Comparing and Contrasting the Concept of Software and Hardware



Comparison refers to finding the key facts that relate two or more things, facts and /or concepts. It includes aspects that enable the observer or listener to conclude that the things under analysis are related in terms of functionality, shape or size. However, this is different from contrasting, which refers to finding the differences existing between two or more things, concepts or ideas (Lipiansky, 2012). Comparing and contrasting is important in establishing characteristics that can be used in classification. Different concepts can be compared in the field of computer science. The most basic concepts include the hardware and software, which tend to create challenges in determining the similarities and differences (Shinder, 2014). Thus, it will be important to illustrate comparison and contrast based on the two concepts to facilitate understanding to computer science learners.


Both software and hardware have behavior, which is characterized by their functionality. Users are able to utilize them through interaction. In order for them to work effectively, the user must provide raw materials in form of data and manipulative instructions. The two concepts result in production of certain output, which is important to the user (The Prime, 2015).

Both the software and hardware concepts have functional and non-functional requirements. In this perspective, part of their composition does not have a purpose, but it is needed within the concepts. For instance, the software has the parts: configuration files, the body, content and Logs or Dumps. These parts are significantly important in defining specific software and they are responsible for its functionality (Eliëns, 2014). However, parts like the graphics are less important since without them the software will still be functional. On the other hand, the hardware has useful components such as processor, keyboard, memory, monitor and hard drive, which ensure functionality. The hardware has less important things such as supporters and covers (Lipiansky, 2012).

Both the concepts are complex especially in understanding their development or construction. The hardware contains minuscule parts that are connected through tiny wires. The parts of hardware are not labeled to understand the connections and/ or purpose (Shinder, 2014). In the case of the software, it is also complex since it contains binary numbers or codes that are arranged differently to facilitate its functionality. Representing the two concepts based on product provisions results to tree structures, which are entirely complex to understand.

The two concepts are subject to improvement in terms of functionality and performance. For instance, the software can be improved to increase its functionality. It can also be reorganized to appear more presentable to the user (Eliëns, 2014). On the other hand, the hardware can be improved through increased capacity to handle tasks or increased efficiency. The hardware can be redesigned to enable it consume lesser amount of energy.

Shinder, (2014) argues that both the two concepts require the user to have certain skills regarding their functionality in order to manipulate them easily and produce outcomes. Based on this, some software may require the user to possess advanced skills obtained through learning. The hardware may also require some expertise either through formal education or exposure to be able to install them effectively before use.


The concept of hardware and software can be contrasted with the following facts: software can be changed easily as compared to hardware. This is due to high cost of purchasing and installing hardware spares from the electronics shops (Lipiansky, 2012). For the case of the software, the spares are available on the internet with a small fee. Once they are developed, they cannot get depleted and the number of people that purchase them from the internet does not mean more production units since it’s only a copy of the original that is downloaded. However, hardware requires regular production since the stock in stores is subject to depletion.

Software evolves through the addition of new features, which is done through rewriting advanced logic. However, the hardware cannot be improved or refactored after initial manufacture, and new capabilities cannot be added.

In order to design new brands of hardware, the previous or existing generation must be taken into consideration (The Prime, 2015). However, this is different from the software since it may lack a positive correlation with the previous version in the market. The manufacturers base their research on producing unique products to outdo their competitors.

According to Shinder (2014), developing software results to flat cost based on the fact that materials are not bought for assembling. Instead, the human knowledge is responsible for the complete design of new software. This is different from hardware since the cost of manufacture increases towards the end of the production process. The increase can be accounted for the expensive raw materials that are required to finalize the process of production.

The software is designed by programmers and other technology experts and sent to the quality assurance engineers for functionality testing. However, this is different from the hardware since the engineers responsible for the production undertake the task of testing the final product. This ensures they realize their mistakes or faults and work on them before presenting it to the market (Eliëns, 2014).

Hardware is developed and tested for functionality within a given period of time. It can be affected by the weather conditions, falls and time. This is part of the reasons for constant replacements since the duration of proper functionality diminishes (Lipiansky, 2012). However, this is different from the software since they are designed to last infinitely. Weather falls and time cannot affect their functionality. The need for new software arises basically from predetermined efficiencies.

Architectural decisions determine the outlook for a hardware being manufactured. The shape, size, and weight are factors that are considered by the architecture during designing of hardware. However, this is different when compared to software development since they do not need considerations such as weight, size, material, and shape. Everything involves arranging data into logic order to form an intangible and functional platform.

