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Apache: Self Assessment and Security

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Server
OSS
  • The Apache® Software Foundation Announces Annual Report for 2019 Fiscal Year

    The Apache® Software Foundation (ASF), the all-volunteer developers, stewards, and incubators of more than 350 Open Source projects and initiatives, announced today the availability of the annual report for its 2019 fiscal year, which ended 30 April 2019.

  • Open Source at the ASF: A Year in Numbers

    332 active projects, 71 million lines of code changed, 7,000+ committers…

    The Apache Software Foundation has published its annual report for fiscal 2019. The hub of a sprawling, influential open source community, the ASF remains in rude good health, despite challenges this year including the need for “an outsized amount of effort” dealing with trademark infringements, and “some in the tech industry trying to exploit the goodwill earned by the larger Open Source community.”

    [...]

    The ASF names 10 “platinum” sponsors: AWS, Cloudera, Comcast, Facebook, Google, LeaseWeb, Microsoft, the Pineapple Fund, Tencent Cloud, and Verizon Media

  • Apache Software Foundation Is Worth $20 Billion

    Yes, Apache is worth $20 billion by its own valuation of the software it offers for free. But what price can you realistically put on open source code?

    If you only know the name Apache in connection with the web server then you are missing out on some interesting software. The Apache Software Foundation ASF, grew out of the Apache HTTP Server project in 1999 with the aim of furthering open source software. It provides a licence, the Apache licence, a decentralized governance and requires projects to be licensed to the ASF so that it can protect the intellectual property rights.

  • Apache Security Advisories Red Flag Wrong Versions in Patching Gaffe

    Researchers have pinpointed errors in two dozen Apache Struts security advisories, which warn users of vulnerabilities in the popular open-source web app development framework. They say that the security advisories listed incorrect versions impacted by the vulnerabilities.

    The concern from this research is that security administrators in companies using the actual impacted versions would incorrectly think that their versions weren’t affected – and would thus refrain from applying patches, said researchers with Synopsys who made the discovery, Thursday.

    “The real question here from this research is whether there remain unpatched versions of the newly disclosed versions in production scenarios,” Tim Mackey, principal security strategist for the Cybersecurity Research Center at Synopsys, told Threatpost. “In all cases, the Struts community had already issued patches for the vulnerabilities so the patches exist, it’s just a question of applying them.”

Cockpit and the evolution of the Web User Interface

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Server

This article only touches upon some of the main functions available in Cockpit. Managing storage devices, networking, user account, and software control will be covered in an upcoming article. In addition, optional extensions such as the 389 directory service, and the cockpit-ostree module used to handle packages in Fedora Silverblue.

The options continue to grow as more users adopt Cockpit. The interface is ideal for admins who want a light-weight interface to control their server(s).

Read more

Server: Managing GNU/Linux Servers and Cost of Micro-services Complexity

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Server
  • Keeping track of Linux users: When do they log in and for how long?

    The Linux command line provides some excellent tools for determining how frequently users log in and how much time they spend on a system. Pulling information from the /var/log/wtmp file that maintains details on user logins can be time-consuming, but with a couple easy commands, you can extract a lot of useful information on user logins.

  • Daily user management tasks made easy for every Linux administrator

    In this article, we will be going over some tasks that a Linux administrator may need to perform daily related to user management.

  • The cost of micro-services complexity

    It has long been recognized by the security industry that complex systems are impossible to secure, and that pushing for simplicity helps increase trust by reducing assumptions and increasing our ability to audit. This is often captured under the acronym KISS, for "keep it stupid simple", a design principle popularized by the US Navy back in the 60s. For a long time, we thought the enemy were application monoliths that burden our infrastructure with years of unpatched vulnerabilities.

    So we split them up. We took them apart. We created micro-services where each function, each logical component, is its own individual service, designed, developed, operated and monitored in complete isolation from the rest of the infrastructure. And we composed them ad vitam æternam. Want to send an email? Call the rest API of micro-service X. Want to run a batch job? Invoke lambda function Y. Want to update a database entry? Post it to A which sends an event to B consumed by C stored in D transformed by E and inserted by F. We all love micro-services architecture. It’s like watching dominoes fall down. When it works, it’s visceral. It’s when it doesn’t that things get interesting. After nearly a decade of operating them, let me share some downsides and caveats encountered in large-scale production environments.

    [...]

    And finally, there’s security. We sure love auditing micro-services, with their tiny codebases that are always neat and clean. We love reviewing their infrastructure too, with those dynamic security groups and clean dataflows and dedicated databases and IAM controlled permissions. There’s a lot of security benefits to micro-services, so we’ve been heavily advocating for them for several years now.

