Linux-based Web sites 'perform better'

Server-monitoring firm's research claims Apache-based Web sites benefit from faster load time and greater uptime than those based on Windows.

Linux-based Web sites perform better than those hosted on Windows servers, according to new research.

WatchMouse, a Dutch firm that monitors server performance, based its research on a survey of over 1,500 European Web sites. The company says that, although the Web sites it surveyed were more frequently based on Microsoft's IIS Web server platform running Windows than on Apache running Linux, the latter option performed better in terms of both uptime and load time.

The research showed a marked preference within the United Kingdom for Windows-based systems, at 59 percent of all systems surveyed. Linux accounts for only 17 percent of the U.K. total, with Solaris at 15 percent. BSD trailed behind at 3 percent, and Unix at 1 percent.

German firms are less keen on Windows-based Web servers. Less than 20 percent of Web sites in Germany run off Windows-based systems.

WatchMouse also noted that, overall, two-thirds of the Web sites it surveyed had an availability of less than 99.9 percent, representing downtime of at least eight hours per year.

"Even though the companies in our study seem to prefer Windows over Linux, our research shows they would be better off using Linux/Apache-based Web sites," said WatchMouse's chief technology officer, Mark Pors. "Research has shown that most Web users are very impatient and will wait no longer than four seconds for a Web page to load. Organizations need to become more aware of the impact the choice of Web-server platform can have on their overall availability and performance."