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Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) vs Windows Server comparison

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Featured Review
Find out what your peers are saying about Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) vs. Windows Server and other solutions. Updated: January 2022.
564,729 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Quotes From Members
We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use.
Here are some excerpts of what they said:
Pros
"The solution has features that simplify adoption for non-Linux users. There is an interface that you can activate on RHEL systems, and on other Linux systems as well, so that you will get a graphical user interface instead of just a shell. It's easier for an administrator who is used to only working on Windows.""The most valuable features are the specification and technical guides, they are most important the security.""The feature that I like the most is that we can integrate it easily with our existing infrastructure. We found that it is much easier to deploy RHEL in our environment compared to a competing distribution like Ubuntu.""Its scalability and ease of setup and configuration are most valuable. When we have a hardware failure, we just save the configuration files, and in about half an hour, we have another server running with the same configuration. It is really easy to replace servers. This is the best feature.""We find the Red Hat Satellite deployments very useful. It integrates well with other solutions.""I like the fact that most of the system configuration is Namespace so it's easy to get to and easy to configure, and most of it still uses text documents. Not all of it's a menu-driven-type entry. I also like the fact that it's a very standard file system layout so it's easy to navigate.""The integrated solution approach reduces our TCO tremendously because we are able to focus on innovation instead of operations.""It is a well-established operating system. We have tried to implement almost every feature of a version in our environment, and it has been very reliable. We are not facing many production issues on a day-to-day basis. They have well-documented articles on their documentation site and a knowledge base on their website. When we need to implement anything, we are able to find information about the best practices and the solution."

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"The features that I have found most valuable are its ease of use and the compatibility with most other products.""Windows Server is stable.""The deployment can be done with rapidity and much ease.""Within 10 or 15 minutes, you can build a single Windows Server and put it on production.""I would say Microsoft operating systems are more stable correctly than they were before, they have made some improvements over the years.""Overall the solution has been functioning very well for us.""The solution, in general, is quite straightforward. A beginner could probably use it with ease. It's always more or less simple to understand how this works.""The biggest advantage of Windows Server is the services. It offers the ability to configure services, so your application can run on a Windows Server."

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Cons
"The accessibility to the resources could be more widespread. We have to put a lot of effort into finding indigenous information on the site. For example, the license information is convoluted. This information should be easier for customers to access.""The biggest thing that is crushing RHEL is documentation. Their documentation is haphazard at best. The man pages that you can use locally are pretty good, they've been fleshed out pretty well, but the documentation from Red Hat itself really needs somebody to go through it and review it.""I would like training to be added to the subscription. It would be useful for when you have to train yourself or get a certification. There are many things that we are not using because we don't know how to use them. Having training included in the subscription would help us in learning more things and utilizing the full power of the solution.""I'd like to see more of NCurses type menu systems in some instances. We're dealing with SUSE Enterprise Linux, they have an NCurses menu system. It's a menu system. It will write there. Even some of the higher-end Unix systems like AIX have some inner menu system where all the configuration tools are right there so your administrator doesn't have to jump through multiple directories to configure files if needed. I like the simplicity of Red Hat because it's pretty easy but having an NCurses menu when you have to get something done quickly would be nice.""I'm not sure how the support is being changed in terms of needing to pay for it. That's an area that can be improved. They should offer support without charging users for it.""It could be a bit more user-friendly. It could also be cheaper.""The vulnerability assessment part should also be improved. We do a lot of patching regularly. They try to fix an issue very quickly, and we also end up facing bugs that are not properly documented. When releasing the general availability for a particular solution, they need to do a lot more work on their side.""Sometimes they don't have new versions for applications like Apache or PHP. I understand it's because they have to have support for them, so they can't have the latest version all the time, but that's the main thing I see that could be improved."

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"The user interface could be simplified.""We have not had an issue with the stability of this solution. However, there could be some improvements.""When it comes to the performance of this solution others are slightly better such as Linux.""Often, we get updates that affect productivity.""We had some complaints about the initial setup.""In the future, there should be better protection for this solution.""The solution could have better security features.""The integration and monitoring could be improved."

