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Microsoft Cheaper For Web Serving? 135

Posted by Cliff
from the some-seriously-wacked-numbers-goin'-round dept.
Tinman_au asks: "Bink.nu has an article titled "Leading Belgian Hosting Provider Realizes Lower TCO on Windows than Linux" that asks the following: 'Many total cost of ownership (TCO) studies have reaffirmed that TCO of a large enterprise infrastructure based on Microsoft Windows Server 2003 is lower than one based on Linux. But what about TCO in a Web hosting environment?' In the table of figures, the cost area breakout lists labour for Fedora at 77.88% with Windows .NET with SQL Server 2005 as only 53.15%. Admittedly, the report was done by Microsoft itself, so I guess it couldn't exactly be considered impartial, but not being a web admin I found myself wondering, is Windows really that much easier to look after in a web server environment, or has Microsoft fudged some numbers?"
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Microsoft Cheaper For Web Serving?

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  • Link to Report (Score:2, Informative)

    by achillean (1031500) on Friday November 24, 2006 @09:27AM (#16973466) Homepage
    Here's the direct link to the cost analysis report: TCO Report [microsoft.com]
  • Re:No (Score:4, Informative)

    by alexhs (877055) on Friday November 24, 2006 @10:37AM (#16974118) Homepage Journal
    If you look at all the numbers Linux is lower on everything except Labor.
    You're not the first to fall for these meaningless values, but you're the highest moderated.

    Percentages are meaningless if you don't take total cost in account.

    Multiplying percentages by the given TCO you get (in eurocents per site/server/month):

    (.Net 2000, .Net 2005, Linux)

    Hardware 5.49 2.75 2.77
    Network infrastructure 5.06 2.53 2.41
    Operations and Network Mgt. 17.48 8.76 8.40
    Power 1.69 0.84 0.85
    Bandwidth 43.39 21.19 36.34
    System software 12.90 6.45 3.31
    Application software 50.02 28.64 22.75
    Back office software 44.22 22.09 22.10
    Labor 211.76 105.77 348.12
    Downtime charges 0.00 0.00 0.00

    But when you look at percentages, those for SQL 2000 and 2005 are quite similar. It means that one real server under SQL2005 hosts twice as much virtual servers as SQL2000.

    I will let to others in-depth critics about the methodology.
    Just that quote from the full report [microsoft.com] (emphasis mine):
    "Hostbasket experiences a lower TCO on Windows than Linux because our support cost for Windows is lower and because our developers and system engineers have better knowledge of Windows than Linux," notes Hostbasket Chief Operating Officer Alex Van Overloop.
  • by Respawner (607254) on Friday November 24, 2006 @11:02AM (#16974394)
    The company in question according to the article is hostingbasket, so lets check it out: Linux [hostbasket.com] and Windows [hostbasket.com].
    Their "basic" packet starts at 8 euro / month for linux hosting and 10 euro/month for windows hosting
    Now, how about hostingbasket and microsoft ? well, I'm going to be honest, I don't know much about how msn works but this company has its own subdomain on msn http://hostbasket.msn.be/ [hostbasket.msn.be] , so this study looks a bit odd to me
  • by petard (117521) * on Friday November 24, 2006 @11:45AM (#16974790) Homepage
    Then hosting companies are behaving irrationally, including the one that is the subject of the study. If it costs less to operate a Windows platform than a Linux platform, then the hosting companies would rather have their customers use Windows platforms. This would lead them to price the Windows packages lower than the Linux packages; after all, if windows were cheaper, they could do that and still be more profitable.

    Hostbasket, the subject of this study, is not doing that:
    Their basic Linux package is 8 Euros/month [hostbasket.com] and their basic Windows package is 10 Euros/month [hostbasket.com]. So if the results of the study were true, this pricing scheme would be quite irrational.

    Looking at other hosts, this seems to hold up. interhost [interhost.co.uk] wants 19 GBP/month for Linux versus 25 GBP/month for Windows. Over at New York Internet [nyi.net] accepting all the defaults for their BSD plan nets a quote of about $42/month; a similar Windows-based plan is $64/month. And over at hosting.com [hosting.com] their managed hosting plans for Windows servers start at $230/month while the same plans for Linux start at $195/month. I was able to find, over at 1and1, shared Linux hosting and shared Windows hosting that cost the same.

    I was not able to find any provider that offered cheaper Windows hosting than Linux hosting.

    So, assuming that everyone behaves rationally, if the numbers in this study were accurate at all, the hosting provider that is the subject of the study would offer cheaper Windows hosting than Linux hosting. They don't. If the numbers in this study were generally applicable, you'd find that most hosting providers who offer both would offer cheaper Windows hosting than *Nix hosting. They don't. I can only conclude that the study is bogus in some way and shouldn't be trusted, since it fails to predict rational behavior in a very open marketplace (i.e. one with very low barriers to entry). Businesses are very good at thinking with their wallets, and if this study were true then there's a huge money making opportunity that everyone is letting go.

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