I've decided to start learning Ruby. I've been coding PHP for over 3 years and am after something a little different, hopefully to satisfy me where PHP doesn't. I'm wondering however, what the most common web server is that you usually find hosting ruby web applications? On PHP for example, Apache is the clear standard - it's on the majority of web servers hosting PHP. I'm wondering what the equivilant web server for Ruby is, as learning the platform/environment the language runs under I think it equally important as learning the language itself. In toher words, if I was to get Ruby web hosting from a mainstream web host, what web server would they likely use?
Some mainstream web hosts (that is, shared hosts) will be using Apache with Phusion Passenger (aka mod_rails http://www.modrails.com/), because it's extremely easy to setup and configure.
That said, if you're doing your own deployment, I think the most common option among developers is to use Nginx as a front-end, proxying requests to either Mongrel or Thin instances. Nginx is becoming increasingly popular with PHP developers as well because it can handle higher concurrency with lower memory usage than Apache (I use it for my WordPress sites).
Finally, if you're looking for an all-in-one cloud hosting solution for ruby apps, I've heard a lot of good things about Heroku (http://heroku.com/), though I haven't used it myself.
Do you plan on hosting your Rails application on a Windows server? or is it just for development purposes? If it's for development I'd recommend using a virtual machine linux server, to keep your dev environment as close as possible to the eventual deployment... that way your server can sit inside your windows machine happily