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Pricing and Cost Advice
  • "In terms of the solution’s single subscription and install repository for all types of systems, we can have as many RHEL installations as we want because we have a specific subscription that entitles us to have as many RHEL services as we want. We pay for a subscription and with that we get RHEL and Satellite as well."
  • "Red Hat Linux is inexpensive. Linux solutions are generally inexpensive."
  • "RHEL is expensive."
  • "Because it is a subscription, you can go elastic. This means you can buy a year, then you can skip a year. It is not like when you buy something. You don't buy it. You are paying for the support on something, and if you don't pay for the support on something, there is no shame because there are no upfront costs. It changes the equation. However, we have such growth right now on the Linux platform that we are reusing and scavenging these licenses. From a business standpoint, not having to buy, but just having to pay for maintenance, changes a lot of the calculations."
  • "We have a site license on a yearly basis. Generally, we're okay with its price, but everything could be cheaper."
  • "The licensing with Red Hat is on par with other organizations like Microsoft. We have a site license, which gives us a certain number of servers, perhaps 25,000, for the type of license that we have. That works really well for us."
  • "We are an educational institution and as such, what we pay is less than the average company."
  • "It is more expensive than other vendors in terms of pricing and licensing, but because of its stability, I have to go with it."
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  • "Microsoft is relatively inexpensive compared to other database platforms."
  • "This is not an expensive product."
  • "It is an expensive product."
  • "In our case, we primarily use Microsoft, so the cost is a lot less. But some of our customers have spent approximately $12,000 a year on the operating system license."
  • "The license model needs improvement."
  • "Our current license is an enterprise license agreement which gives you a whole lot of possibility, especially when you go through an R&D process. For example, you can provision everything, spread the service use over six months, and then wrap it up. It gives you a lot of flexibility."
  • "The Windows Server standard edition is affordable."
  • "We pay yearly for a license. If you ask any vendor they will tell you that it could be cheaper."
  • More Windows Server Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    Questions from the Community
    Top Answer: 
    Red Hat Enterprise Linux is fantastic. It is an inexpensive solution that has excellent security, performance, and stability, and also lots of features. I specifically like that the solution has… more »
    Top Answer: 
    The integrated solution approach reduces our TCO tremendously because we are able to focus on innovation instead of operations.
    Top Answer: 
    RHEL is a great place to go. They have a great thing that is not very well-known, which is called the Learning Subscription, which is a one-year all-you-can-drink access to all of their online… more »
    Top Answer: 
    It could be more secure. We don't like it because if you compare it to Linux, Linux is better.
    Top Answer: 
    We have the product that my team works on and we need to, for example, deploy the solution on running servers. That way, the client can access it and the QAs in our team could test it. Also, we have… more »
    Ranking
    Views
    22,544
    Comparisons
    16,167
    Reviews
    10
    Average Words per Review
    1,621
    Rating
    8.6
    Views
    14,393
    Comparisons
    12,475
    Reviews
    120
    Average Words per Review
    336
    Rating
    8.1
    Comparisons
    Also Known As
    Red Hat Enterprise Linux, RHEL
    Learn More
    Overview

    To put your enterprise in a position to win, you have to break down the barriers that hold you back. With Red Hat Enterprise Linux, a platform with unparalleled stability and flexibility, you can reallocate your resources toward meeting the next challenges instead of just maintaining the status quo.

    For SAP workloads, Red Hat Enterprise Linux for SAP Solutions combines the reliability, scalability, and performance of Linux with technologies that meet the specific requirements of SAP workloads. It’s certified for integration with SAP S/4HANA and built on the same foundation as the world’s leading enterprise Linux platform, Red Hat Enterprise Linux.  For more information on Red Hat's portfolio of solutions for SAP workloads visit www.redhat.com/sap.

    Windows Server is an operating system that is designed to run on servers and service networked applications. It includes technology that was inspired from their experiences in the public cloud. When compared to earlier Microsoft products, Windows Server 2016 is greatly improved in terms of its security, software-defined infrastructure, and technologies. It enables developers to build modern microservice-based applications in the cloud or on premises.

