Topics: Microsoft, Operating system, Microsoft Windows Pages: 9 (2760 words) Published: January 2, 2013
UNIX, Linux, and Windows Server Critique
University of Phoenix

The following sections in this paper focus on analyzing operating systems for Riordan Manufacturing Inc. that specializes in plastic molding and design. Team B concentrated on five main areas of UNIX, Linux, and Windows Server. The five areas include Security, Administration, Networking, Performance, and Programmability. The team explains the existing systems, followed by comparing advantages and disadvantages of each operating system. The comparisons provide insight for Riordan’s IT specialist and administration considering which system to implement. Interesting topics that relate to security weaknesses, and advantages that UNIX® and Linux® compare against the operating giant, Microsoft Windows Server®.

At the present time, Riordan Manufacturing’s network configurations consist of a heterogeneous UNIX and Windows environment. UNIX has been around for more than 40 years and is known for its’ robust power and scalability. According to the Open Group, “Security, which is often seen as a weakness for UNIX-based systems, is ensured using dedicated communication lines and secure communications protocols, along with strict authentication procedures” (para. 42). This means UNIX, just like Windows, requires configurations to make it a more secure system. Setting up file permissions, user access controls, as well as shutting down network services not currently active are just a few of the ways that help close the gap to unauthorized entry. An advantage UNIX seems to have is its’ lack of popularity, a piece of security in itself, most malicious activity is aimed at the ever-growing Windows empire.

Windows, a much younger operating system, released in 1985, has exponentially grown in popularity ever since. Windows popularity is the biggest reason that it suffers malicious attacks more than any other operating system available. The numerous attacks bring constant updates to fix the security issues, which give the impression that Windows is a very insecure system. However, over the recent years, Microsoft has made it a point to put security in the forefront of its’ software development. One of the newest forms of security, biometrics, comes in Windows Server 2008 R2. According to Microsoft (2011), “it enables administrators and users to use fingerprint biometric devices to log on to computers, grant elevation privileges through User Account Control (UAC), and perform basic management of the fingerprint devices. Administrators can manage fingerprint biometric devices in Group Policy settings by enabling, limiting, or blocking their use” (What’s New in Biometrics, para. 1). Microsoft and UNIX have similar security measures, but the use of biometrics is a clear advantage over UNIX.

Linux, a growing variant of UNIX, is slightly different concerning security. Although Linux is not impervious, Riordan should place it in the top selections for security. One of the significant advantages has to do with the way account privileges are assigned. By default, Windows’ users have administration privileges; this exposes the majority of their system in the case of a malicious attack. Linux users do not typically have administration (root) privileges, but more often a lower level account. This keeps an attack from doing damaging to the entire system. Another advantage to using Linux is the diversity of environments. It can be found in several distributions and can also run on different architectures besides Intel (Noyes, 2011). As an open system, Linux has a huge advantage over the closed Windows system. With Windows, there only a few privileged employees see the source code and fix any problems with the software. Although this may sound like a good idea to some, it is not the case because while these employees are working on the problem the door is still open for further exploits. Noyes (2011) said: “In the Linux world,...
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