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Servers: Concurrency, Purism, InSpec, Kubernetes, Docker/Containers

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  • Thinking Concurrently: How Modern Network Applications Handle Multiple Connections

    The idea behind a process is fairly simple. A running program consists of not only executing code, but also data and some context. Because the code, data and context all exist in memory, the operating system can switch from one process to another very quickly. This combination of code + data + context is known as a "process", and it's the basis for how Linux systems work.

    When you start your Linux box, it has a single process. That process then "forks" itself, such that two identical processes are running. The second ("child") process reads new code, data and context ("exec"), and thus starts running a new process. This continues throughout the time that a system is running. When you execute a new program on the command line with & at the end of the line, you're forking the shell process and then exec'ing your desired program in its place.

  • New Purist Services – Standard Web Services Done Ethically

    When you sign up for a communication service, you are typically volunteering to store your personal, unencrypted data on someone else’s remote server farm. You have no way of ensuring that your data is safe or how it is being used by the owner of the server. However, online services are incredibly convenient especially when you have multiple devices.

  • Automated compliance testing with InSpec

    Don't equate compliance through certification with security, because compliance and security are not the same. We look at automated compliance testing with InSpec for the secure operation of enterprise IT.

  • How the Kubernetes Certification Ensures Interoperability

    Dan Kohn, executive director of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, has called the launch of the new Kubernetes service provider certification program the most significant announcement yet made by the Foundation around the open source container orchestration engine.

    On this new episode of The New Stack Makers from KubeCon + CloudNativeCon 2017, we’ll learn more from Kohn and William Denniss, a product manager at Google, about how the program can help ensure interoperability and why that’s so important.

  • Container Structure Tests: Unit Tests for Docker Images

    Usage of containers in software applications is on the rise, and with their increasing usage in production comes a need for robust testing and validation. Containers provide great testing environments, but actually validating the structure of the containers themselves can be tricky. The Docker toolchain provides us with easy ways to interact with the container images themselves, but no real way of verifying their contents. What if we want to ensure a set of commands runs successfully inside of our container, or check that certain files are in the correct place with the correct contents, before shipping?

  • Prometheus vs. Heapster vs. Kubernetes Metrics APIs

    In this blog post, I will try to explain the relation between Prometheus, Heapster, as well as the Kubernetes metrics APIs and conclude with the recommended way how to autoscale workloads on Kubernetes.

  • Google Introduces Open Source Framework For Testing Docker Images

    Google has announced a new framework designed to help developers conduct unit tests on Docker container images. 

    The Container Structure Test gives enterprises a way to verify the structure and contents of individual containers to ensure that everything is as it should be before shipping to production, the company said in the company’s Open Source blog Jan. 9. 

    Google has been using the framework to test containers internally for more than a year and has released it publicly because it offers an easier way to validate the structure of Docker containers than other approaches, the company said.

Raspberry Pi: Hands-On with the Pi Server tool

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When the Raspberry Pi Foundation announced Raspbian (Debian) Stretch for x86 and Macs, there was a very brief mention of something called PiServer to manage multiple Pi clients on a network, with a promise to cover it in more detail later.

Well, 'later' has now arrived, in the form of a new Raspberry Pi Blog post titled The Raspberry Pi PiServer Tool. In simple terms, the PiServer package allows you to manage multiple Raspberry Pi clients from a single PC or Mac server. Here are the key points:

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Servers: Private Servers, Kubernetes Highlights

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  • Explore private cloud platform options: Paid and open source

    An open source private cloud platform, Apache CloudStack offers a comprehensive management system that features usage metering and image deployment. It supports hypervisors including VMware ESXi, Microsoft Hyper-V, Citrix XenServer and KVM.

    CloudStack also handles features like tiered storage, Active Directory integration and some software-defined networking. As with other open source platforms, it takes a knowledgeable IT staff to install and support CloudStack.

