Amazon very recently introduced the Windows VPS option on its Lightsail service. Long time coming, this new development finally allows users to get access to connected Windows machines online.
Which they have the option for using to host websites, or run programs and services on these highly robust virtual private servers from AWS. We’ll be reviewing what benefits and advantages going the Windows route provides, over Linux based operating systems.
Be sure you have an idea of what the Lightsail service is all about first and foremost, and are also clear on the concept of what is a VPS, and the two flavors that are available on this Amazon cloud platform.
When making a choice between Linux and Windows on Lightsail, you should be crystal clear on your requirements before you move ahead with your projects. While there is a lot of overlap in what you can do on these two operating platforms, there are distinct differences as well.
For example, it is possible to use a solution like Plesk to manage both your Windows and Linux VPS, cPanel is only compatible with virtual private servers running Linux. The two OS also offer distinct performance advantages — and this is something that will have a say in the resources you provision for your Lightsail virtual private server, ultimately adding to the cost.
Even if you are using a Windows VPS to host your websites, these servers tend to demand robust arrangements to keep your websites moving along smoothly and reliably. You will have to ensure significant among of RAM, hard drive space and bandwidth specifications. This additional processing power is required for the large operating system footprint, user interface and security features on Windows.
And speaking of security, a Linux environment is usually more secure, for the simple fact that cybercriminals primarily target Windows operating systems for exploits. Although Microsoft has truly amped up security of its OS, the company continues to release patches on a monthly basis for its Windows Server operating system — patches and security updates that you, ultimately, will have to deploy on your VPS regularly to stay on the safe side.
Ultimately, going with a Windows VPS hosting or virtual setups that use the Windows interface and Windows Server management tools is necessary in certain cases. If your company relies on Microsoft software and services like Hyper-V ad MS SQL for its daily operations, then a Windows based VPS is probably a smart choice for your cloud presence and growth.
Another advantage you get is that you stay within that familiar and streamline UI that Microsoft has worked to perfect across its products — similar icons, tabs, and windows arrangements, mean you can move in and out from your desktop operating system to the VPS with ease.
A remote desktop connection is one of the marquee features of Windows Server that allow you to take control of a remote computer, in this case your Amazon Lightsail VPS, over a network connection. The feature is available on Windows computers, and apps are available for multiple platforms including iOS, Android and macOS that allow you to beam into your virtual server using the special RDP protocol that Microsoft developed for its terminal service.
Of course, this opens a world of potentials for you if you want to run your apps on the cloud — not just traditional desktop software programs, but also Windows applications that are available on the Windows Store, web solutions like WordPress and Joomla, even container solutions like Docker that have been specifically built for Windows Server 2016.
The possibilities are endless, as long as you have the resources to back your workloads.
A Windows VPS on Lightsail may be more expensive, incur licensing costs, require more hardware, but if you can find your way around them, then taking the Windows road provides you with access to features and promises that are unmatched.