Monday, May 07, 2007

Support .NET on your server without Windows

I've been watching the Mono project for quite some time. My company hosts most of the web applications we build for our clients, and although we don't do a lot of work in .NET (or the classic .asp version), we routinely come across someone who wants to host his or her site with us, but has everything built in ASP or ASP.NET pages.

What a pain.

We actually ran a few Windows based servers for awhile, but spent so much time patching and maintaining them that it turned out to be somewhat less than cost effective. Please note that I am not slamming Microsoft -- this is purely a matter of playing to our strengths, and we really, really like Linux, FreeBSD, and their various variants.

Along comes the Mono Project. This open source system promises a lot:

Mono provides the necessary software to develop and run .NET client and server applications on Linux, Solaris, Mac OS X, Windows, and Unix. Sponsored by Novell (, the Mono open source project has an active and enthusiastic contributing community and is positioned to become the leading choice for development of Linux applications.
Well, that looks most encouraging. I am spending a few nights in the server room this week as we upgrade our fibre connection and add some additional redundancy, so think I'll take one of the servers we are replacing and "repurpose" it to try out this software.

I'll keep you posted.