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Lesson 5Operating system considerations
Objective Describe considerations surrounding operating systems.

Operating System Considerations

There are many considerations surrounding operating systems an architect needs to keep in mind when creating an e-Commerce solution. Architectural commitment: Most organizations possess a pre-determined preference for operating systems based on internal guidelines. The leeway regarding these preferences varies by organization.

What are Operating System Considerations for Ecommerce

Operating system considerations for ecommerce can include:
  1. Scalability: As ecommerce companies grow, they may need to handle increasing amounts of traffic and data, so the operating system should be able to scale to meet these demands.
  2. Security: Ecommerce companies handle sensitive customer data, such as credit card information, and need to ensure that the operating system is secure and can protect against potential data breaches.
  3. Reliability: Ecommerce companies rely on their websites to be available 24/7, so the operating system should be reliable and able to handle high levels of traffic without crashing.
  4. Performance: Ecommerce companies need their websites to load quickly and be responsive to customer interactions, so the operating system should be optimized for performance.
  5. Compatibility: Ecommerce companies may use a variety of different software and technologies, such as databases, web servers, and application servers, so the operating system should be compatible with these technologies.
  6. Cost: Ecommerce companies need to consider the total cost of ownership (TCO) of the operating system, including licensing costs, maintenance costs, and other expenses.

Ecommerce companies need to consider the scalability, security, reliability, performance and cost of the operating system when choosing one to run their ecommerce website.

ecommerce Computing

Most ecommerce applications do most of their computing on servers. The client portion of most e-Commerce applications run inside of browsers, and to a diminishing extent, on Microsoft operating systems, or use a Java Virtual Machine[1].
Since most of the client aspects of ecommerce use HTML and thus the browser, client machine considerations are usually not as important as server. The development of packaged applications, including ecommerce suites, are usually built for Windows and/or Solaris, and followed by other Unix options. Organizations that do not support Windows Server and/or the main flavors of Unix may need to reconsider their OS preferences when considering e-Commerce.


E-Commerce solutions often result in unforeseen scalability challenges for architectures, particularly in B2C implementations. Therefore, organizations need to pay special attention to anticipating scalability requirements for e-Commerce and make their OS choices accordingly.
For example, while NT-based server solutions are often low-priced and in plentiful supply, they can run out of computing resources for highly e-Commerce solutions with high amounts of user traffic and/or transactions. Use the Slide Show below to learn more about reliability/manageability considerations.
For these reasons, many organizations intentionally delay implementing OS upgrades into production until they have been in commercial use for several months or even over a year. In that way, the organizations knows that the OS has largely been debugged. Use the following FlipBook to learn more about third party product considerations.

Hardware Dependence of OS

Architects should also note that most operating systems only work on certain types of equipment, which is of special importance in terms of server choices in e-Commerce. For example, one reason NT does not "scale" as well as Solaris, HP-UX, or some other Unix options, is that NT only runs on smaller server machines. Therefore, OS choice is often dependent on hardware server choice, which is often driven by scalability requirements. Microsoft's Windows 2000 release is expected to attack these scalability issues and may provide a challenge to higher-powered Unix and mainframe options in the coming years.

[1]Java Virtual Machine: A program that runs under an operating system and interprets Java programs
[2]Hyper Text Markup Language (HTML) : The authoring language used to create documents on the World Wide Web
[3] Business to Consumer (B2C): Commerce is conducted between a consumer, such as a home user on a PC, and a business.