    Windows Server has many features that make it a most effective product. Included in these are a wealth of security features that enable administrators to both protect their networks from attack and limit the potential damage if malware does enter their system. It has a feature called the Local Security Authority, which protects user credentials from being stolen and exploited. All credentials are authenticated in a digital space that is kept separate from the rest of the system. This virtual space prevents any code not belonging to the Local Security Authority from running. It also has security tools that identify, isolate, and limit any potential system damage should an intrusion take place.

    Benefits of Windows Server

    Some of the benefits of using Windows Server include:

    • A wide array of security features that allow administrators to both secure themselves against digital intrusions and limit the damage should a breach occur. The Device Guard allows administrators to dictate what types of applications can run on their servers. This ensures that only applications that are trusted will be active in their systems. However, should a breach take place, administrators can use features like the Distributed Firewall to isolate the problematic software and prevent it from infecting the rest of the system.
    • Windows Server 2016 allows you to automate various server management tasks. The PowerShell feature enables administrators to turn over some of the more routine server management operations to this software so that they can focus their attention and resources on more complex and pressing tasks.
    • The ability to engage in innovation without having to compromise your security and efficiency. Application and software creators are able to run their software on the server without first having to modify it. In addition, any business looking to run proprietary software has a place where they can safely conduct their business.

    Reviews from Real Users

    There are a number of characteristics that make Windows Server an extremely effective solution. Two major ones are its inherent flexibility and its user-friendly nature.

    PeerSpot user Antonio D., a sales manager at INFOSEC, takes note of Windows Server 2016’s flexibility when he writes, “The product is a good operating system. The features fit our needs very well. For example, with Windows Server, you can use a machine for printing, accessing the internet, or using some applications. You can do it all with one server. You don't need several servers. One is enough.”

    Himanshu T., a system administrator and DevOps engineer at a tech-services company, takes note of the various way in which Windows Server 2016 is easy to use when he writes, “This solution is very user friendly, easy to use for any system administrator, simple to deploy applications, has a wide range of applications available, great UI, and takes less technical skills to operate than some other competitors. Additionally, the active directory has great functionality; if we want to integrate any assets, then we can easily do it.”

    Offer
    Learn more about Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL)
    Learn more about Windows Server
    Sample Customers
    Travel Channel, Mohawk Industries, Hilti, Molecular Health, Exolgan, Hotelplan Group, Emory University, BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina, HCA Healthcare, Paychex, UPS, Intermountain Healthcare, Brinker International, TransUnion, Union Bank, CA Technologies
    Rakuten, Rackspace, Tyco
    Top Industries
    REVIEWERS
    Financial Services Firm21%
    Government21%
    University14%
    Security Firm7%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company27%
    Comms Service Provider26%
    Government8%
    Manufacturing Company6%
    REVIEWERS
    Computer Software Company14%
    Financial Services Firm11%
    Comms Service Provider11%
    Manufacturing Company8%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Comms Service Provider39%
    Computer Software Company17%
    Government6%
    Manufacturing Company4%
    Company Size
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business26%
    Midsize Enterprise19%
    Large Enterprise56%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business9%
    Midsize Enterprise40%
    Large Enterprise51%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business39%
    Midsize Enterprise23%
    Large Enterprise38%
    Find out what your peers are saying about Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) vs. Windows Server and other solutions. Updated: January 2022.
    564,729 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) is ranked 1st in Operating Systems (OS) for Business with 12 reviews while Windows Server is ranked 3rd in Operating Systems (OS) for Business with 135 reviews. Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) is rated 8.6, while Windows Server is rated 8.0. The top reviewer of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) writes "Feature-rich, good integration, stable, easy to deploy, and the security is kept up to date". On the other hand, the top reviewer of Windows Server writes "Easy to use, simple to set up, and scales well". Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) is most compared with SUSE Linux Enterprise, Oracle Linux, CentOS, Ubuntu Linux and Windows 10, whereas Windows Server is most compared with Windows 10, Ubuntu Linux, CentOS, Oracle Linux and Oracle Solaris. See our Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) vs. Windows Server report.

    See our list of best Operating Systems (OS) for Business vendors.

    We monitor all Operating Systems (OS) for Business reviews to prevent fraudulent reviews and keep review quality high. We do not post reviews by company employees or direct competitors. We validate each review for authenticity via cross-reference with LinkedIn, and personal follow-up with the reviewer when necessary.