Why does Microsoft have a server edition of windows?

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Why does Microsoft have a server edition of windows?

Postby archeleus » Sun Nov 07, 2010 8:54 am UTC

(Do not consider this a Unix vs Windows flame thread)

Since most (if not all) servers are running nix based operating systems, what does Microsoft have to gain by continuing the releases of its server versions of windows? After all it is expensive, needs to be rebooted often and way less secure than any nix distribution.

Thoughts?
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Re: Why does Microsoft have a server edition of windows?

Postby Giant Speck » Sun Nov 07, 2010 9:36 am UTC

archeleus wrote:Since most (if not all) servers are running nix based operating systems, what does Microsoft have to gain by continuing the releases of its server versions of windows? After all it is expensive, needs to be rebooted often and way less secure than any nix distribution.

Because the bolded text is nowhere near the truth. Windows Server holds a sizable chunk of the server operating system market share. Unix and Unix-like operating systems such as Linux may hold a majority in that market, but it's not as large a majority as that of Windows in the desktop operating system market.
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Re: Why does Microsoft have a server edition of windows?

Postby hintss » Sun Nov 07, 2010 8:17 pm UTC

why does microsoft have a high performance computing edition?
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Re: Why does Microsoft have a server edition of windows?

Postby Mr. Burke » Sun Nov 07, 2010 8:46 pm UTC

hintss wrote:why does microsoft have a high performance computing edition?

For high performance computing. For other question of this kind, I would like to refer you to our dear chap Captain Obvious.

Regarding the original question: My university has a sizable chunk of its server force running Windows (mostly 2008 and 2008 R2).
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Re: Why does Microsoft have a server edition of windows?

Postby kmatzen » Sun Nov 07, 2010 9:02 pm UTC

archeleus wrote:(Do not consider this a Unix vs Windows flame thread)

Since most (if not all) servers are running nix based operating systems, what does Microsoft have to gain by continuing the releases of its server versions of windows? After all it is expensive, needs to be rebooted often and way less secure than any nix distribution.

Thoughts?


This seems really misinformed. So first of all, a lot of people use Windows Server. They used it in the past and they continue to use it since they fear migration costs. I'm not saying that's good. I'm just saying people do use it. And Microsoft makes money. As far as what I can tell, the OS is good. I've used it a lot and it didn't die on me or anything. I find the config a little confusing if you are from a Linux background and just want to go into a particular directory and edit a file, but that's an issue with me since those config files do exist and you just have to learn where they are located. It seems like most of the time, a Windows server fails because there was some admin who misconfigured it.

Sure, it's expensive. I'll give you that. Once again your question was why does Microsoft release it. Well, to make money. You get support for that money. With Linux you also pay money to get support, often. I don't know the relative fees.

I don't think it needs to be rebooted often if configured properly. A lot of servers do run this and if they needed to be rebooted that often, then I don't think server farms would stick with them. There is lockin, but if a company is losing so much money from downtime, then they would probably migrate.

Security also depends on the admin. Don't leave shit open.

Also, I interned for awhile with Windows Azure and Windows Server 2008 R2 is pretty much the underlying OS for the cloud computing platform. There is this sort of paradigm shift at Microsoft where they are focusing less on getting Windows Server into companies' own data centers and instead keeping them in Microsoft data centers. Then Microsoft can keep a close watch on things such as uptime and security without relying on less skilled admins at each of these companies. So, even if it seems that Windows Server isn't as popular, you have to consider other products running on it. For example, Pixar's renderfarm software, RenderMan, is now running on Windows Azure. We use a Linux cluster at our school for RenderMan and I'm told by the researchers that it's an awful thing to get configured properly. On Windows Azure, there is no additional configuration the user needs to make or so I'm told. Also, keep in mind that Pixar is a company that used to have Steve Jobs as the CEO and still has him on the board at Disney. So, even someone at Apple thinks there is use in Windows Server.

hintss wrote:why does microsoft have a high performance computing edition?


It's for things like simulation or other batch operations. The paradigm is usually that you have a large number of jobs that are embarrassingly parallel so you can just submit them all independently to a head node which sends each one off to a separate compute node in the cluster. Two of the case studies on the Windows HPC site are the mechanical engineering and computational biology groups at my school using it for simulation. For computer science, we still use Linux servers for our simulations. This sort of compute cluster makes it really simple for us when we have some MATLAB simulation and we want to optimize some process over a series of parameters.
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Re: Why does Microsoft have a server edition of windows?

