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Stability of database on Windows vs. Unix

We are in the process of installing a new Oracle database. The vendor that is holding our hand is recommending we use Windows 2003 for the operating system. I am getting some feedback though about the instability of running Oracle on Windows 2003. This is a complete new install and new to Oracle. Some coworkers are saying we need to install on Unix. Is there a reason we should not use Windows?

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The old adage was that one never used Windows as it wasn't stable. That perception should have changed with Windows 2000. Windows 2003 is a very stable OS, in my opinion. I have Oracle databases running on Windows 2003 without any problems. I also have Oracle databases running on various flavors of Unix and Linux without problems. Unfortunately, the old adage will not go away very easily, so there is still some bias against Windows' stability.

Today, my choice of the OS comes down to answering one of two questions. One, is there some other software that needs to run on this server which is platform-specific? Two, what kind of expertise do I have in house to administer this server? I let those questions be my guide. If your shop is a Unix shop, then why bring in one Windows box just to run the database? If all of my SysAdmins are trained in one OS, then I'd try to run Oracle on that OS so that the admins do not have to learn something new just to support this. Sometimes, certain vendors will only certify their product on Windows. And if you want to run this product on the same hardware that is your database server, you will need to run Oracle on Windows. Do either of those questions apply to you?

This was first published in October 2006

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