For the last two years in the world of Linux hosting, there has been one distribution that has been dominant. Slowly, many Linux web hosting companies are moving from other Linux distributions to this new dominant operating system because of its features, price and security. CentOS has been that dominant Linux operating system for the past two years, rapidly replacing RedHat enterprise as the standard Linux OS.
Cent OS’s main advantage over RedHat enterprise is the fact that it is free. While a server license for RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise) may cost you an arm and a leg, Cent OS is completely free. It is based on RHEL and is almost fully compatible with its parent product. Essentially this server OS is the same thing as RHEL but without the price tag. It does not lack any features of the enterprise RHEL software, besides the fact that it is not officially supported by RHEL, and has many additional advantages and tweaks since its initial creation.
Cent OS has distinct advantages over other Linux distributions as a server OS because of a large active and growing user community for support, quick security updates maintained by Cent OS’s dedicated core team of developers, and quick responsive support via IRC chat, online manuals, FAQ, mailing lists and forums. Being a long-time user of Cent-OS web serves, I have found out myself that the support in these places is just as good as and often superior to paid support from other companies. Cent OS always has a distinct advantage among web hosting support personnel. On average Linux server administrators and support personnel are more familiar with the Cent OS distribution than any other distribution and problems are solved quicker because its more likely that they have ran into the same problem before. Cent OS is also constantly being updated with new security patches, fixes, and performance enhancements. The turnaround time for Cent OS patches is better than the turnaround time for patches of any other server OS.
Like RedHat enterprise before it, Cent OS is incredibly stable and resource-efficient. Through its five iterations, it has been optimized to run Apache, PHP, MYSQL, Ruby on Rails, and a variety of other development frameworks with maximum efficiency. If your looking to host yourself, Cent OS is probably the OS you’ll want to use as it is made from the ground up to be easy to maintain and very suitable for long-term use.
These reasons combined with the fact that there is always active development to improve the platform, community infrastructure, a friendly community, and commercial support from a vast amount of web hosting vendors make Cent OS the clear choice for web hosting both now and for the foreseeable future.