Some of the country’s leading web-hosting providers now claim that it is cheaper to offer services based on Windows than on Open Source software and have passed on cost savings to customers as a result.
In some cases the hosting firms have begun to offer Windows-based hosting services for 10pc less than the equivalent service on Linux.
They say the price difference between has come about through a new licence agreement from Microsoft in addition to claimed lower costs of running and managing Windows-based servers.
Dublin-based Novara is offering a 10pc discount on Windows hosting services versus Linux options for the foreseeable future. According to managing director Eoin Costello: “Over the years we have had many internal debates on the best server platform for hosting our customers’ services on; invariably each person argued vehemently for their favourite based on personal preferences. With our move to Windows Server as our main hosting platform we have reduced our hosting operation’s complexity and can run our business more efficiently.”
Hosting365 is also offering up to a 5pc discount on Windows hosting services versus Linux alternatives. Ed Byrne, marketing director with Hosting365, noted that one of the company’s largest customers recently switched its website to Windows 2003 from a collection of Open Source alternatives.
“They have managed to reduce their number of servers by half, while doubling the efficiency of the servers. They are also reporting increased reliability with the new set-up. With those kinds of results we are expecting many more of our customers to start using Windows as their web platform of choice.”
Carlow-based Blacknight is offering more than 10pc discounts. Managing director Michele Neylon said that the number of web developers using ASP.NET has risen significantly over the past year. “Now, with the release of ASP.NET 2.0 and SQL Server 2005, we expect to see even more.”
All three hosting firms have signed up to Microsoft’s new Service Provider License Agreement Service. Under the terms of this deal service providers are offered the most current versions of Microsoft products at a stable monthly price.
Sean Foley, group manager for developer and platform with Microsoft Ireland, said: “We’ve worked very hard to make the management and administration of our products as easy and straightforward as possible which in turn reduces the total cost of ownership.”
By Gordon Smith