Open Source Solutions
A Note About Open Source
You have seen the power of open source graphics and rendering farms in the movies. University students have accomplished everything from embedding webservers on tiny microchips to turning dorm buildings into Tetris games using open source applications and operating systems to control the switching of the buildings lights into game piece patterns! Open source software is extremely flexible and can fill untold roles in any technology plan. Just a few examples follow:
Apache Web Server
Open source operating systems and Apache Web Server have proven to be a strong combination. Some of the most heavily visited websites on the internet utilize the Apache Web Server running on a distribution of Linux or FreeBSD operating systems.
Firewalling and Name Address Translation
These services are part and parcel of the Linux kernel. They provide for inexpensive and extremely flexible protection on the internet as well as enabling the sharing of valuable internet resources.
Samba is an open source solution for Microsoft SMB networking. Samba allows an open source server to emulate and participate in a Windows network. Only the administrator of the server knows it's not really Windows!
If you require ftp services for your customers, a dedicated machine running an open source operating system is an excellent choice for both value and security.