View Full Version : Looking at switching

03-20-2006, 06:13 PM
I have been contemplating submitting to microsoft imperialism for a little while now, and if I did I would go with TCadmin, however there are some things I would like to know before I move all my linux servers over.

The things I like about windows that linux can't offer is that every game somes with a windows DS binary, whereas the linux binaries are becoming fewer and fewer. Also the linux support is going down the drain, such as the CSS map switch bug in linux which steam doesn't find urgent to fix.

This is what concerns me about windows.

1. Stability: I have run linux servers which have never glitched and havn't been rebooted in months. How to windows servers stack up to this? Are they going to get sluggish every 3 days and require a reboot? How frequently do they glitch and crash.

2. Security: Everyone's heard of Window's major security holes, and I would like to know how much is fact and how much is myth.

3. Performance: Most people say that you can fit more slots on a linux machine then windows. About what % loss in efficiency am I looking at losing if I switch to windows (will I only be able to host 6 on a machine instead of 10)?

03-20-2006, 06:33 PM
I will answer your questions based on our experience with the windows product.

1. Windows 2003 Server is completely reliable. The old days of NT server blue screens of death are gone.

Our windows servers run months on end with any issues. As for games, this is all dependant on which games, and what mods, plugins etc.. your client installs to them. If they load a poorly coded mod or map, the server will crash regardless of whether it' on linux or windows.

Personally I don't see crashes being more common or less common on windows compared to linux.

2. I can point out security flaws in both Windows and linux. however, Microsoft seems to be a bit more on the ball about patching them. Overall, I see no difference in risk factor between the 2, unless you are running programs that are a high risk such as FTP prgrams, IRC bots etc... MSN Messenger etc...

keep your server clean and to the point, and you should not have any issues.

3. A very broad question, and I am not sure if I could answer it unless you had som data, such as gametype, mods etc.. to provide. Windows by default takes a tad bit more memory to run than the linux OS, since it is a GUI. As far as games, I haven't come across any windows games that take a substantial amount more memory to run vs. linux.

As for game support, if you do come to the dark side of windows, it opens many doors to games that have little or no linux support.

Hope this helps with your decision. And feel free to post any other questions you may have.

03-20-2006, 06:41 PM
thanks for the answers; they really help. sorry about that on #3, it was really broad. I was thinking more along the lines of CPU usage than memory. I like to balance servers so that they run around 75% CPU capacity on peak times such as nights and weekends. How many servers would I have to take off a machine when moving from linux to windows to maintain this balance?

03-20-2006, 07:30 PM
Again it would depend on the game + mods+plugins etc... and the server specs you are currently running.

You should not see any huge difference from what I have seen.

03-26-2006, 05:15 PM
one more question I have about security: would you say Windows is secure "out of the box" in a manner of speaking, or does it require some configuration.

03-26-2006, 05:33 PM
It is just as secure as any other OS. There are things which you may want to do in order to secure it further, such as a firewall etc...

First thing you allways do when you get a new windows box, is make sure you run windows update, to mkae sure that and security patches get installed.

It also depends on what you run on the server. If you run third party programs such as IRC, MSN Messenger, file downloaders etc... You open it up to security risks. Strictly running game servers, you should have no problems.

Also rememeber to use strong passwords for all accounts.

03-27-2006, 04:01 PM
I would also turn off File and print sharing and Microsoft Client on your internet facing interface. You dont really need them, and they just open up ports you wont use.

05-11-2006, 07:01 PM
Running ( this is from another person, i dont agree with it )

Based on a HL2 Engine game ( CS:Source, DOD:Source, HL2:MP )

Based on P4 3.0Ghz ( model 630 so 64 bit, HT Enabled ) and 1GB ram

40 slots at 66 tick rate

you could probs punch another 20 and still run fine, but its all as to the set up of the server

Win2K3 is an absolute must, XP Pro jus doesnt quite make it

I prefer windows full stop, a hell of a lot easier to fix, work with and remotely manage, for lazy and pro

best thing to do is trial and error, watch it as you install new servers across, if it starts to averge about 20-30% bacground, its gettin kinda full ( -5-10% if dual processors ) also run them on one core, not both, sum dedi servers dont like dual cores still on windows

05-12-2006, 07:40 PM
As far as security, that relies heavy on the system administrator. Not just the OS choice.

As a Linux fanatic I do have to say that with 2003 microsoft has finally a good server OS (although I still prefer linux).

The main drawback of windows is the extra load for having a graphical GUI (as apposed to ssh/shell in Linux) and the need to reboot on (some) patches.

(our policy is to never reboot a linux server unless there are sever problems that cannot be resolved any other way :smile: )

05-12-2006, 07:41 PM
but a reboot at 4am doesnt hurt anyone

07-27-2006, 01:06 PM
EXCEPT FOR THOSE PEOPLE PLAYING AT 4AM! (like me, my friends and theirs)!!!

Downtime = downtime, no 99.999% SLA for you if you reboot all the time, I like 99.999% server uptime.

07-27-2006, 01:55 PM
Anyone that has experience with administrating windows servers, you would know that you do NOT need to reboot the box after every update.

With a little searching you can find out what the updates contain, and simply restart those windows services effected by the update, therfore applying the patches.