Postby cjmcjmcjmcjm » Mon Nov 08, 2010 5:36 am UTC

Better question: "Why does Apple have the xserv?"
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Re: Why does Microsoft have a server edition of windows?

Postby PhoenixEnigma » Mon Nov 08, 2010 5:38 am UTC

cjmcjmcjmcjm wrote:Better question: "Why does Apple have the xserv?"
Clearly, even Apple couldn't think of an answer to that, since they've killed it.
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Re: Why does Microsoft have a server edition of windows?

Postby cjmcjmcjmcjm » Mon Nov 08, 2010 5:43 am UTC

PhoenixEnigma wrote:
cjmcjmcjmcjm wrote:Better question: "Why does Apple have the xserv?"
Clearly, even Apple couldn't think of an answer to that, since they've killed it.

You're (sort of) right! I just went to the Apple store (online) after I saw your post and they don't have the xserv listed on any of the obvious places, but it is still listed under "Mac family" and has its own promotional pages. Either they're getting rid of it, or ignoring it like the Mac Pro, the MacBook Air (until this Fall), and the 30" cinema monitor
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Re: Why does Microsoft have a server edition of windows?

Postby PhoenixEnigma » Mon Nov 08, 2010 5:55 am UTC

No, it's dead - see the transition guide[PDF]. No future versions, no orders after Jan 31 2011.
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Re: Why does Microsoft have a server edition of windows?

Postby Thesh » Mon Nov 08, 2010 12:19 pm UTC

Pretty much any company running ASP.NET webpages or SQL Server are using WIndows Server.
Anyone running a Windows Cluster (e.g. for SQL Server, which is a very good DBMS) is using Windows Server.
Pretty much any web host that offers windows hosting is paying a monthly cost through an SPLA.
Pretty much any company running windows desktops under a domain is using windows server.

Windows Server 2008 clustering is actually very intuitive to configure. Also, in my experience they only need to be rebooted once a month after patch tuesday (although some months you don't have to), and as long as you keep them up to date or do anything stupid they shouldn't be insecure, especially if you configured your firewall correctly.
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Re: Why does Microsoft have a server edition of windows?

Postby archeleus » Mon Nov 08, 2010 12:30 pm UTC

I see. Thanks.

And yeah Apple has discontinued Xserve.
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Re: Why does Microsoft have a server edition of windows?

Postby hintss » Tue Nov 09, 2010 3:21 am UTC

IMO, xserv is for whoever is using apples clustering. I forgot what it was called.
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Re: Why does Microsoft have a server edition of windows?

Postby kmatzen » Tue Nov 09, 2010 9:02 pm UTC

hintss wrote:IMO, xserv is for whoever is using apples clustering. I forgot what it was called.


Xgrid.
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Re: Why does Microsoft have a server edition of windows?

Postby kriel » Wed Nov 10, 2010 8:42 pm UTC

Just about any company that goes with 'the industry standard' is going to end up with microsoft servers. (/desktops and cisco networking/firewalls and barracuda spam/web filters.)

Linux servers tend to give more for less. but they aren't marketed as well (at all?), and don't have the best drm capabilities. (security through obscurity, cuz the admins don't know wtf they're doing on linux, doesn't count)

If you need a dedicated email server, setting up an exchange server is most likely going to be simpler for the average guy-who-got-stuck-fixing-the-IT-crap than setting up a linux smtp/pop server. (could be mistaken.)
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Re: Why does Microsoft have a server edition of windows?

Postby cjmcjmcjmcjm » Thu Nov 11, 2010 5:55 am UTC

kriel wrote:Just about any company that goes with 'the industry standard' is going to end up with microsoft servers. (/desktops and cisco networking/firewalls and barracuda spam/web filters.)

Things I'm going to try to avoid: working for a company that used "the industry standard" instead of looking beyond that for something better
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Re: Why does Microsoft have a server edition of windows?

Postby archeleus » Thu Nov 11, 2010 6:04 am UTC

cjmcjmcjmcjm wrote:
kriel wrote:Just about any company that goes with 'the industry standard' is going to end up with microsoft servers. (/desktops and cisco networking/firewalls and barracuda spam/web filters.)