  • 7 systems engineering and operations trends to watch in 2018

    Kubernetes domination

    Kubernetes came into its own in 2017 and its popularity will only grow in 2018. Edward Muller, engineering manager at Salesforce, predicts that building tools on top of Kubernetes is going to be more prevalent next year. “Previously, most tooling targeted one or more cloud infrastructure APIs,” says Muller. “Recent announcements of Kubernetes as a Service (KaaS?) from major cloud providers is likely to only hasten the shift.”

  • 2018: The Year of Kubernetes and Interoperability

    On its own, Kubernetes is a great story. What makes it even better is the soaring interoperability movement it’s fueling. An essential part of enabling interoperable cloud-native apps on Kubernetes is the Open Service Broker API. OSBAPI enables portability of cloud services across offerings and vendors. A collaborative project across multiple organizations, including Fujitsu, Google, IBM, Pivotal, Red Hat and SAP, it enables developers, ISVs, and SaaS vendors to deliver services to applications running within cloud-native platforms. In 2017, we saw adoption of the API by Microsoft and Google. Late in the year, Amazon and Pivotal partnered to enable expose Amazon’s services via the broker as well. Red Hat uses it to support the OpenShift marketplace.

Why I Find Nginx Practically Better Than Apache

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According to the latest web server survey by Netcraft, which was carried out towards the end of 2017, (precisely in November), Apache and Nginx are the most widely used open source web servers on the Internet.

Apache is a free, open-source HTTP server for Unix-like operating systems and Windows. It was designed to be a secure, efficient and extensible server that provides HTTP services in sync with the prevailing HTTP standards.

Ever since it’s launch, Apache has been the most popular web server on the Internet since 1996. It is the de facto standard for Web servers in the Linux and open source ecosystem. New Linux users normally find it easier to set up and use.

Nginx (pronounced ‘Engine-x’) is a free, open-source, high-performance HTTP server, reverse proxy, and an IMAP/POP3 proxy server. Just like Apache, it also runs on Unix-like operating systems and Windows.

Well known for it’s high performance, stability, simple configuration, and low resource consumption, it has over the years become so popular and its usage on the Internet is heading for greater heights. It is now the web server of choice among experienced system administrators or web masters of top sites.

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Servers: Five Linux Server Distributions to Consider in 2018, Spinnaker, 'Serverless', and Linux 2

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  • Five Linux Server Distributions to Consider in 2018

    These five tried-and-tested Linux server distributions top our list for distros to consider for the data center or server room.

  • Get Started with Spinnaker on Kubernetes

    In the last previous installment of the series, we introduced Spinnaker as the multicloud deployment tool. We will explore how to setup Spinnaker on the Kubernetes open source container orchestration engine and deploy your first application through it.

    In this tutorial, I will walk you through how to setup and configure Spinnaker on Minikube. Once it is up and running, we will deploy and scale a containerized application running in Kubernetes.

    Spinnaker is usually installed in a VM running Ubuntu 14.04 LTS. Thanks to the Helm community, it is now available as a Chart to install with just one command.

  • Know when to implement serverless vs. containers

    Serverless computing is either the perfect answer to an application deployment problem or an expensive disaster waiting to happen.

    VMs, containers and serverless architecture all have distinct pros and cons, but serverless might break everything if the applications aren't suited for that deployment architecture. To prevent an implosion in IT, give developers an educated assessment of serverless vs. containers for new deployments.

  • Amazon counters hybrid cloud model with Linux 2: Amazon launches next Linux server OS

    Amazon Web Services (AWS) recently launched Linux 2, with access to the latest 4.9 LTS kernel. According to the company, the newest version “provides a high performance, stable, and secure execution environment for cloud and enterprise applications.” The system includes five years of long-term security support and access to software packages through the Amazon Linux Extras repository. It is currently available for all AWS regions.

Servers: Twistlock, Linux 2, Hyperledger

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  • Twistlock 2.3 Advances Container Security with Serverless Support

    Container security vendor Twistlock released version 2.3 of its container security platform on Jan. 3, including new features to help protect container workloads.

    Among the new features in the Twistlock 2.3 release in an improved Cloud Native App Firewall (CNAF), per-layer vulnerability analysis functionality, application aware system call defense and new serverless security capabilities.