    And then, one day, someone gets fed up with having to manage API keys for three dozen services in flat YAML files and suggests to use oauth for service-to-service authentication. Or perhaps Jean-Kevin drank the mTLS Kool-Aid at the FoolNix conference and made a PKI prototype on the flight back (side note: do you know how hard it is to securely run a PKI over 5 or 10 years? It’s hard). Or perhaps compliance mandates that every server, no matter how small, must run a security agent on them.

Announcing Oracle Linux 7 Update 7

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Red Hat
Server

Oracle is pleased to announce the general availability of Oracle Linux 7 Update 7. Individual RPM packages are available on the Unbreakable Linux Network (ULN) and the Oracle Linux yum server. ISO installation images will soon be available for download from the Oracle Software Delivery Cloud and Docker images will soon be available via Oracle Container Registry and Docker Hub.

Read more

Also: Oracle Linux 7 Update 7 Released

Server: Kata Containers in Tumbleweed, Ubuntu on 'Multi' 'Cloud', and Containers 101

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Server
  • Kubic Project: Kata Containers now available in Tumbleweed

    Kata Containers is an open source container runtime that is crafted to seamlessly plug into the containers ecosystem.

    We are now excited to announce that the Kata Containers packages are finally available in the official openSUSE Tumbleweed repository.

    It is worthwhile to spend few words explaining why this is a great news, considering the role of Kata Containers (a.k.a. Kata) in fulfilling the need for security in the containers ecosystem, and given its importance for openSUSE and Kubic.

  • Why multi-cloud has become a must-have for enterprises: six experts weigh in

    Remember the one-size-fits-all approach to cloud computing? That was five years ago. Today, multi-cloud architectures that use two, three, or more providers, across a mix of public and private platforms, are quickly becoming the preferred strategy at most companies.

    Despite the momentum, pockets of hesitation remain. Some sceptics are under the impression that deploying cloud platforms and services from multiple vendors can be a complex process. Others worry about security, regulatory, and performance issues.

  • Containers 101: Containers vs. Virtual Machines (And Why Containers Are the Future of IT Infrastructure)

    What exactly is a container and what makes it different -- and in some cases better -- than a virtual machine?

Server: Surveillance Computing, Kubernetes Ingress, MongoDB 4.2, Linux Foundation on 'DevOps'

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Server
  • Linux and Cloud Computing: Can Pigs Fly? Linux now Dominates Microsoft Azure Servers [Ed: This is not about "Linux" dominating Microsoft but Microsoft trying to dominate GNU/Linux]

    Over the last five years things have changed dramatically at Microsoft. Microsoft has embraced Linux. Earlier in the year, Sasha Levin, Microsoft Linux kernel developer, said that now more than half of the servers in Microsoft Azure are running Linux.

  • Google Cloud Adds Compute, Memory-Intensive VMs

    Google added virtual machine (VM) types on Google Compute Engine including second-generation Intel Xeon scalable processor machines and new VMs for compute- and memory-heavy applications.

  • Kubernetes Ingress

    On a similar note, if your application doesn’t serve a purpose outside the Kubernetes cluster, does it really matter whether or not your cluster is well built? Probably not.

    To give you a concrete example, let’s say we have a classical web app composed of a frontend written in Nodejs and a backend written in Python which uses MySQL database. You deploy two corresponding services on your Kubernetes cluster.

    You make a Dockerfile specifying how to package the frontend software into a container, and similarly you package your backend. Next in your Kubernetes cluster, you will deploy two services each running a set of pods behind it. The web service can talk to the database cluster and vice versa.

  • MongoDB 4.2 materialises with $merge operator and indexing help for unstructured data messes

    Document-oriented database MongoDB is now generally available in version 4.2 which introduces enhancements such as on-demand materialised views and wildcard indexing.

    Wildcard indexing can be useful in scenarios where unstructured, heterogeneous datasets make creating appropriate indexes hard. Admins can use the function to create a filter of sorts that matches fields, arrays, or sub-documents in a collection, and adds the hits to a sparse index.

    [...]

    Speaking of cloud, last year MongoDB decided to step away from using the GNU Affero General Public License for the Community Edition of its database and switched to an altered version. The Server-Side Public License is meant to place a condition – namely, to open source the code used to serve the software from the cloud – on offering MongoDB as a service to clients.

  • Announcing New Course: DevOps and SRE Fundamentals-Implementing Continuous Delivery

    The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, announced today that enrollment is now open for the new DevOps and SRE Fundamentals – Implementing Continuous Delivery eLearning course. The course will help an organization be more agile, deliver features rapidly, while at the same time being able to achieve non-functional requirements such as availability, reliability, scalability, security, etc.