Things I'm going to try to avoid: working for a company that used "the industry standard" instead of looking beyond that for something better


Seconded.
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Re: Why does Microsoft have a server edition of windows?

Postby Thesh » Thu Nov 11, 2010 7:49 am UTC

What you use depends on what you need. Linux is good for a lot of things, but it's not always the right choice for your business. For desktop applications, most people know windows, so most offices are going to use windows as a desktop OS. This means that they are most likely going to have a windows server as the domain controller. So now, they already have a need for a windows admin.

Then there are database products. For an medium to large company, there are basically three products out there: SQL Server, and DB2, Oracle, in order of ascending cost. You have to examine the features and determine what is right for your business; from what I can tell, they are all good products (although my experience is almost exclusively in SQL Server). SQL Server is the cheapest, and it is a very good product; if you go there, you are using windows server.

What about office software? Well, if you are going windows, why not go MS Office? While working with third party vendors and consultants, many of them sent meeting invites through outlook, and this is fairly convenient. Most of the people you are going to hire are already familiar with Excel/Word/Powerpoint/Outlook anyway, if those types of tools are used in their positions. If you are going to use Outlook, you might as well combine it with Exchange and use it for things like scheduling meetings.

Now, your system administrators are all proficient in windows, they have to be to manage your Domain Controller and Exchange server. You possibly went with SQL Server for your DB as well. For other business needs, it makes sense to use windows servers. There is nothing wrong with them; they are secure if you know what you are doing, they just aren't as lightweight as Linux.

I like Linux as a desktop, because I like to play around and customize stuff. I wouldn't imagine most Linux servers are that heavily customized. They are probably mostly basic installs, plus the server software they are going to be running. So other than this ability to customize, what are you going to get from a Linux server? They are usually lighter weight, and that may be a reason to choose them.

Security? Any software has exploits, you just need to stay up to date on your patching or either one is going to be insecure. In recent years, Microsoft has really come into their own with fixing security holes, and I wouldn't feel any safer with a linux environment than I would with a windows environment. The key is to keep your software up to date and have good systems/network administrators and engineers.

The other reason to go with Linux is cost, but it isn't always cheaper, especially if you have to hire people just to manage your Linux servers.

Windows is not necessarily better than Linux, and Linux is not necessarily better than Windows. What you use depends on your needs as a business. The industry standard is often your best choice, as you can dramatically cut your training costs, and it will be easier to find good people.
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Re: Why does Microsoft have a server edition of windows?

Postby kriel » Thu Nov 11, 2010 8:24 pm UTC

If you do what you've always done everyone else does, you'll get what you've always gotten everyone else does.

Windows servers do the job well enough. If you need to do something amazing, you'll need to write something amazing to do it. Linux lends itself to this very well.
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Re: Why does Microsoft have a server edition of windows?

Postby cjmcjmcjmcjm » Fri Nov 12, 2010 6:12 am UTC

kriel wrote: If you need to do something amazing, you'll need to write something amazing to do it. Linux lends itself to this very well.

That's why all the supercomputers run Linux
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Re: Why does Microsoft have a server edition of windows?

Postby kmatzen » Fri Nov 12, 2010 2:21 pm UTC

cjmcjmcjmcjm wrote:
kriel wrote: If you need to do something amazing, you'll need to write something amazing to do it. Linux lends itself to this very well.

That's why all the supercomputers run Linux


This statement is just flawed. They run all sorts of things including Linux, Windows HPC, UNICOS, unix, bsd, etc. It just happens that some of the unix and Linux competitors started becoming popular around the same time there was a major switch-over from unix to Linux around 2004.

Although, then you also have Mac which is sort of a blip around 2005-2009. I think I saw that Stanford used Xgrid for something, but the users of Xgrid seem to be far and few between.
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Re: Why does Microsoft have a server edition of windows?

Postby hintss » Fri Nov 12, 2010 6:36 pm UTC

kmatzen wrote:
cjmcjmcjmcjm wrote:
kriel wrote: If you need to do something amazing, you'll need to write something amazing to do it. Linux lends itself to this very well.

That's why all the supercomputers run Linux


This statement is just flawed. They run all sorts of things including Linux, Windows HPC, UNICOS, unix, bsd, etc. It just happens that some of the unix and Linux competitors started becoming popular around the same time there was a major switch-over from unix to Linux around 2004.