Hardware development involves four major stages before the final product is approved for use. This includes the detailed plan of the product, manufacturing process, test, inspection, and finally the supply structure for the purchased parts (The Prime, 2015). These four stages consume time as they require proper decision making to avoid incurring abnormal expenses. On the other hand, software development entails two distinct stages which include the detailed design and actual movement of the product into the context of the consumers.


Contrasting and comparing idea, things, and facts help to bring out their features for better understanding. In this analysis, the concept of software and hardware computer parts has been focused and their detailed characteristics provided. Their similarities and differences have been captured from the aspect of functionality, production cost, and durability. The two concepts have also been analyzed based on their behavior since it is what makes them viable in the technological world.

Task Two: Feasibility Report


Executive Summary

This is a successful continuation of the first part with the support of experienced writers who helped me to write my essay. The purpose of the report is to inform the management of the need of the installation for the Mac OS X Server to the networks and systems of the company. This is due to its effectiveness in the performance of information technology duties that have been a challenge over the years. The company has been experiencing technical difficulties due to the use of inefficient and outdated server operating system versions; hence, the need to introduce the Mac OS X platform to the entity. Therefore, this report will focus on the proposal for the procurement of the server operating system/


The company has over the years utilized the Windows Small Business Server 2008 which was installed when the entity was being incorporated. Technological growth and advancement have enabled the entity to grow and expand its operations where it has clients globally. This means it has evolved from being a small business to a large corporation; hence, the need to incorporate some changes regarding its information technology sector. The previously used server is designed for small entities with clients not exceeding 75, but now the company has over 200 clients. Mac OS X Server is the best, in this case, since it can manage the large files and documents regarding the clients. The company has also been experiencing cyber insecurity issues where external attackers have accessed the company’s networks and systems leading to damage. This indicates the need for the implementation of a new server platform which will ensure critical information regarding the company and its clients is protected.

Project Proposal

The proposal, in this case, is the implementation and installation of the Mac OS X Server which caters to the needs of the entity since it has expanded to become a large corporation. The server is also crucial since it has security features that ensure the data and information in the networks are protected. This is because it is designed to limit access where the authorized personnel access the systems; hence, providing effective security measures. The management should also consider the procurement of the server operating system platform since the company possesses a wide variety of Apple products that are compatible with the server. The products have a Macintosh interface; hence, enabling the systems to accommodate the server. Another advantage of using the server is it is flexible; that is, can be manipulated by the users depending on the needs of the company. This means that the entity can upgrade the server when Apple releases a new version; hence, enabling the entity to stay updated.


The procurement of the server will require the entity to utilize some resources since Apple Company may charge some fees during the acquisition process. Apple’s online business store provides its business customers with a minimum of 20 licenses for the server. The price charged for the licenses is $29.99 where an additional $49.99 is charged for the maintenance contracts per license. Therefore, the company may acquire about 100 licenses to cater to the needs of its wide spread clients; hence, must set aside about $8,000 for the procurement process. The company may use the Apple hardware to download the server using its iTunes account where it can select the version, which suits the firm’s operations.


The Mac OS X Server will require the company to obtain additional Apple hardware which can be distributed to all the branch offices globally. This means that the firm should invest in more Apple products such as iPads, iPhones, and Apple computers to enable the employees to effectively manage the server. The products can also enable staff members to learn more regarding the server; hence, comprehending its operations. The management should also include other security measures such as the use of passwords and locks to limit access to the systems or the employment of security personnel. This would enable the management to effectively monitor and supervise the operations of the server.

Acceptance Signoff

Manager Name:




Therefore, from this study, one can comprehend the different server operating system platforms that can be utilized in the processing and management of data by companies. Server operating systems are examples of open-source technologies where the operating systems, in this case, run on servers installed in specialized computers. The computers are designed to cater to the needs and requests of clients operating on the network. Servers possess some features based on flexibility, affordability, and reliability that enable individuals and organizations to select the preferred systems.

