HIPAA Resources

Linux vs. Windows on a HIPAA Compliant Cloud Server

01Sep 2015

Video Transcription

Hi. This is Gil Vidals from VM Racks. Today I want to talk just for a couple of minutes on Windows versus Linux in a HIPAA environment. Many of our customers that we have, called us before they signed up with VM Racks and asked, “Which environment should I go with, either Linux or Windows?”

In some cases, it’s a no-brainer, easy decision. If the application is going to be written in Windows .NET framework, using ASP that obviously there’s no choice to be made although on the database side, you could select Postgres or even MySQL. A lot of customers would prefer to use Microsoft SQL. However, the license fee for the Microsoft SQL is very expensive. It will almost double the price in the hosting environment. So, strongly consider having a Linux-based database, Postgres, MariaDB, MySQL are several options there.

Linux has a distinct advantage in that it’s a leaner operating system. It’s command prompt driven. That advantage is also a disadvantage. Users feel uncomfortable with just the blinking cursor, they don’t know what to type. Our staff is seasoned in that so there would be no issue with us handling that environment for you. Because Linux is leaner, it takes less CPU and less RAM. That saves you money and that’s very important for your business, I realize that. So, consider the fact that you’re going to be in a leaner environment, you’re going to be saving your budget dollars on that. It’s also more secure.

Notoriously, Linux has fewer breaches and fewer issues. So, when we do a HIPAA environment, admittedly, we lean towards the Linux side of things. However, if a Windows server needs to be used we will create a Linux Web application firewall and set it in front of the Web server to help protect that if that web server is either Windows or Linux. These are some of the items you have to consider now.

What’s an advantage for Windows? Well, a lot of customers frankly are just used to using Windows. That’s what they have experience in, that’s what they’re comfortable in and that’s okay. That’s a good reason to select that. Expect to pay a little bit more and that’s part of the compromise you have to make. So, I hope this helped clarify some of the issues involved but feel free to call us to discuss this further.

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