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Comparison of Networking Feature of Linux and Microsoft Essay

1.0 Comparing Networking Features of Linux & Microsoft. Microsoft * Next Generation TCP/IP Stack: this networking feature of windows is available for “Windows Server 2008” and “Windows Vista”. It is a “complete redesign of TCP/IP functionality for both Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) and Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) that meets the connectivity and performance needs of today’s varied networking environments and technologies.” Joe Davies (2008) * Server Message Block 2.0 (SMB): this networking feature of windows is also available for both “Windows Server 2008” and “Windows Vista”. It can also be termed as the “Common Internet File System (CIFS)”. It is used on widows-based computers as a default file sharing protocol. SMB supports: * “Sending multiple SMB commands within the same packet. This reduces the number of packets sent between an SMB client and server. * Much larger buffer sizes compared to SMB 1.0.

* Increases the restrictive constants within the protocol design to allow for scalability. Examples include an increase in the number of concurrent open file handles on the server and the number of file shares that a server can have. * Supports durable handles that can withstand short interruptions in network availability. * Supports symbolic links.” Joe Davies (2008)

* Windows Firewall: the windows firewall for the versions “Windows Server (2008)” and “Windows Vista” has support for filtering of incoming and outgoing traffic. It also has integrated settings for firewall filtering and Internet Protocol Security (IPSEC). * Network Driver Interface Specification (NDIS) 6.0: this “specifies a standard interface between kernel-mode network drivers and the operating system. NDIS also specifies a standard interface between layered network drivers, abstracting lower-level drivers that manage hardware from upper-level drivers, such as network transports.” Joe Davies (2008).

Linux * Samba: this networking feature of “Linux” is a file and printer sharing service. It is based on the SMB protocol developed by “Windows”. Samba allows “Linux” to act as a SMB client or server. * The inetd Super Server: this is a special network daemon run on “Linux” applications in order to overcome certain inefficiencies of network daemons. It “creates sockets on behalf of a number of services and listens on all of them simultaneously. When an incoming connection is received on any of these sockets, the super server accepts the connection and spawns the server specified for this port, passing the socket across to the child to manage.

The server then returns to listening.” Dawson T. (2000). * The tcpd Access Control Facility: this is a tool that is used to manage “host – specific” access. “For TCP services you want to monitor or protect, it is invoked instead of the server program. Tcpd checks if the remote host is allowed to use that service, and only if this succeeds will it execute the real server program.” Dawson T. (2000).

1.1 Interoperability Features of Ubuntu with Microsoft Workstations. Interoperability is the function which allows a system to work with other systems that may be of different brand or have a different operating system. For organisations like “Rainham Indigo Bank” who wish to setup a networking environment to share files and printer, this is important as they wish to integrate a Linux – based operating system to their current work environment which has a Windows – based operating system. “Ubuntu”, the choice of Linux – based operating system, has an interoperability feature known as “Samba” that supplies the users with file and printer sharing for the Window workstations. states that “Samba is an Open Source/Free Software suite that provides seamless file and print services to SMB/CIFS clients. Samba is freely available, unlike other SMB/CIFS implementations, and allows for interoperability between Linux/Unix servers and Windows-based clients.”

The bank can use this package to share printers and files between the Ubuntu server and Widows workstations. Another feature that “Ubuntu” offers is the ease of authentication. Authentication plays an important part as it helps computers on a network to recognise each another and allows for information to be shared. “Ubuntu Server” comes with “Open Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP)”. This ensures that a shared directory service can be built if it is needed. Supported versions of Ubuntu Server come with “Likewise-Open”. This is used to integrate with the system using Microsoft Active Directory. Machines on Active Directory can be identified, share credentials and access resources with “Ubuntu” machines through the use of this software. Resources for Windows clients can easily be provided by “Ubuntu” servers without an additional security burden.

1.2 Installing Ubuntu and configuring network services for Windows and Linux for file sharing and printing.

“Ubuntu” Installation. After “Ubuntu” was installed, “Samba” was downloaded and configured. It was installed through the terminal command using this command: “sudo apt-get install samba samba-command”.

Configuring network settings.

Ubuntu accessed via Microsoft.

Sharing folders on the network.

File manager opened to allow for folder sharing.

Sharing folder on Windows from Ubuntu.

Shared folder in Microsoft.

1.3 Linux Distribution Costs. Performance The cost associated with the performance is related to the hardware of the “Ubuntu” server as the server’s performance will be as good as the hardware installed on it. The performance of the server depends on the type of memory installed and how much of it, the brand of the processor as well as its type i.e. single – core, dual – core etc, the processor speed will also play a part in this as well as the motherboard installed and the PCI connectors and serial buses installed.. “Ubuntu” server process threads often make use of physical resources. High performance can be achieved from relatively low hardware requirements on this server. Therefore, the cost of performance associated with the “Ubuntu” server is expected to be low.


Once the “Ubuntu” server is hardened, it has a low risk of attacks from viruses, remote procedure calls and buffer overflows. Standard installation of “Ubuntu” has a ready – to – use hardened operating system. Therefore, no additional cost will be needed to implement additional security protection such as anti-virus, firewalls, anti-spyware etc. This is because most security mechanisms are pre-installed or can be installed freely thereby allowing this cost to be low.


Support for the “Ubuntu” software can only be obtained from the “Ubuntu” community, developers and enthusiasts as there are no formal support arrangements available from the vendor. Significant cost will be incurred in order to train staff to use of the server and experienced consultants may be required for support for cases of server downtime or repair.


Maintenance of the server may incur significant costs as well. This is because only skilled and trained personnel can conduct routine maintenance and maintain the maximum uptime of the server that is required. The maintenance cost of hardware can vary depending on the hardware. From a software perspective, the costs will include maintenance from skilled personnel to upkeep and patch the software as needed.

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