    According to Chris Aniszczyk, CTO of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, “The rise of cloud native computing and site reliability engineering are changing the way applications are built, tested, and deployed. The past few years have seen a shift towards having Site Reliability Engineers (SREs) on staff instead of just plain old sysadmins; building familiarity with SRE principles and continuous delivery open source projects are an excellent career investment.”

Server Side: IBM, Apache and CNCF

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Server
  • Take Your Time With IBM Stock as it Digests its Behemoth Linux Maker Deal

    Prior to the Red Heat deal, IBM was treading water. The company released earnings on July 17. For the second quarter of 2019, revenue was down year-over-year. Sales were $19.1 billion, down from $20 billion in the prior year’s quarter. The company’s Cloud and Business Services unit saw slight growth (5% and 3% YoY, respectively), but declines in the Global Technology Services and Systems units countered this improvement. Despite this slight revenue slip, IBM managed to keep quarterly operating income steady at ~$2.8 billion.

    The Red Hat deal adds a variety of growth catalysts to the International Business Machines story. For one thing, the acquisition makes IBM a bigger player in the $1 trillion cloud computing space. The deal is expected to accelerate revenue growth and improve gross margins. The deal is also very synergistic. IBM can now sell Red Hat’s suite of solutions to their existing customer base. With IBM’s global reach, the company could expand Red Hat’s business better than Red Hat would have done as an independent company.

  • Apache Software Foundation's Code-Base Valued At $20 Billion USD

    The Apache Software Foundation has published their 2019 fiscal year report highlighting their more than 350 open-source projects/initiatives and this also marks their 20th anniversary. 

    The Apache Software Foundation's 2019 report values their code-base at more than $20 billion USD using the COCOMO 2 model for estimating. Though for their 2019 fiscal year the foundation turned a profit of $585k USD thanks to sponsors. There are more than 190 million lines of code within Apache repositories. 

  • 9 open source cloud native projects to consider

    I mean, just look at that! And this is just a start. Just as NodeJS’s creation sparked the explosion of endless JavaScript tools, the popularity of container technology started the exponential growth of cloud-native applications.

    The good news is that there are several organizations that oversee and connect these dots together. One is the Open Containers Initiative (OCI), which is a lightweight, open governance structure (or project), "formed under the auspices of the Linux Foundation for the express purpose of creating open industry standards around container formats and runtime." The other is the CNCF, "an open source software foundation dedicated to making cloud native computing universal and sustainable."

    In addition to building a community around cloud-native applications generally, CNCF also helps projects set up structured governance around their cloud-native applications. CNCF created the concept of maturity levels—Sandbox, Incubating, or Graduated—which correspond to the Innovators, Early Adopters, and Early Majority tiers on the diagram below.

More on Fedora (Flock), IBM/Red Hat and Servers/HPC

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Red Hat
Server
  • Stephen Gallagher: Flock 2019 Trip Report

    As usual, the conference began with Matthew Miller’s traditional “State of Fedora” address wherein he uses pretty graphs to confound and amaze us. Oh, and reminds us that we’ve come a long way in Fedora and we have much further to go together, still.

    Next was a keynote by Cate Huston of Automattic (now the proud owners of both WordPress and Tumblr, apparently!). She talked to us about the importance of understanding when a team has become dysfunctional and some techniques for getting back on track.

    After lunch, Adam Samalik gave his talk, “Modularity: to modularize or not to modularize?”, describing for the audience some of the cases where Fedora Modularity makes sense… and some cases where other packaging techniques are a better choice. This was one of the more useful sessions for me. Once Adam gave his prepared talk, the two of us took a series of great questions from the audience. I hope that we did a good job of disambiguating some things, but time will tell how that works out. We also got some suggestions for improvements we could make, which were translated into Modularity Team tickets: here and here.

  • IBM Cloud: No shift, Sherlock

    IBM’s cloud strategy has gone through a number of iterations as it attempts to offer a compelling hybrid cloud to shift its customers from traditional IT architectures to modern cloud computing.

    IBM is gambling those customers who have yet to embrace the public cloud fully, remain committed to private and hybrid cloud-based infrastructure, and, if they do use public clouds, they want a cloud-agnostic approach to move workloads. In July, IBM closed the $34bn purchase of Red Hat, an acquisition it hopes will finally enable it to deliver cloud-agnostic products and services.

    To tie in with the completion of the acquisition of Red Hat, IBM commissioned Forrester to look at the benefits to those organisations that are both Red Hat and IBM customers.

