A comparison of Proprietary and Open Source Software as a Way to Maintain Availability in an Open Access Environment




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A Comparison of Proprietary and Open Source Software as a Way to Maintain Availability in an Open Access Environment

A Technology Integration Project
Presented to
The Faculty of the Department of Information & Logistics Technology
University of Houston

In Partial Fulfillment

Of the Requirements for the Degree
Masters of Science

In Technology Project Management with a specialization in Information Systems Security

By
Robert Kieth Hiltbrand

May 4, 2006


TABLE OF CONTENTS


OVERVIEW 5

CHAPTER 1 – INTRODUCTION 6

Background 6

Academics 10

CHAPTER 2 – LITERATURE REVIEW 12

Computer Forensics and Incident Response 12

Common Threats and Vulnerabilities 13

Public Access Computers 16

Support Costs for PCs 17

The General Public License 20

Windows Server vs. Linux Server 21

CHAPTER 3 – PROJECT METHODOLOGY 23

Experimentation Process 23

Windows vs. Linux on the desktop 27

LiveCD for the Desktop 28

LiveCD Distributions 30

Project Sponsorship 30

Project Charter 31

Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) for the Experiment: 35

Risk Matrix 39

CHAPTER 4 – PROJECT EXECUTION and ANALYSIS of FINDINGS 41

Experiment Software 41

Experiment Equipment 43

End User Tasks & Activities 43

Open Access Environment 44

The Process 44

The Test PC in the Field 45

Findings 46

Windows 2000 Issues Matrix 52

Knoppix Linux LiveCD Issues Matrix 53

Issues Common to both Windows & Linux Matrix 54

What does it all mean? 54

Summary of the Windows 2000 Professional Architecture 58

Summary of the Knoppix 4.0.2 Debian-based Linux LiveCD Architecture 59

CHAPTER 5 – SUMMARY and CONCLUSION 62

APPENDIX A 72

APPENDIX B 77

APPENDIX C 82

APPENDIX D 83

APPENDIX E 84

APPENDIX F 89

APPENDIX G 96

APPENDIX I 99

Network Configuration 99

Audit Policy 99

Event Log configuration 100

Services 100

Applications 102

Hotfixes 102

Ports open 102

Hardware 103

Mixed checkpoints 104

APPENDIX J 105

APPENDIX K 108

APPENDIX L 119

Appendix M 121

Appendix N 123

Figure N-1: Disk cache device (Mozilla Firefox) 123

Figure N-2: Memory cache device (Mozilla Firefox) 164

Acknowledgements 197

REFERENCES 198

A Comparison of Proprietary and Open Source Software as a Way to Maintain Availability in an Open Access Environment

OVERVIEW



This project will compare proprietary and open source software in an open access environment. To this end, the concept of the LiveCD versus a standard Microsoft Windows architecture as a desktop platform for general-purpose computing needs within a public access computer lab will be explored.
Personal computers (PCs) face threats when connected to the Internet from hackers, viruses, worms, and other malicious code. Complex hardware & software configurations, coupled with aging hardware, contribute to increased IT-related support costs for a PC environment. These factors, along with the similarities and differences between open and proprietary systems will be examined.
The project will include a review of the relevant literature and experimentation in a public access computer lab. After experimentation, data will be analyzed and presented with conclusions about open source and proprietary software and the availability of systems within an open access environment.
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