In a test of over a thousand Web sites in Europe, Linux-based servers were found to be faster and more reliable than sites based on Microsoft's IIS Web server software.
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 UK for Windows-based systems, at 59 percent of all systems surveyed. Linux accounts for only 17 percent of the UK total, with Solaris at 15 percent. BSD trailed behind at three percent, and Unix at one 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. Organisations need to become more aware of the impact the choice of Web-server platform can have on their overall availability and performance."
David Meyer reported for ZDNet UK from London