Although, then you also have Mac which is sort of a blip around 2005-2009. I think I saw that Stanford used Xgrid for something, but the users of Xgrid seem to be far and few between.

wasn't it Virginia Tech that built a huge cluster with macs?

also, tell a friend (whose father runs a datacenter, mostly windows servers) about how low-footprint linux can be if you do a very minimal install (it was going on a REALLY old server). The reaction is always awesome. :D
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Re: Why does Microsoft have a server edition of windows?

Postby Sc4Freak » Fri Nov 12, 2010 9:51 pm UTC

archeleus wrote:Since most (if not all) servers are running nix based operating systems


The statistics vary, but somewhere around 20-25% of all webservers on the internet are running IIS (and therefore, Windows). Unsurprisingly Windows is used more often in enterprise and big business - of the Fortune 1000 companies, 55% use IIS and 23% use Apache to serve their webpages.

After all it is expensive, needs to be rebooted often and way less secure than any nix distribution.


Google did an analysis a while back. Of 70,000 compromised webservers, 49% of them ran Apache, and 49% ran IIS. Although rather oddly, China and South Korea had a disproportionately vast percentage of compromised IIS installations - Google hypothesizes that Windows is more likely to be pirated in these countries, and you can't install updates if you're running a pirated copy.

Outside of China and South Korea, the relative % of compromised IIS machines is less than the relative % of compromised Apache machines - apparently Russia and Germany are either really good at securing IIS or really bad at securing Apache. In any case, *nix being "more secure" is a myth - as long as you keep your software up-to-date.
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Re: Why does Microsoft have a server edition of windows?

Postby Alexander The 1st » Sun Nov 14, 2010 4:42 am UTC

I have a small question about that Fortune 1000 graph - why are they including Netscape on there if it's smaller than the overall "other" category? Which leads to another question; people are still using Netscape? That's up there with Sony discontinuing the tape deck walkman; they were still making those?

The google analysis does it again with ngix - are they just the largest part of the "other" category that they deserver to be on there?

On topic: As for why people use Windows Severs, it's probably a perception thing - if there's a defect in either the OS or the Server side of things, they know there's one company that will ensure both are as functional as possible. It can be solved in one update, and every OS/Server out there will get the standard update, without worrying about the hardware leaving them out to the vunerability that was patched in the update.

At least, that's what WP7 seems to be trying to do as well - differing phones without differing the software they're on - when a bug is fixed, all of them are fixed at the same time.
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Re: Why does Microsoft have a server edition of windows?

Postby Emu* » Tue Nov 16, 2010 4:04 pm UTC

There are laws which require financial institutions in the UK to use supported software. Getting support for open-source software can be a real ballache.

Also, be careful where you get your statistics from as many webapp servers sit behind proxies or separate HTTP servers, and backend servers may be running various mainframe-specific operating systems. It is unlikely the owners of these servers will tell you what they run and how many as this is commercially sensitive information.
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Re: Why does Microsoft have a server edition of windows?

Postby archeleus » Wed Nov 17, 2010 3:43 am UTC

someone wrote:Google did an analysis a while back.


Of all web servers Apache is at 66% while IIS is only 23%.

As for the compromised servers, obviously IIS will have a larger amount. If you look at the comments on the blog, one guy mentioned when they found out that IIS 5.0 had a hole, the fix by Microsoft was to update to 6.0.

So yeah I guess the update working on all the machines is one of the reasons.
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Re: Why does Microsoft have a server edition of windows?

Postby Sc4Freak » Wed Nov 17, 2010 10:55 am UTC

Perhaps the most obvious thing to note is that the Server and Tools division of Microsoft is a multi-billion dollar business. Q1 FY11 saw Server and Tools division with a $3.9bn revenue and $1.6bn profit. Which I suppose adequately answers why Microsoft has a server edition of Windows.
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Re: Why does Microsoft have a server edition of windows?

Postby Thesh » Wed Nov 17, 2010 12:19 pm UTC

archeleus wrote:As for the compromised servers, obviously IIS will have a larger amount. If you look at the comments on the blog, one guy mentioned when they found out that IIS 5.0 had a hole, the fix by Microsoft was to update to 6.0.


