Sun Platform Hosting

Sun Platform Hosting

In my effort to learn more about all things web hosting, one of the things that struck me as curious was the fact that not many people seem to use Sun platforms in web hosting. At least, when compared with other platforms (such as Windows and Linux).

I wondered why that was so, given that Sun SPARC/Solaris servers and operating systems are said to be highly configurable (with either one or multiple domains) and scalable (due to its triple redundant crossbar interconnect).

They are also enablers of scalability, leading the industry in optimizing hardware and software to increase the size of a system rapidly and reliably, and they perform reliably in mission-critical applications.

The Solaris Operating System reduces cost and complexity throughout the boundary-less data center; provides customers with a secure and highly available environment by design; can scale up and scale out, allowing customers to take full advantage of UltraSPARC or x86 processor-based systems, from smaller departmental servers to massive SunPlex clusters with hundreds of CPUs.

The following WebHosting Talk forum threads offers some insights:

* Sun Microsystems Servers
* What do I need?

Some reasons for buying Sun for hosting:
* good hardware support contract
* good multi-processor OS support
* as secure as the systems administrator makes it (no OS is totally secure from a default install so there is always some work to do to lock it down and patch it up)
* bind, apache, proftpd, mysql and anything else you might want to run will run on solaris
* haven’t much compatibility issues since most stuff compiles quite cleanly for Solaris/SPARC
* have the option of sunfreeware binary packages
* Solaris8 onwards ships with a load of add-on packages on some of the supplementary CDs
* Sun hardware is very reliable

Some reasons why you shouldn’t:

* has a steep learning curve if you are not used to SVR4 style UNIX; no compiler in the standard install (the single biggest disadvantage Solaris has over other UNIX platforms)
* is expensive for what you get in terms of performance; x86 machines are faster for hosting applications
* higher cost for Solaris admin staff
* is not a very good Apache/PHP/MySQL web development platform
* not a good platform in the hands of an inexperienced administrator


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