Networking – Wed, 02 Mar 2016 16:33:32 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Linux Firewalls Thu, 23 Feb 2012 21:57:39 +0000 Linux is a widely-available, flexible and popular open source operating system with as many uses as its proponents can think of. With this in mind, it’s no wonder there are so many Linux distributions (“distros”) aimed at creating a Linux firewall. Some of the more popular Linux firewall specific distros include ClearOS, Gibraltar and LEAF Project. These and other Linux firewall distros are great alternatives to both Windows based firewalls and dedicated firewall appliances.

Linux Firewall versus Windows Firewall

Resource usage: just like in server and desktop editions, a Linux firewall can get by with far less in system resources than its Windows based brethren. Since there is no bloated OS to run, a Linux firewall will do more with less.

Stability and Uptime: again, this is very similar to the pros and cons of using desktop and server Linux. Because Windows machines have a resource-intensive operating system on top of their intended functions, a Windows firewall will be more prone to crashes and downtime than a Linux firewall.

Cost: More hardware is required to build a Windows based firewall. Add to that the cost of OS licensing and fees for dedicated software like Microsoft Forefront and a Windows firewall becomes an expensive proposition. In the meantime, most Linux firewall distros are free. On top of that, a Linux box can be built at a far hardware lower cost.

Linux Firewall versus Dedicated Hardware

Device Flexibility: Dedicated firewall hardware providers are careful to lock down their products to the core features they’re selling. There is usually no other interesting functionality built in to a hardware firewall. Unless you pay extra, that is. Since firewall on Linux is open source, its functionality is always being expanded. Want to alter your firewall for greater intrusion detection or traffic shaping? You can do that with Linux.

Security: Buying a hardware firewall model means buying the same fireall that thousands of other companies may have. This means any exploits discovered on that model suddenly become everyone’s problem. Using a Linux based firewall means you can customize every option, including security, for a unique and hard to hack firewall.

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Advantages of using a Linux FTP server/client Wed, 22 Feb 2012 07:38:49 +0000 FTP (File Transfer Protocol) is a common way to move files from one computer to another over the internet. Linux FTP is the most secure method, surpassing other operating system’s FTP options. The ease of use found with a Linux FTP is also noteworthy, requiring little training time.

Using FTP to transfer files requires an FTP server software to be running on the host computer in order to send and receive files as requested. Also you will need client software installed and running on your local machine for you to be able to send and receive from the Linux FTP server.

There are several options for software to utilize when using a Linux FTP as a client. Filezilla, GFTP, and Kasablanca are all good FTP clients for sending and receiving files. Using the command line to transfer files is also possible when utilizing Linux for your FTP client but no as easy as those programs just mentioned. Simply download and install the package, enter the FTP server information (IP, port, username, and password) then connect to see a list of the files and directories present on the server available for download. It’s that easy!

Setting up a Linux FTP server is slightly more complicated. You’ll need to download the package vsftpd from one of the Linux software repositories via the terminal command “sudo apt-get install vsftpd”. It will ask you for your password, which you must enter, and afterward some editing of the configuration file is necessary to get the Linux FTP server set up. You can find more about this in the documentation for the vsftpd software.

The security of a Linux FTP is leaps and bounds ahead of the other major operating systems. This is because of regular security updates to the FTP software and Linux operating system by the developers. These constant updates make Linux FTP the most secure platform for FTP in the world. Most servers you encounter online are using a form of Linux for their FTP needs. For many, security is a top priority when storing important data online. Which is why Linux FTP is the first choice for FTP software on the internet.

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Evaluating Linux Server Sun, 19 Feb 2012 20:21:11 +0000 As Linux gains acceptance as a desktop operating system, IT professionals in growing numbers are evaluating Linux server applications. How does Linux measure up to Windows server platforms? Is Linux server ready for the data center? Here are seven key areas of comparison between the two that should help the evaluation process.

Performance: Linux server platforms are far less resource-intensive than their Windows counterparts. With the operating system making fewer demands on processor and memory, servers running on Linux typically show a higher level of performance for the crucial apps they host.

Cost: Linux is essentially a free operating system. Even Red Hat, the primary commercial Linux server distro, is comparatively inexpensive. This is especially true when contrasted to Windows server platforms, with expensive per-server and per-seat licensing and costly software assurance packages.

Security: Both Windows and Linux server have their security drawbacks. Most hacks and exploits are written to target Windows servers. On the other hand, Windows server platforms have better user access control right out of the box, while Linux platforms require a separate application to gain a finer level of control over permissions.

Uptime: Everyone who has ever used Windows at home or in the server room has disaster stories. Services hang, apps crash and then there’s the infamous “blue screen of death.” Microsoft has improved Windows’ uptime, but it can’t compare to the lightweight stability offered by Linux server.

Updates: Depending on the choice of Linux server distro, Linux updates may be right on schedule and dependable or they could be spotty and untested. Since Microsoft is the only source of Windows updates, their monthly server OS updates are typically more timely and reliable on the whole.

Skill: Linux server skills are far more specialized, especially with the ability to alter the system kernel inherent in Linux but unavailable in Windows. It may be tougher to find Linux server admins or at least more expensive.

Vmware: Virtualization in the data center is a booming industry and Linux is a big part of it. Linux is so integral to Vmware that a flavor of Linux is packaged with the Vmware server installer. There is simply no reason at all to use Windows server to host a Vmware environment.

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Why host with Linux? Fri, 03 Feb 2012 14:15:22 +0000 A key option to consider when purchasing web hosting is the web server’s operating system. Hosting customers are typically presented with two choices: Linux Hosting and Windows Hosting. Most are much more familiar with Windows and will dismiss Linux hosting out of hand. This is a mistake.

Familiarity with how to use the operating system doesn’t matter in a hosted environment. The actual inner workings of the web server itself are the responsibility of the hosting company’s staff. Instead of saying, “I don’t know Linux so I don’t want Linux hosting,” companies need to educate themselves on the benefits of hosting on a Linux server. Considering benefits like increased uptime, better performance and inexpensive licensing is enough to sway any company toward Linux hosting.

Increased Uptime

Any site that needs the maximum amount of uptime should consider Linux hosting over Windows hosting. Linux is a very simple operating system that usually features a stripped down command line interface. Even Linux distributions with a GUI — graphical user interface – are less resource-intensive than Windows. This means that Linux servers don’t crash nearly as often as Windows servers and don’t need anywhere near the amount of care and maintenance, increasing server and site uptime dramatically.

Better Performance

Linux hosting web servers have much better performance than their Windows counterparts for the same reason they have superior uptime. With Linux, the operating system doesn’t take nearly as much from the server’s resources as in Windows. This means that processor cycles, hard drive access and memory, the three main factors impacting server performance, can be far more dedicated to web applications instead of the OS.

Inexpensive Licensing

Windows Server licensing costs a lot just for the basic flavor of Server 2003 or 2008. Add higher-end Windows Server platforms like Windows Server Enterprise or factor in per-seat licensing costs and the price goes even higher. While companies buying hosting don’t pay for their own server OS license, they do subsidize the hosting company’s increased cost through higher hosting fees. Linux distributions are usually either free or come with far lower prices and virtually no added fees, so Linux hosting is much more cost effective, making it another reason to favor Linux hosting.

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