What security hole was that? Forgive me if I don't take a comment on a blog with no references as accurate information. Also, why will IIS obviously have a larger amount of servers compromised?

http://www.securityfocus.com/bid
According to this website, IIS 6.0 has had 17 vulnerabilities discovered and Apache 2.0 has had 30 vulnerabilities discovered. Either one of these when left unpatched will be vulnerable to attack.
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Re: Why does Microsoft have a server edition of windows?

Postby brandtsound » Wed Nov 17, 2010 8:06 pm UTC

Many universities use Windows servers for Active Directory. It is actually a rather neat program for accounts- Apple has its own implimentation of it through the XServe/ OSX Server (for those who asked); At my university we use an XServe for User Accounts and as a print server for 3 printers in our Mass Communications classes- which are all-mac labs (thus, apple server makes sense); That said, Active Directory in Windows seems to work just as well, if not better than the Directory management in Apple.

Windows Server- back when I used it (in the Windows 2000 days) was actually surprisingly fast and easy to set up- as long as you knew what you were doing- I didn't have any issues with it needing to be restarted frequently. That said, at one of my previous jobs, we were running a Windows 2000 server on a different configuration and we just worked in a restart-rotation of every 5-8 hours. So- regardless of the OS, I think it really is more of a configuation issue.
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Re: Why does Microsoft have a server edition of windows?

Postby hintss » Fri Nov 19, 2010 4:29 am UTC

I have a friend whose dad works in a datacenter, all windows servers, anyway, the kid, he had a windows server that had a 3 month uptime, running a bajillion VMs
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Re: Why does Microsoft have a server edition of windows?

Postby cjmcjmcjmcjm » Fri Nov 19, 2010 6:35 am UTC

brandtsound wrote:Many universities use Windows servers for Active Directory. It is actually a rather neat program for accounts- Apple has its own implimentation of it through the XServe/ OSX Server (for those who asked); At my university we use an XServe for User Accounts and as a print server for 3 printers in our Mass Communications classes- which are all-mac labs (thus, apple server makes sense); That said, Active Directory in Windows seems to work just as well, if not better than the Directory management in Apple.

Windows Server- back when I used it (in the Windows 2000 days) was actually surprisingly fast and easy to set up- as long as you knew what you were doing- I didn't have any issues with it needing to be restarted frequently. That said, at one of my previous jobs, we were running a Windows 2000 server on a different configuration and we just worked in a restart-rotation of every 5-8 hours. So- regardless of the OS, I think it really is more of a configuation issue.

Active directory… that's what lets you type the first couple characters of someone's name and have a list of suggested uni e-mails for people matching your query, right?
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Re: Why does Microsoft have a server edition of windows?

Postby Sc4Freak » Fri Nov 19, 2010 11:15 am UTC

brandtsound wrote:Many universities use Windows servers for Active Directory.

Practically every corporation, enterprise, and large organisation does.

Active directory… that's what lets you type the first couple characters of someone's name and have a list of suggested uni e-mails for people matching your query, right?


Uh, no, not really. Active Directory is a really big suite of services for managing large networks of computers (think up to hundreds of thousands of users). You've most likely used AD before if you've ever logged onto a computer at school, uni, or if you work for a large company or organisation. The way it's usually set up is with Active Directory + Roaming profiles. Normally, on a desktop PC, all your user info is stored locally: your documents, program settings, and other user-specific settings are stored locally on one computer and you can only access that data by logging into that one computer. Roaming profiles move all that info onto a remote server, allowing you to log in to any computer connected to the network and have all your data on-hand. It's called a "roaming profile" because your user account isn't fixed to a single computer - it can be accessed from anywhere within the domain.

For example, your university would run one or several Active Directory servers (or "domain controllers") on campus which store things like user account info and user data. You can go to any Windows computer in any of the labs at the university, log in, and Windows will copy your user settings off the AD server onto the computer you're logging in to. Once it finishes, you have all your user data on-hand and when you log out, it's copied back to the server. So in effect all your data, login details, and profile information is stored centrally on the Windows Active Directory server, and no matter where you log in, you'll get your files, your desktop, your settings, and your data ready to go.

There are a lot more things you can do with AD than just roaming profiles, but that's one of the big ones. Things like Exchange need Active Directory to run as well.
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Re: Why does Microsoft have a server edition of windows?