3 Platform Research Assignment: part 1


The growth and advancement of technology have led to increased innovations in the business sector globally where firms have created and installed systems that enhance the business practices. This means that computer-generated systems and software are being utilized to manage and regulate information and data regarding the business operations of the entities. Information technology vendors are key players in the technology industry since they are associated with the creation and installation of the systems that provide information management platforms. Some of the information technology vendors include Red Hat, Microsoft, Novel, and Oracle where the vendors, in this case, are also involved with the provision of open-source technologies. The open-source technologies are the computer programs and software that are made freely available to the public to enable it to utilize the source codes provided. The users of the programs can make modifications and changes to enable them to meet the needs of their businesses. Therefore, this paper will focus on analyzing the server operating systems where it will be divided into two tasks. The first task will be to analyze three server operating system platforms, their features and benefits, and their business application. The second task, on the other hand, will be a procurement proposal for one of the platforms from the first task.

Task One: Server Operating Systems

Server operating systems are crucial in the business sector since they are associated with the management of computer hardware and software. The systems are designed to operate on servers; hence, providing a linkage between the users of information and data, and the computer applications. Server operating systems have platforms that are critical to ensuring the effective management of the data to ensure the client computers on the network easily access information. This means the platforms are utilized in storing, sending, and processing and the managing of large files and documents in the computers. The platforms have specific unique features regarding security, administration, and stability that enable them to perform effectively in the management of business operations. Some of the server operating system platforms utilized by organizations include:

Mac OS X Server

This is Apple’s main OS; that is, it has a Macintosh interface; hence, a business must acquire Apple hardware to access its services. The platform is quite similar to FreeBSD, which is another server operating system utilized by firms to manage data and files installed in computer systems. Some of the features include ease of use where the server can be easily comprehended by its users; hence, is easy to process and manage data. Mac OS X Server is also stable and reliable, meaning that it can effectively operate without experiencing any technical challenges such as crashes (Kukreja, Stevenson and Ritter, 321). This enables it to be reliable since the users have confidence with its operations regarding the sending, storing, and processing of data. The server is designed to function in high-performance network systems and applications indicating its efficiency to the client computers utilizing the networks. Lastly, it can be used in a large range of Apple products such as iPhones, iPads, and Apple computers since they are designed to access and manipulate the operating system. This platform is preferred by organizations due to the wide variety of services it provides to ensure business operations and activities are well-functioning. Some of the services include cross-platform file sharing, web hosting, system imaging, client management, networking and security, live video broadcasting, calendaring and scheduling, web-based collaboration, and e-mail services. Mac OS X Server is suited to operate in the education sector where learning institutions utilize the server to manage data regarding the learners and the activities in the schools. It can also be used by both small and large business entities that possess and use Apple products in running the business activities.

Windows Small Business Server 2008

The server is designed to operate in small entities; that is, organizations having less than 75 users of the data in the network systems. The server was launched in November 2008, where according to Steven VanRoekel, who operates in Windows Server Solutions as a senior director provided that firms acquiring the platform for IT duties can save resources due to its low acquisition and maintenance costs. The small business server is also easy to use since it is designed to cater to the needs of users not exceeding 75; hence, not considered to be complicated in managing and processing data (Johansson and Tulloch, 476). It can support and maintain client files and documents indicating its reliability feature where small entities depend on the server in the creation of an interface between the users and the networks. The businesses utilizing this server operating system platform enjoy some services such as internet connectivity, remote access, e-mail, mobile devices support, file sharing, and backup services. However, midsized and large entities with more sophisticated information technology demand compared to the small organizations may acquire Windows Essential Business Server 2008 which offers a wide variety of services.


The Linux server operating system is also a crucial platform in the information technology sector due to its effectiveness in data processing and management in the systems and networks. The server has different versions that enable entities to select depending on the size and nature of the businesses and the industries they operate in. The Linux server is preferred by entities due to its stability; that is, its operations regarding information technology duties are effective where it experiences minimal or no technical challenges such as crashes. The Linux operating system is also designed to prevent the systems and networks from cyber insecurity where external networks are prevented from accessing information and data in the computer systems. This is a security strategy that ensures information is protected through limiting access to the programs. The creation of Linux versions has enabled the server to be affordable; that is, low costs are incurred by entities installing the platform. The prices of its many versions range from free to some thousand dollars; hence, enabling entities to select the appropriate version. The free servers can be downloaded from a company or individual and installed in the systems without incurring charges. For instance, the Ubuntu Linux version is free where both small and large organizations can access it to enjoy information technology related services such as web hosting, podcast encode and delivery, distributed computing, and video streaming (Norton, 106). Linux server operating system can be utilized in some business departments such as finance, and human resource since it can manage large files and documents.