  • Amazon launches its own open-source OS 'Linux 2' for enterprise clients

    In a deviation from its earlier policy of not permitting its cloud services users to run operating systems on its clients’ servers, Amazon has since launched its own version of the Linux OS, according to a report in VCCircle. This move by Amazon Web Services is seen as a response to rivals Oracle and Microsoft who have been offering what is known as Hybrid technology to their clients in which the open platform OS Linux can be used by the clients availing cloud services to run many other programs, on their own severs as well as on the cloud.

    Up to now, Amazon did not provide this facility to its clients directly. Only the Amazon-owned data centers were permitted to run these OSs.

  • Hyperledger 3 years later: That's the sound of the devs... working on the chain ga-a-ang

    The Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger project was announced in December 2015. When Apache Web server daddy Brian Behlendorf took the helm five months later, the Foundation’s blockchain baby was still embryonic. He called it “day zero.”

    Driving Hyperledger was the notion of a blockchain, a distributed ledger whose roots are in digital currency Bitcoin, for the Linux ecosystem - a reference technology stack that those comfortable with a command line could experiment with and build their own blockchain systems and applications.

    Behlendorf, the project’s executive director, said upon assuming command in May 2016: “There are lots of things that we want to see built on top.”

Meltdown And Spectre CPU Flaws Put Computers, Laptops, Phones At Risk

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Today Google security blog has posted about the two vulnerabilities that put virtually many computers, phones, laptops using Intel, AMD and ARM CPUs at risk. Using the two major flaws hackers can gain read access to the system memory that may include sensitive data including passwords, encryption keys etc.

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Servers With GNU/Linux and Microsoft's Continuing Strategy of Gaming the Numbers by Taking Over Parked Domains

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  • Amazon has quietly released a game changer for its cloud: Linux software that runs on corporate servers

    Amazon's cloud business quietly just took a big step outside the cloud.

    Last month, soon after Amazon Web Service's giant tech conference, the company started offering its enterprise customers a new version of the Linux operating system it calls Linux 2. The new product marks a departure for the cloud-computing juggernaut, as the software can be installed on customers' servers rather than run from Amazon's data centers.

    Amazon will rent access to Linux 2 to its cloud customers. But it's also making the software available for companies to install on their servers. There they can use it to run many of the most popular server software programs and technologies, including Microsoft's Hyper-V, VMware, Oracle's VM VirtualBox, Docker, and Amazon's Docker alternative, Amazon Machine Image.

  • December 2017 Web Server Survey

    The noticeable spike in Apache-powered domains in May 2013 was caused by the largest hosting company of the time, GoDaddy, switching a large number of its domains from Microsoft IIS to Apache Traffic Server (ATS) . GoDaddy switched back to using IIS 7.5 a few months later.

    Today, Apache still has the largest market share by number of domains, with 81.4 million giving it a market share of 38.2%. It also saw the largest gain this month, increasing its total by 1.53 million. This growth was closely followed by nginx, with a gain of 1.09 million domains increasing its total to 47.5 million. While Microsoft leads by overall number of hostnames, it lags in 3rd position when considering the number of unique domains those sites run on, with a total of 22.8 million.

Servers: UCS App Center and Tips to Help Your Company Succeed in the Server Side

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  • Install Range of Enterprise Applications in Few Clicks with UCS App Center

    Since the rise of smartphones digital distribution platforms for computer software have multiplied and with them the use of applications as “apps”. Major players in this field are Apple and Google offering all kinds of apps that are easy to download and integrate on people’s mobiles.

    But what about server and business applications for an organization that can be used both on-premise and in the cloud? How about being able to install a whole range of enterprise applications and integrate them in your IT environment with just a few clicks?

  • 7 Tips to Help Your Company Succeed in the Cloud

    That statement is a reflection of the state of our industry: companies and investors are looking to improve the focus on delivering and developing a product and less time and investment on maintaining infrastructure. The needs of our products have not changed - but how we create and maintain them has. As Linux and open source professionals of all types, we are at the center of this revolution. Not only is Linux the “foundation” for most public cloud providers; studies show a steady dominance of Linux deployments in the cloud and the growth of container technologies such as Docker further grow the number of active Linux installs.