Postby hintss » Sat Nov 20, 2010 4:03 am UTC

cjmcjmcjmcjm wrote:
hintss wrote:Windows server that had a 3 month uptime

Pics or it didn't happen

good point. now that I'm thinking about it, he was taking classes on administrating debian...
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Re: Why does Microsoft have a server edition of windows?

Postby webgiant » Sat Nov 20, 2010 3:39 pm UTC

kmatzen wrote:
[Windows Server]
I don't think it needs to be rebooted often if configured properly. A lot of servers do run this and if they needed to be rebooted that often, then I don't think server farms would stick with them. There is lockin, but if a company is losing so much money from downtime, then they would probably migrate.

Why can't Microsoft port this "does not need frequent rebooting" property to it's regular Windows OS? Are they idiots or do they just hate the non-business users?

Thesh wrote:http://www.securityfocus.com/bid
According to this website, IIS 6.0 has had 17 vulnerabilities discovered and Apache 2.0 has had 30 vulnerabilities discovered. Either one of these when left unpatched will be vulnerable to attack.

Since Apache is merely OSS and not *nix-specific:

These types of comparisons between EULA NDF closed source applications and OSS applications really are apples and oranges.

Applications which are huge and do a lot will always have vulnerabilities. The OSS applications will always have more known vulnerabilities, because all you have to do to find a vulnerability is read the source code. The EULA NDF closed source applications will always have less known vulnerabilities, because there is no easy way for non-company people to find the inevitable vulnerabilities other than brute-force-type attacks on the EULA NDF closed-source application. You will never know all of the EULA NDF closed source application's vulnerabilities.

The difference doesn't end there. The OSS patch for any given vulnerability generally takes a matter of days to a month. The EULA NDF closed source patch for any given vulnerability takes months to years, typically ending up in a scheduled service patch instead of a more timely update. And the added bonus to the OSS application is the vulnerabilities can be patched in-house, without needing to arrange a meeting between the lawyers to iron out which programmers have signed the NDF and can work on the EULA NDF closed source application source code. If your best programmer doesn't believe in signing NDFs, well then you're stuck with your mediocre programmers or waiting for the service patch next year.

So cut the "because we can't see all of the vulnerabilities in IIS, IIS must have less vulnerabilities than Apache" crap, because the comparison really is nonsense.
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Re: Why does Microsoft have a server edition of windows?

Postby Thesh » Sat Nov 20, 2010 4:17 pm UTC

webgiant wrote:Why can't Microsoft port this "does not need frequent rebooting" property to it's regular Windows OS? Are they idiots or do they just hate the non-business users?


I reboot my windows xp machine once a month after patch tuesday, and I don't have any problems. Why do you think windows needs frequent rebooting?

webgiant wrote:Applications which are huge and do a lot will always have vulnerabilities. The OSS applications will always have more known vulnerabilities, because all you have to do to find a vulnerability is read the source code. The EULA NDF closed source applications will always have less known vulnerabilities, because there is no easy way for non-company people to find the inevitable vulnerabilities other than brute-force-type attacks on the EULA NDF closed-source application. You will never know all of the EULA NDF closed source application's vulnerabilities.


That still doesn't mean that IIS is less secure than apache, which was what the previous poster was suggesting. Just because microsoft makes something, doesn't mean it is insecure.

Most exploits happen against unpatched servers; zero day exploits are not nearly as common. The fact that apache has more known exploits means that there are more ways to attack unpatched apache than unpatched IIS servers. Does this make one more secure than the other? Well, not really, exploitable is exploitable no matter how you look at it.

This is why you need to keep your servers up to date and close off unnecessary ports to the public.
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Re: Why does Microsoft have a server edition of windows?

Postby webgiant » Sat Nov 20, 2010 4:32 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:
webgiant wrote:Applications which are huge and do a lot will always have vulnerabilities. The OSS applications will always have more known vulnerabilities, because all you have to do to find a vulnerability is read the source code. The EULA NDF closed source applications will always have less known vulnerabilities, because there is no easy way for non-company people to find the inevitable vulnerabilities other than brute-force-type attacks on the EULA NDF closed-source application. You will never know all of the EULA NDF closed source application's vulnerabilities.


That still doesn't mean that IIS is less secure than apache, which was what the previous poster was suggesting. Just because microsoft makes something, doesn't mean it is insecure.

