A research house that goes by the name of WatchMouse has posted numbers that show the combination of Apache and Linux is faster and more available than IIS and Windows. WatchMouse aggregated monitoring information from over 1500 websites covering many and varied business sectors in Europe, most based on Linux or Windows.

While the research showed that different countries seem to prefer a majority of Windows or Linux, the numbers differ between the business sectors those server’s are contained in or are representing.  Regardless of the location or purpose, Linux has a strong advantage over Windows in the areas of uptime and response time for requests.

Nearly 3/4 of the monitored sites have over 99.9 percent uptime, with the remaining coming in at that level or below.  99.9% uptime may seem outstanding, but this equates to almost 8 hours of downtime in a year, below most Service Level Agreements (SLA) currently in place.  Most companies preferring Windows over Linux seem to do so because of relative ease-of-use, but if that ease of use breaks the SLA, it becomes problematic.  It would be interesting to see what amount of time was spent patching and rebooting those same Windows servers in contrast to the Linux servers…

Another central theme of the study is the amount of time a user/visitor will wait for a page to load, with up to 4 seconds being deemed acceptable on the top end.  The study caps the wait time, maintaining that anything over 8 seconds for a site to respond will probably cause the user/visitor to go elsewhere.  This could have catastrophic results over time for an e-tailer, while, say, a museum or historical site would be relatively unaffected by losing a few unique views.

From the BusinessWire feed:  “Even though the companies in our study seem to prefer Windows over Linux, our research shows they would be better off using Linux/Apache-based websites,” said WatchMouse’s chief technology officer, Mark Pors.  “Research has shown that most web users are very impatient and will wait no longer than four seconds for a web page to load. Organisations need to become more aware of the impact the choice of web-server platform can have on their overall availability and performance.”

You can find the entire set of watched sites and much more data, including a number of reports that can be requested at the WatchMouse site.  (Which loads in less than 4 seconds…)