From the official explanation, BetterLinux is a collection of system resource management and monitoring tools intended for hosting providers, data centers, SaaS companies, and cloud environments. Basically, it is a user level Work Load Management for Linux.
What does BetterLinux exactly do?
The purpose of BetterLinux is to make Linux work better by allowing a system administrator to be in complete control of the Linux system.
Below are a list of BetterLinux Features:
- BetterLinux can help to control use and allocation of CPU, memory, MySQL, device I/O bandwidth, and IP bandwidth resources. With this control Admins will no longer worry about letting out of control CPU or disk I/O intensive processes take the system down or slow down other users or more important processes.
- Individual users and processes that exceed set resource limits can be isolated from other system users and throttled as necessary. With this control Admins can set alarms that tell when certain processes or users exceed specified CPU, I/O, memory, processes limits, and many other system activities.
- Particularly for DB admins, BetterLinux can now detect and deal with abusive MySQL queries so that no individual MySQL users/dbs can negatively impact the performance of any server running our software.
Betterlinux vs Cloudlinux
While we’re talking about Linux server optimization, there’s another popular name called “cloudlinux” which is an optimized CentOS distribution. From many hosting production server experience, cloudlinux is proved to be stable and reliable server system. But how is it compared to BetterLinux? It’s hard and somehow not fair to compare a proven product with a new one. But we can still compare something based on their difference.
- First, the CloudLinux is a complete pre-optimized Linux system and can be used imediately after installation. Compare with the CloudLinux, BetterLinux is just an independent Linux application – Linux work load manager/optimizer which need to get the base OS installed in order to run it.
- Secondly, the CloudLinux has almost everything pre-configured. If you need to make further customization, the CloudLinux provided a set of Command Line tool to change some configurations. If these CLI can’t meet your requirements, you have to edit everything manually. The BetterLinux is actually a management toolsets over system tools so you can change configurations over the specific service via BetterLinux.
- Thirdly, CloudLinux is a 100% CentOS based OS which means we have to switch to this OS if we’re currently use other Linux distributions. But it’s quite easy to switch server from CentOS 5.x or 6.x which are very common for web servers to CloudLinux. The BetterLinux is an independent optimizer and can be applied to many different Linux OS (only package which support CentOS 6.0~6.3 are released, others are still in progress), but it still can greatly convenience people in using it.
- But most important comparison is what about their actual performance on live server? It’s so far not clear since there are no sample for BetterLinux yet. From BetterLinux official site, it says BetterLinux already deployed to bluehost/hostmonster and other EIG brands. Based on the recent less complaint over EIG service, the BetterLinux might have helped some.
In summary, with BetterLinux, System Admin will have more flexibility and more control over the system. But cloudlinux has proven record for years already.
Will BetterLinux be Successful?
Before answering this question, we need to answer who will use BetterLinux.
If you could own (or use) the resource of the whole server, why you need BetterLinux or CloudLinux to control CPU or Memory usage of your own account! So, BetterLinux is mainly used in a shared hosting environment. And it’s main customers should be the web hosts who provide Linux-based Shared Hosting solutions.
Now, the problem is coming. BetterLinux was originated from Bluehost, who started the development since 2009. The system has been really successfully, which helped Bluehost become the largest Shared Linux Hosting provider in the world. When Bluehost was acquired by EIG, Matt Heaton, Bluehost CEO and a Linux Geeks, left the company and formed BetterLinux.
In theory, BetterLinux has no relationship with EIG, but in fact, within all well-known web hosts, only Bluehost, Hostmonster, Fastdomain, and some other EIG web hosts (such as Hostgator) are using BetterLinux now. On the other hand, I saw more and more web host released their Linux shared hosting based CloudLinux. A lot of web hosts treat BetterLinux as Bluehost, how could they build their business on the technology from their main competitors, especially there is a great alternative, CloudLinux.
So, I think whether BetterLinux will success is mainly determined by How well BetterLinux team could clean the concerns of its potentials customers.
By the way, BetterLinux is free until 1st May, 2013. You could visit https://www.betterlinux.com to check it out now. The tool is really great.