My point is not that what Microsoft makes is necessarily less secure. My point is that their proprietary closed-source way of doing things means you will never know just how insecure they are, which makes it impossible to make any realistic claim about their relative security. Which in turn makes it impossible to declare that they are more secure than an OSS application, which, by virtue of it's open source process, can make very realistic claims about it's own security.

At best all Microsoft can say is "well it hasn't blown up and taken all your data down yet", which seems to me to be less than reassuring coming from a monopoly.

It's like the problem with religious claims: they are unfalsifiable and no one will know for sure until they "sign the final NDF", so there's no way to make a realistic claim about their validity.
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Re: Why does Microsoft have a server edition of windows?

Postby kmatzen » Sat Nov 20, 2010 8:17 pm UTC

webgiant wrote:
kmatzen wrote:
[Windows Server]
I don't think it needs to be rebooted often if configured properly. A lot of servers do run this and if they needed to be rebooted that often, then I don't think server farms would stick with them. There is lockin, but if a company is losing so much money from downtime, then they would probably migrate.

Why can't Microsoft port this "does not need frequent rebooting" property to it's regular Windows OS? Are they idiots or do they just hate the non-business users?


My Windows desktop downtime, for the most part, as been due to buggy drivers or applications produced by 3rd party vendors. I pretty rarely have to boot my Windows 7 desktop. When I do, it's usually after I install some driver for new hardware or if I installed some utility that didn't know how to play nice with the registry. If you have a production-grade server, then you probably will be more careful with what you install by first performing a test deployment. Plus, the hardware you use with a large deployment will probably be verified for compatibility and stability before you order 1000s of units for your data center.
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Re: Why does Microsoft have a server edition of windows?

Postby hintss » Mon Nov 22, 2010 6:03 am UTC

kmatzen wrote:
webgiant wrote:
kmatzen wrote:
[Windows Server]
I don't think it needs to be rebooted often if configured properly. A lot of servers do run this and if they needed to be rebooted that often, then I don't think server farms would stick with them. There is lockin, but if a company is losing so much money from downtime, then they would probably migrate.

Why can't Microsoft port this "does not need frequent rebooting" property to it's regular Windows OS? Are they idiots or do they just hate the non-business users?


My Windows desktop downtime, for the most part, as been due to buggy drivers or applications produced by 3rd party vendors. I pretty rarely have to boot my Windows 7 desktop. When I do, it's usually after I install some driver for new hardware or if I installed some utility that didn't know how to play nice with the registry. If you have a production-grade server, then you probably will be more careful with what you install by first performing a test deployment. Plus, the hardware you use with a large deployment will probably be verified for compatibility and stability before you order 1000s of units for your data center.

so...you don't use windows...

anyway, windows should get a package manager made by microsoft. should get rid of the bajilllion updaters slowing windows down...
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Re: Why does Microsoft have a server edition of windows?

Postby Thesh » Mon Nov 22, 2010 6:30 am UTC

When I was working with windows servers, all the software we used had updates managed by a central server. It was pretty much SQL Server, IIS, and an antivirus. SQL Server and IIS were done through windows updates and managed centrally, and the antivirus had its own management server that pushed updates. The only other thing we had installed was a third party backup utility for SQL Server, and that we updated manually. Very rarely we had to update drivers, which had to be manually installed on each server.

So I think servers are pretty good with not getting slowed down by updates. For my home machine, I would love to be able to go to a central place and check for updates once a week.
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Re: Why does Microsoft have a server edition of windows?

Postby Mr. Burke » Mon Nov 22, 2010 5:37 pm UTC

hintss wrote:anyway, windows should get a package manager made by microsoft. should get rid of the bajilllion updaters slowing windows down...
There's this big problem of getting other companies to cooperate. All those drivers Windows ships with? A real hassle to get together. And for normal software, there isn't much incentive for MS to hunt them all down, what with teh interwebs and all. People can just type “office suit” into their favorite search engine if they need one.
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Re: Why does Microsoft have a server edition of windows?

Postby Thesh » Mon Nov 22, 2010 5:55 pm UTC

Well, it doesn't need to be a package manager like linux. An update manager with an API for applications to add themselves to would allow microsoft to ship it, but not maintain it. That way you can schedule all your updates to check at certain intervals so they all happen sequentially at a time of your choosing (e.g. wednesday morning at 2AM).
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