  • Red Hat Shares ― Not just open source, *enterprise* open source

    Open source software (OSS), by definition, has source code that’s available for anyone to see, learn from, use, modify, and distribute. It’s also the foundation for a model of collaborative invention that empowers communities of individuals and companies to innovate in a way that proprietary software doesn't allow.

    Enterprise open source software is OSS that’s supported and made more secure―by a company like Red Hat―for enterprise use. It plays a strategic role in many organizations and continues to gain popularity.

  • Taashee Linux Services Joins Bright Computing Partner Program

Databases: BlazingSQL, Apache Cassandra, CockroachDB

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Server
  • BlazingSQL, a GPU-accelerated SQL engine built on top of RAPIDS, is now open source

    Yesterday, the BlazingSQL team open-sourced BlazingSQL under the Apache 2.0 license. It is a lightweight, GPU-accelerated SQL engine built on top of the RAPIDS. ai ecosystem. RAPIDS. ai is a suite of software libraries and APIs for end-to-end execution of data science and analytics pipelines entirely on GPUs.

    Explaining his vision behind this step, Rodrigo Aramburu, CEO of BlazingSQL wrote in a Medium blog post, “As RAPIDS adoption continues to explode, open-sourcing BlazingSQL accelerates our development cycle, gets our product in the hands of more users, and aligns our licensing and messaging with the greater RAPIDS.ai ecosystem.”

    Aramburu calls RAPIDS “the next-generation analytics ecosystem” where BlazingSQL serves as the SQL standard. It also serves as an SQL interface for cuDF, a GPU DataFrame (GDF) library for loading, joining, aggregating, and filtering data.

  • GPU SQL engine BlazingSQL now open source

    A new open-source project wants to take analytics to the next level. BlazingSQL is a GPU-accelerated SQL engine built on the RAPIDS ecosystem. RAPIDS is an open-source suite of software libraries for executing end-to-end data science and analytics pipelines entirely on GPUs.

    According to the team, BlazingSQL was built to address the expense, complexity and sluggish pace users deal with when working on large data sets.

    “BlazingSQL addresses these customer concerns not only with an incredibly fast, distributed GPU SQL engine, but also a zealous focus on simplicity,” Rodrigo Aramburu, CEO of BlazingSQL, wrote in a blog post. “With a few lines of code, BlazingSQL can query your raw data, wherever it resides and interoperate with your existing analytics stack and RAPIDS.”

    BlazingSQL enables users to query datasets from enterprise data lakes directly into GPU memory as a GPU DataFrame (GDF). GDF is a project that offers support for interoperability between GPU applications. It also defines a common GPU in-memory data layer.

  • DataStax: what is a ‘progressive’ cloud strategy?

    With its roots and foundations in the open source Apache Cassandra database, Santa Clara headquartered DataStax insists that it likes to keep things open.

    As such, the company is opening a wider aperture on its collaboration with VMware by now offering DataStax production support on VMware vSAN, now in hybrid and multi-cloud configurations.

  • Cockroach Labs raises $55 million for ultra-resilient databases

    Cockroach Labs, the New York-based developer of the open source distributed database project CockroachDB, today announced that it’s closed a $55 million, oversubscribed series C round co-led by Altimeter Capital, Tiger Global, and GV (formerly Google Ventures). The raise, which saw participation from existing investors Benchmark, Index Ventures, Redpoint Ventures, FirstMark Capital, and Work-Bench, brings the company’s total capital raised to $108.5 million and comes after a year in which revenue doubled quarter-over-quarter.

PostgreSQL: When open-source gets serious

Filed under
Server
OSS

The transition from academic research to commercial production environments that much technology makes is well documented.

In the area of software, the most shallow dive into any sector’s day-to-day production applications shows that the journey has been made, if not by the finished, user-facing app, then almost certainly in some aspect of the codebase.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and grid computing, for example, both began in academe, and now are to be found in fully-commercial, production settings— often in open-source.

While there are commercial offerings of AIaaS most famously in Watson from IBM, machine learning, AI, cognitive computing and the like are now embedded into many apps and services in daily use– although, the technology might not be immediately apparent.

That’s the same shape of the journey taken by Postgres (aka PostgreSQL), a database schema that was devised as a successor to Ingres, released as open-source, and now is the fastest-growing (in terms of deployments) database in the enterprise space.

And while like all open-source software, the ongoing development and support of Postgres is community-driven, there are plenty of commercial companies that use the platform as the basis of their offerings.

There are small and not-so-small companies operating in this space; Devart, Severalnines, EnterpriseDB, Database Labs, and Aiven, to name but a handful.

Read more

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