Securing computer systems against unauthorized access is one of the most pressing issues facing today's data center administrators. Recent studies suggest that the number of unauthorized accesses continue to rise, as do the monetary losses associated with security breaches.
One way to reduce system vulnerabilities is to minimize the amount of software on a server. Fewer software components on a server means fewer security holes to detect and protect. The majority of system intrusions are accomplished through exploiting security holes in the OS. Minimizing the OS modules installed on a server can greatly improve overall system security by reducing the vulnerabilities. This process is done within the framework of a jumpstart installation, which makes it possible to completely automate the installation process. Automation is particularly important in a data center environment, where machines typically number in the hundreds.