NTvsLinux(98) Essay

This essay has a total of 2727 words and 14 pages.


Windows NT and Linux: An inside look and comparison!

One of the many challenges of a corporation, small business or educational institution is
how to network the people within and outside the organization. Linux and Windows NT are
two network operating systems that suit this purpose well, each having its respective
advantages and disadvantages.

One organization (Nichols College), began utilizing each operating system for two very
different purposes. I will explain the function of the two operating systems and how well
they each performed for Nichols.

Windows NT
 Advantages and Disadvantages
 Business with Windows NT
 Advantages and Disadvantages
 Linux in the Business World
 Conclusion: Windows NT or Linux?

Windows NT: Its Pluses and Minuses

Windows NT (New Technology) is an operating system made and offered by Microsoft.
Microsoft first released Windows NT in 1993. The basis of Windows NT is an operating
system that controls basic computing functions, such as manipulating files. It is a
"multipurpose server operating system that delivers a fully integrated file/print and
server environment."

Windows NT offers one of the highest levels of compatibility with other operating systems
and hardware. It was created to be the most integrated, extensive, and easy operating
system and it comes in two ways:

 For desktop PC's
 For server computers (supporting computer networks).
Windows NT has both positives and negatives. Some of the advantages include:
Integration Performance
Reliability Security
Manageability Internet Access.

Windows NT Server allows all applications to be utilized from the Windows NT Directory
Service or NTDS. This has a network logon to all servers and services that it provides and
its advantage:

Only one user database is needed for the whole system.
Windows NT also allows integration with other hardware and operating systems; and files
and applications from other servers such as Unix and NetWare. This gives users the ability
to install Windows NT knowing that it can fit with their current network.

The performance for Windows NT:
It runs applications faster, especially 32-bit applications.
It is also faster than Windows 95 on 32 MB machines or more.
Window NT provides graphical user interfaces (GUI).
Definition of GUI - designs used as symbols that make a function visible to the user quicker than having to look for it.
As far as reliability, Microsoft has a clustering middleware, named "Wolfpack" that
provides fault-tolerant clustering on mainstream PC server hardware.

****Windows NT also provides memory protection and preemptive multitasking, a journalized
recoverable file system, and RAID striping with parity.*****

Security is an important part in any system in order to make sure that private files
aren't accessed. Windows NT ensures that users can not damage business applications or
change system files unless permitted by their security. The administrator controls access
to system files. Windows NT has a C2-level certifiable security and it uses ID's and

Windows NT has a single management model for all of the aspects of the system, but still
allows the ability to have local and remote administration. They also have the choice of a
Windows-based, or command-line management tools. This ability to control the environment
provides an operating system with the lowest total cost of ownership.

Due to its obvious importance in today's business world, Windows offers Internet access
with the latest Internet browsers. It also includes Windows Internet Explorer so users can
access files on the World Wide Web as well as files on their own desktop or network. The
user can also work with other applications while downloading from the Internet. Windows NT
has all of the standard TCP/IP components such as FTP, Telnet, Ping, and IPConfig.

Along with the positives there are negatives.
Those that were found with Windows NT were, cost, low horsepower, technical glitches, and
that it only runs on Intel and Alpha platforms.

When considering what software, hardware, or operating system to buy, cost is a major
factor. One of the bigger problems with Windows NT is the cost being high.

A study was conducted where a sampling of 15 Fortune 1,000 businesses, analysts and system
integrators found that the cost of an enterprisewide upgrade to Windows NT Server was
significantly more than that of rival platforms to install and maintain.

Windows NT also has low horsepower and lacks an enterprise directory. Low horsepower is
not good for a business because it can not handle many users on one file server. Since it
lacks enterprise directory it causes large enterprises to have more administration to
manage it.

Some other disadvantages can be considered technical glitches. First, Windows NT has the
OOB (Out of Band) bug, which allows users to attack a computer to get the IP address if
one is connected to the Internet. This bug can cause your system to be removed from the

Another glitch is the GetAdmin. The GetAdmin allows any user with local access to an NT
machine to gain administrative access. There are packages out to fix both the GetAmin and
OOB, which can be downloaded. (http://www.winuser.com/fixes.shtml)

Some other glitches and improvements that need to be made include a better filing system
that can help people tap information anywhere it is stored on a network. Also, a better
way to profile and allow people access to the network.

Windows NT in the Business World
Companies are using Windows NT Server to create an wide range of creative applications.
For example, some are extending their customer relationships by letting customers enter
information over the Internet, store it in databases, and then use that information to
generate secured transactions. In the long run this type of database will save any company
money because they will use less paper and fewer employees to control this paper work.

Cautious users with the sense to do cost studies are finding that moving to Windows NT
Server will cost two to three times more than upgrading to the next level of their
existing network operating systems a point supported by several analyst's studies. As a
result, many of those users are holding off on a wholesale Windows NT migration. The cost
of installing, including hardware, software and network management, would top out at
around $900,000 because of the need to install more servers and add-on management
packages. Users complain that assembling Windows NT Server costs more than expected for
several reasons:

Unlike Unix, Windows NT Server can handle only one task well, so more systems are needed
to support users. (Netware is another O.S. that can handle multiple tasks).

Computerworld conducted a random sampling of 15 Fortune 1,000 businesses, analysts and
systems integrators. It found that not only is the cost of an enterprise-wide upgrade to
Microsoft's Windows NT significantly more than that of rival platforms to install and
maintain; but, some users got so bogged down, they elected to reinstall their legacy
network operating systems.

Windows NT 4.0 has far less horsepower than rival systems and can't handle as many users
on one file server. And because NT lacks an enterprise directory on the scale of Novell
Directory Service, it requires more administrators to manage it in large enterprises.
Additionally, its clustering capabilities lag behind Novell, Inc.'s IntranetWare and
provide only baseline fault tolerance and redundancy. But NT is generally considered a
more robust application server.

Several businesses migrated or attempted to migrate to Windows NT after performing
internal price/performance studies. These businesses found that the program had some
significant price/performance flaws that delayed its successful placement as an enterprise
operating system. In the end, migration to Windows NT became so expensive and so bogged
down with complexity that at least two of these companies decided to re-install upgraded
versions of their original network operating system. Windows NT also documented a
one-third decrease in performance coupled with a fifty- percent increase in management

Quoted from an Internet research group…..
For a simple LAN, if cost is not a prohibiting factor, NT is easier to setup and maintain
basic file/print services. Basically, if the administrator understands the elementary
networking functions, using a mouse and reading the monitor, they'll probably be all
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