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Networking Operating Systems: Analysis and Comparison

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Networking Operating Systems: Analysis and Comparison

There are several Network Operating Systems available to the public. The three most common are Windows Server 2003, Novell NetWare, and Unix based systems such RedHat Linux .Each one of these operating systems have unique advantages as well as sharing many common features with each of the other operating systems.

Microsoft Server 2003 is one of the most popular network operating systems on the market today. Microsoft 2003 offers a host benefits to network administrators including support for multiple processors and symmetric multiprocessing, centralized management of network objects through the Active Directory, centralized management of multiple clients, resources, and services with the use of the Microsoft Management Tool, and support for modern protocols and security standards. Because of Microsoft's large foothold in the market, technical is available from Microsoft as well as private developer groups and third party newsgroups. Unlike Server 2000, Server 2003 no longer supports the NetBEUI protocol. Windows Server 2003 has also been criticized for failure to support some legacy applications such as Exchange 5.5 and Exchange 2000. Microsoft's Internet Security and Acceleration Server also requires a service pack to run properly.

Since the early 1990's, UNIX operating systems have been growing in popularity, and the opinion of some, have even surpassed the offerings of Microsoft. RedHat Linux is one of the most common builds of the UNIX open source code and offers a variety of features to the user including support for multiple processors and symmetrical processing, support of several different network topologies, compatibility with other network OS's, support for TCP/IP as well as non-IP protocols such as IPX/SPX. Linux also features dozens of programming languages and source code portability as well as changes to the server's configuration without having to restart the server. However, since Linux still maintains a smaller following than Microsoft, technical support may not be as in depth or readily available as that for Server 2003.

Novell's offering to the network operating system is NetWare. The latest release of NetWare, version 6.5, boasts all the advantages of previous versions and also brings to the table iManager for managing eDirectory and its objects, continuous backup of the server while it

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