Server is a computer that provides a number of services over a network of computers, through a request-response schedule. Servers are used via networks by several people concurrently. They have an enormous hardware capacity in terms of hard disks to store users’ data. Large memory capacity to allocate several user processes and high redundancy allow them to fulfil the tasks of fault-tolerant and high-speed processors. Workstations principally are single user systems, with limited processing and hardware capacities. The undeniable importance of a workstation is the cost-effective way. It allows its users to better utilize the functions of their desktops. The corporate world can never dare dream of a world without workstations. They are designed to be efficient and effective, fast and reliable. They are supposed to be easy to manage, easy to run, thus, the type of operating system chosen really matters. When choosing an operating system for the server or workstation, one will need to think about a number of issues ranging from the cost of hardware, software licensing, support and reliability. However, this choice will be informed depending on the business imperatives. The following considerations are critical for a proper choice to be made.
It is assumed that Mac computers cost more than other models of PCs, and that is true within certain restrictions. For instance, when an individual buys a Mac for home use, the price variation will be significant compared to the cost of other PCs. The operation periods of Mac PCs can last 1-2 years longer than equivalent PCs. Thus the operation period is higher and operation cost is lower compared to other models of PCs.
Licensing fees appear to be a significant disadvantage of Windows OSs as they are based on the number of users. Windows licenses for both servers and workstations have a market price of around one hundred USD per user. Unlike Microsoft, Mac servers allow unrestricted number of users on a single license and come for free with servers. This is a paramount consideration to take especially when one is starting a business. Windows workstations can be connected to Mac servers, and that can significantly cut cost of ownership. This also reduces licensing and management costs. UNIX and Linux are open shareware and, thus, licenses are free, as with most of the application software. If to mention security, more than three hundred fifty thousand kinds of Windows malware were identified in the year two thousand and seven. Thus, for Windows operating systems, the security threat is exceptionally high and that is why they are extraordinarily expensive to run and maintain.
Macs had a limited number of attacks, with a grand total of 5 threats discovered in the year two thousand and eight, which is an extremely low figure compared to Windows. Linux and UNIX also had negligible threats. Security issues extremely increase the total cost of operation in support cost and unseen cost of productivity.
Less efficiency contributes to more than a half total cost of owning a computer system. Windows system are easy to support and manage due to the user-friendly icons and readily available information on the Internet. The usability gap between Macs and other PC models has significantly reduced, thus, increasing the market niche of Macs merchandise.
In conclusion, the above facts are among the issues to be considered when intending to migrate from one operating system to another. The total cost of ownership must be analyzed and compared between all the relevant operating systems. The research proves that Windows operating system seems to have a higher total cost of ownership compared to the other operating systems. However, when comparing the total cost of ownership between Windows, Linux and UNIX operating systems, the gap in the prices has reduced. Linux has become more conventional and companies have started charging for packaging, consulting and support. Consequently, Windows installations have become easier and cheaper. However, the overwhelming dominance of Windows makes well-known migration to other operating system environment extremely unlikely. Windows platform has more software, increased expertise and higher conventional comfort level. Exorbitant cost of matching Windows products, particularly Microsoft Office and other custom applications, is the greatest obstacle for the change. Indeed, there are many factors to be considered, but it is essential that one observes the market trends in relation to operating systems that are commonly used in servers and workstations. Before any decision is made, one should take a close look at the operating systems popular in the market, and how they work. However, the choice of the operating system to be employed in the server or workstation will depend hugely on the nature of the business.
In assessing the market trends, one looks at the leading players in server management and workstation performance. As much as Windows operating system is popular, it may not be the best operating system when it comes to server performance. However, this does not mean that either the Mac OS X is the best for that purpose or the UNIX and Linux operating system. It is noteworthy, however, to look at the strengths and limitation of each of these three operating systems and pick whichever that satisfies the business requirements one intends to conduct.
One should always consider the possibility of using more than one operating system. The combination of two or more operating systems could prove rather favorable for the business. Two operating systems can be used to manage a server and others can be combined in the workstation area. In assessing the market trends, we shall find out in which spheres certain operating systems are utilized (Richard, 1992).