Run, Linux, Run: Getting Top Performance from Open Source Applications

Published May 21st, 2014 by Michael Farin

Open source, open secret. Well, it’s really no secret that LAMP-based, open source web applications run best on a Linux platform. But did you know the whole story?

Open source software: The backstory

The idea of open source software has been around for a long time: the concept originated in the 80s and became more widespread throughout the 90s. However, over the past few years, open-source usage has exploded. Today, designers and developers are jumping at the opportunity to share concepts and create innovation in a free, collaborative environment.

Open-source applications like Joomla, WordPress and Drupal allow users to design and create custom, high-performance sites for all types and sizes of businesses. Check out the Duke University and Best Buy sites – they use Drupal. Well-known Wordpress sites include eBay and The Wall Street Journal. And Harvard and are two popular sites built on a Joomla platform.

Open source software: The environment

Most open-source web applications use a LAMP environment – a server software bundle containing mostly open source software. The acronym stands for the following:

L: Linux, the most popular OS for open source software. (Managed Linux hosting provides the best performance and stability for most open source applications.)

A: Apache HTTP web server, one of the most popular software versions worldwide.

M: Database management system, usually MySQL.

P: One of several scripting languages (Python and/or PHP).

Linux hosting and open source applications

Linux hosting offers a whole host of benefits for companies using open source software – starting with responsiveness, flexibility and security.

Typically, a good Linux hosting company will provide dedicated or shared performance server space that includes complete support for the Linux OS, as well as all of the open source applications running on the platform.

The client (open-source software user) can be confident that the hosting provider offers a stable infrastructure and a framework for long-term growth.

A premier Linux hosting company should also offer superior support – preferably 24/7. When you launch a site using open source software, you should keep in mind that free sometimes means “free.” The time and effort you spend maintaining an open-source platform yourself can often accelerate too much, too quickly – and investing in professional, fully-managed hosting may be one of the better business decisions you’ll make.

Your hosting company should offer complete IT support and service, including constant security checks and frequent backups. (Not trying to toot our own horn, but backs up all client sites 4x a day, and maintains 24.7 on-call support.)

Whatever Linux hosting you choose, make sure you’ve picked a qualified, fully-managed provider. Open source platforms work best when they’re paired with professional, dedicated IT service.

And that’s no secret.

To learn more about Linux vs. Windows, read our article here.

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