosting soutions, the customers have a choice of India or US based servers or both. Through an in-house technology, we determine the geographic location of a visitor to the site and then take him to either the India-based or US-based server, whichever gives him a faster access.

What are your considerations concerning the Operating System your potential hosting service uses?

If you happen to be running your own server system, you would not have to consider what operating system to use for hosting your websites. That decision would already have been made. Part of that decision making process may, however, have involved consideration of the features that would be available to you for your websites. Other considerations may have involved other system features as well as cost, ease and convenience. Those aspects which concern your websites are the same operating system considerations to be born in mind when selecting a hosting service for your sites. Here we take a look at some of those details to help you with that decision making process.

The vast majority of hosting services being offered today are based either on Windows or Linux. There are a few other Unix variants in use in hosting companies, but for the most part the features offered to the guest website are so similar that they can be thought of as the same. For the purposes of this discussion, "Unix" systems will be lumped together and a Linux model will be considered. There may also be hosting services based on another operating system altogether, but these are few and far between. For those systems, you would have to compare their feature sets to those discussed here.

Second to the operating system, the most important influence on the features that will be available to you will be the Web Server system in use. On Linux systems, the Web Server offered is almost always the Apache server. On Windows it's the Internet Information Server (now "Service"), IIS. Apache is also available for Windows systems, but is not very frequently used by hosting companies using the Windows platform. Again, there are other Web Servers in use but the great majority of hosting companies use one of these two.

Features In Common - HTML, JavaScript
No matter which platform you select for hosting your site, there are some things that are common to all. All web servers are (or certainly should be!) configured to support HTML files and JavaScript. It is also reasonable to expect that every system offering hosting services these days also has an outgoing mail server (SMTP Server) set up and available to you. The lack of this could be a problem for you.

FrontPage and the FrontPage Extensions
While their name suggests that are for enabling the use of FrontPage, the extension in fact provide a set of capabilities that is utilized by a wider range of software. FrontPage itself is a very useful web development tool. especially for someone with a less intimate knowledge of the actual codes used in website creation, but the server extensions also provide a number of utility functions that the website can take advantage of and they provide for a "post" method that allows a program (such as FrontPage or Visual Studio, among others) to "Open" the live site for updates in situ. These extensions, which can be a very important feature for you, can be installed on either a Windows or a Linux server.

Uploads - FTP and Telnet
If you are not doing live "in situ" updates via the extensions, nor using the FrontPage style HTTP import and export, then you will need a means to upload your pages and other website files to the server after you complete them. The most common way to accomplish this is via the "File Transfer Protocol" (FTP). From the System Administrator's perspective, there are differences in the ease of setting up FTP for individual users that tend to make it more commonly available of Unix servers than it is on Windows. If FTP is important to you, you will want to check specifically for this feature.

While Telnet access can be provided on a Windows server, it almost never is. Far more common on Unix servers (which is where it originated) it is, however, quite rapidly disappearing from them too because of security considerations. Telnet is useful to you if you are familiar with the Unix or Linux command line utilities and commands and wish to use them for controlling or manipulating your files. Almost everything you do with your site through a Telnet session can be accomplished by other means, which means that the availability of this feature may not be of particular importance to you.

CGI - Shell Scripts and PERL
The "Common Gateway Interface" (CGI) provides a means to connect or link from a web page to a program written in a scripting language that runs on the server. Some people refer to a "CGI Script" when what they actually mean is a Shell Script accessed via the CGI. Shell scripts are files containing a series of commands to be executed by the Unix Shell. They are therefore a feature of a Unix or Linux system. Other types of scripts accessed via the CGI include PERL scripts. PERL is readily available for either Unix/Linux or Windows. It is included by default is almost every Linux distribution and is an add-on to Windows. As a very powerful and popular scripting language, it is available on most hosting service systems. It is something that you will want to check, however.

Server Side Scripting - PHP, ASP, ASP.net
There are many other type of Server Side scripting and/or interfaces, including PHP, ASP and ASP.net. PHP, as an easy to learn, but very powerful scripting language has gained a great deal of popularity. It is readily available for both Unix/Linux and Windows systems, but is still more commonly deployed on Linux. Most hosting companies these days will have made PHP available on their systems no matter which platform they have chosen. It is still, however, something you will w3ant to check on if you have any plans to use it.

ASP and the newer ASP.net are native to Windows. They provide, among other things, access to Visual Basic and the VB Scripting language. I have seen ports of ASP to Linux, but it is very rare to see it offered by a hosting company running Linux servers. I have not personally tested the capabilities of the Linux ASP implementations and so can not advise you as to how compatible they may be. ASP.net holds a great potential for the future of the web, providing features that greatly extend the capabilities that web developers can offer to their clients. A decision to utilize ASP or APS.Net may be a deciding factor for you in the choice of platform you look for in a hosting company.

Databases - MySQL, Access, SQL Server and others
MySQL is a common database on Linux based servers these days. It is also available for Windows and is starting to appear on the list of offerings from more and more Windows based hosting providers. Access, as a Microsoft product, is available for Windows. Other databases, including the large database systems such as SQL Server and Oracle can be accessed through interfaces such as ODBC. There are also ODBC connections to such system as the IBM AS/400, which is fairly common in medium sized businesses. These interfaces, which are fairly specialized, are more commonly available on Windows systems, and in the offerings of hosting companies are usually special request or custom solutions. If you have a need for such a connection, you will need to talk to the potential hosting service representatives.

In Summary
Recent advances in operating systems, and especially in the areas of inter-operability, have brought the available feature sets of Windows and Linux based website hosting offerings much closer to each other. Where in the past there have been cut and dry advantages to one over the other for particular applications, these differences have now diminished to the point where the choice of operating system a hosting service company makes is frequently not a concern to the client. With a few exceptions, as noted above, you can often make your choice of hosting company based on the available feature set and factors concerning the company themselves, rather than the operating system they have chosen.

 
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