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Should you consider CentOS servers?

09/06/2012 | Internet hosting |

 Should you consider CentOS servers?

If you're looking to host a web server using one of's great range of dedicated servers, one of the key decisions you need to make is what operating system (OS) to use as a platform. For many web hosting platforms, the Linux OS may be a good solution - it was recently noted by web security firm Sophos that this software is the technology behind the vast majority of the web's infrastructure. But Linux is not a one-size-fits-all solution, as the open source kernel at the heart of the system means there are many distributions available to users.

One of the most prominent of these aimed at business users is CentOS - standing for Community Enterprise Operating System. This has previously been the most popular Linux distribution for use in web servers, accounting for more than 30% of the Linux market in 2010. While it has since lost its position as the number one distribution to Debian, figures from W3 Techs reveal it is still used for 9.2% of all websites, with some of the major domains using CentOS including the Wall Street Journal, and

But what is CentOS and what benefits could it bring to your web servers? The OS is a free program based on Red Hat's Enterprise Linux (RHEL) source code. However, while RHEL is only available through a paid subscription service, CentOS is free of charge. While this means users do not have access to the support network offered by RHEL, the platform could be hugely beneficial as a way to reduce costs for businesses that do not need this level of assistance, while still maintaining a high level of control over their web servers.

Computer World has previously noted that if you already have a high level of Linux expertise in your organisation, the savings to be made from adopting CentOS make it a worthy alternative to paid-for Linux distributions.The publication quoted one unnamed chief technology officer at a major US-based website serving tens of millions of page views a month as saying: "Red Hat's subscription prices, at about a grand per server per year, were too much for us. We just didn't see enough value in paying them for support since we already had experts in-house."


Here are 4 out of 12 reasons why you should choose

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