There are two major servers options available in terms of database hosting platforms, and these are the Microsoft based platforms and the LINUX based platforms. Both have their own distinctive features that a small business owner may find better suited for their needs.
In terms of services and functions offered by both servers, there will not be too much of a difference. Both platforms can support applications and programs that will deal with the business's requirements. The main difference that could be the telling factor is that Microsoft servers have its own set of software and applications that can get expensive and labor-intensive. If a business owner does not have a good working knowledge of the MS systems, now would not be the time to start learning about it. But if they are used to the MS system, then it would be a walk in the park.
Two and Two Together
Ecommerce hosting and database hosting are not mutually exclusive concepts. A small business can actually get both from one web hosting provider. Budget is also no longer an issue, there are web hosting packages for "shared" web servers where one can get the functionality of a dedicated server, but since the small business will be sharing a server with many other small businesses, the cost of maintaining it will be a lot lower. There are a lot of hosting services out there, and as long as a small business owner knows what his business needs and capabilities are, it will not be hard to find one that is suitable for it with a bit of diligent research.