A few years ago, Linux began appearing in data centers as information technology professionals discovered that the open-source operating system could
easily tackle basic network tasks -- such as Web, file and print serving -- more cost-effectively than its commercial counterparts.
Initially, many government agencies were hesitant to deploy Linux for mission-critical application servers, preferring instead to use one or more of
the commercial Unix operating systems to ensure scalability. In addition, many government IT purchasers were skeptical of Linux's ability to comply
with the Common Criteria Evaluation and Validation Scheme, internationally recognized procedures for testing the level of security in IT products.
Such compliance is required for many agency IT purchases.