Pos420 Final Paper

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Unix, Linux, and Windows Server Critique
For Kudler Fine Foods
POS/420

Unix, Linux, and Windows Server Critique
Kudler Fine Foods is an upscale specialty food store located in San Diego California, with 3 locations in La Jolla, Del Mar and Encinitas. Kathy Kudler opened Kudler Fine Foods in June 1998, and grew quickly to open the 3 locations in as little as 5 years. While the mission is to provide the finest products and to assure Kudler is the purveyor of choice for customers aspiring to purchase the finest epicurean delights, the company must have the best possible technology to meet the business needs.

The objective is critiquing possible Servers that will improve the protection of data, provide a stable environment to support business, allow transaction monitoring, store sales transactions from POS terminals, backup data, and manage databases.

The purpose is to weigh the pros and cons of the different servers, find the one server that will meet the needs of the business, and implement the server to the end users. The critique will include security, administration, networking, performance, and programmability. Security

When beginning a discussion of computer security, a number of variables come into play. From patch availability to OS popularity, antivirus offerings, user/administrator knowledge and even physical user controls, many elements must be considered to create a computing environment that is secure. While Windows and Linux each have their advantages and disadvantages, neither operating system is, at its core, more or less safe than the other from attacks and data theft. All operating systems have vulnerabilities before they ever ship, and it is up to the administrator of those systems to maintain a level of security that protects the valuable data stored on those servers.

Windows and Linux operating systems have a few large advantages and disadvantages that are worth analyzing when considering security. Interestingly enough, the largest advantage is probably also the largest disadvantage. Windows is the most widely used operating system in the world, so there is a large user community and thousands of employees at Microsoft that work to improve security daily. By the same token, it is also the operating system that is most widely targeted by virus and malware programs that individuals create either to profit or just create general mayhem. Since the Linux user base is much smaller, it is less advantageous for individuals to create viruses and malware for Linux systems, since the impact would be much smaller. Additionally, Linux is a less familiar and more difficult operating system to install and maintain, so the user base for Linux is widely more knowledgeable than that of Windows operating systems. This was exacerbated in previous versions of the Windows OS because user access control was much looser than it is currently. Since the inception of Unix and later Linux, the operating system was predicated on the idea that users should have as limited access directly to the system kernel as possible. ("Is Linux Really More Secure Than Windows?", 2011).

Another item that is frequently referenced when comparing Windows and Linux security is the configuration of, well, everything. Windows takes the approach of doing as much as is efficient for the user, rather than the user having to do it themselves. Linux forces users to take much more control of any software they install or connections they set up, which adds flexibility but gives birth to a wide array of human error possibilities. There are pros and cons to both of these philosophies, because the Windows approach means the software is probably more secure out of the box, but the Linux software gives users the ability to enhance security in greater detail without having to wait on someone else to develop a security patch. Administration

The duty of the administrator is to solve problems that arise when workstations go down and...
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