Resource Management in Minimalist Systems

Document Type


Lead Author Type

CIS Masters Student


Dr. Yonglei Tao; taoy@gvsu.edu

Embargo Period



In order to keep a server running efficiently and safe from vulnerabilities, it’s often best to use an approach that keeps the attack area of a server low by using only the amount of software needed to accomplish a given task. In creating a small server for personal or small business use, I wanted to understand how to build a simple system could be affordable while having a small energy footprint. In order to minimize the cost of each respective piece of hardware, I wanted to measure the requirements for the base operating systems from various vendors. Looking into Windows Server 2019, VMWare ESXi, Red Hat Enterprise Linux and OpenBSD, I measured their system requirements on a low-power server and attempted to analyze each system for simplicity and functionality. The ideal system should have minimal OS-level processes and the smallest CPU and storage footprint. Remote management tools and package management options were also key to an ideal operating system.

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