Non-Apache is a Death Wish

I have now had to deal with two webservers that weren’t Apache and honestly, they’re both the worst dogs you’ve ever seen. A couple of terms are important in understanding this, like webserver which is a machine that has a website setup on it for you to access it. The site that you’re reading this on now, is being hosted on a webserver designed to allow you access to the content I write. Apache is a type of program that runs on the webserver and allows you to see the pages that are stored on the webserver. If a restaurant, then Apache would be the waiter.
So, basically, there are only two or at most three types of web programs that anyone really qualifies as valid. The first is the aforementioned Apache, the second is Microsoft Internet Information Services – IIS – (something of a snooty French waiter in my analogy above), and then there are various other ones like those that run on the Sun operating system, iPlanet, which was the one Netscape developed, and this one called Webstar for the Mac.
Besides Apache, I have used IIS, Webstar, and iPlanet. These non-Apache systems are all dogs. They crash for no reason. They corrupt without warning, and they’re a monstrous pain to maintain. And, what I mean by a major pain is that on a good day, they stay up for maybe one to two days. That obviously is not good, because even though all the info is still on the server, there is no way for anyone to get it because the system has crashed. This is also a nightmare for the lowly IT guy, since he has to restart the damn thing whenever it crashes and that can make for worse nights of sleeping than if you have a newborn child.
I’m a huge fan of Apache and so are about 70% of the people out there that run websites, since that is the percentage of sites that use it. Why am I a fan? Well, the crashes on a well-designed site are so infrequent, that they are often due to a power or system hardware failure than the program itself. This is also a FREE program, unlike Microsoft IIS, which is many hundreds of dollars to get with the Microsoft server system. Just these two items alone should sell anyone on the system. But, when you toss in the fact that supplemental programs which do just about anything you want have been created and distributed free for this system, you can’t beat it.
So, why in the world would anyone use anything else? Simple, Microsoft has basically been giving away their system to try and gain market share. In all honesty, the Microsoft system is much easy to set up in the beginning than Apache, so that’s a large appeal for people who don’t want to get their hands dirty with Linux/Unix, or deal with a rather complex configuration file for Windows. I guess it’s mainly just a problem with short term thinking when you get down to it, since Apache will give you many long nights of sleeping.
At any rate, I’ve gotta go move some sites from Webstar to Apache, so we’ll see how this goes.