D@TA Protection and the Linux Environment
Organizations that gather and store critical information have to protect it. While there are tried and true techniques for data protection, there are also new and innovative ones. These new practices and tools greatly enhance an organization's ability to protect mission-critical data. Linux and Open Source users are specially challenged when trying to take advantage of much of this new technology.
LWM: How is Linux involved in data protection?
TP: There are two ways that Linux pops up in regards to data protection. One is on the product side. It's one of the most popular platforms in use in data storage and data protection systems. Storage systems used to be fairly simple. When all you wanted to do was provide an interface to the storage devices and maybe RAID, you could write your own embedded executive pretty easily.
Now that storage systems are highly complex, feature-rich products, a better underlying operating system is necessary. Linux provides the environment that enables many of the advanced functions that data protection relies on. Unlike some other embedded operating systems, Linux gives developers the control they want and marketers the licensing conducive to a high-volume business. There's a downside though. Proprietary operating systems and executives rarely have the security issues that more common operating systems do. Even when there's a threat, few people are trying to exploit it. That's not always the case - take a look at the security issues that have hit Cisco IOS lately - but the threat is still higher with a common OS.
Despite that, Linux is an excellent platform for data protection products. Besides the many programmers who understand it well, the ability to program at a kernel and source code level lets you to do things that would be difficult otherwise.
The other place that Linux intersects with data protection is in the data center. Linux has established itself as a viable server operating system. Linux-based systems now serve up mission-critical data that has to be protected. That means that Linux users have to worry about data protection issues the same way Microsoft Windows Server and Unix users do.
LWM: What are some of the issues that enterprise Linux users have with data protection?
LWM: What can Linux users do to better protect mission-critical enterprise data?
LWM: What should the Linux community expect from vendors regarding data protection?
LWM: What should they expect from the Open Source community?