    The Linux and Dice Open Source Jobs Report echoes the importance of open source in companies today, with 60 percent looking for full-time professionals with open source experience. Plus, nearly half (47 percent) of hiring managers said they’ll pay for certifications just to bring employees up to speed on open source projects.

Docker, Inc is Dead

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To say that Docker had a very rough 2017 is an understatement. Aside from Uber, I can’t think of a more utilized, hyped, and well funded Silicon Valley startup (still in operation) fumbling as bad as Docker did in 2017. People will look back on 2017 as the year Docker, a great piece of software, was completely ruined by bad business practices leading to its end in 2018. This is an outside facing retrospective on how and where Docker went wrong and how Docker’s efforts to fix it are far too little way too late.


Docker’s doom has been accelerated by the rise of Kubernetes. Docker did itself no favors in its handling of Kubernetes, the open source community’s darling container orchestrator. Docker’s competing product, Docker Swarm, was the only container orchestrator in Docker’s mind. This decision was made despite Kubernetes preferring Docker containers at first. Off the record, Docker Captains confirmed early in 2017 that Kubernetes discussions in articles, at meetups, and at conferences was frowned upon by Docker.

Through dockercon17 in Austin this Kubernetes-less mantra held. Then, rather abruptly, at dockercon EU 17 Docker decided to go all in on Kubernetes. The sudden change was an obvious admission to Kubernetes’ rise and impending dominance. This is only exacerbated by the fact that Docker sponsored and had a booth at KubeCon + CloudNativeCon North America 2017.


The real problem with Docker is a lack of coherent leadership. There appears to have been a strategic focus around a singular person in the organization. This individual has been pushed further and further away from the core of the company but still remains. The company has reorganized and has shifted its focus to the enterprise. This shift makes sense for Docker’s investors (the company does have a fiduciary responsibility after all). But, this shift is going to reduce the brand’s cool factor that fueled its wild success. It is said that, “Great civilizations are not murdered. They commit suicide.” Docker has done just that.

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Android Leftovers

Radeon GPUs Are Increasingly Competing With NVIDIA GPUs On Latest RadeonSI/RADV Drivers

As it's been a few weeks since last delivering a modest Linux GPU comparison and given the continuously evolving state of the Linux kernel Git tree as well as the Mesa project that houses the RadeonSI OpenGL and RADV Vulkan drivers, here are our latest benchmarks showing the current state of the AMD Radeon open-source Linux graphics driver performance relative to NVIDIA's long-standing and high-performance but proprietary driver using several different graphics cards. Read more

AMD And CTS Labs: A Story Of Failed Stock Manipulation

We have attempted to contact Jessica Schaefer from Bevel PR, the listed PR firm on the vulnerability disclosure website, only to be greeted by a full voicemail inbox. We attempted to contact both Bevel PR and CTS Labs by email and inquire about the relationship between CTS and Viceroy, and provided them with ample time to respond. They did not respond to our inquiry. So, let's look at Viceroy Research. According to MoneyWeb, Viceroy Research is headed by a 44-year-old British citizen and ex-social worker, John Fraser Perring, in conjunction with two 23-year-old Australian citizens, Gabriel Bernarde and Aidan Lau. I wonder which of these guys is so fast at typing. Viceroy Research was the group responsible for the uncovering of the Steinhoff accounting scandal, about which you can read more here. After successfully taking down Steinhoff, it tried to manufacture controversy around Capitec Bank, a fast-growing South African bank. This time it didn't work out so well. The Capitec stock price dropped shortly and quickly recovered when the South African reserve bank made a statement that Capitec's business is sound. Just a week ago Viceroy attempted to do the same thing with a German company called ProSieben, also with mixed success, and in alleged breach of German securities laws, according to BaFin (similar to the SEC). Now, it appears it is going after AMD, though it looks to be another unsuccessful attack. Investor Takeaway After the announcement of this news, AMD stock generally traded sideways with slight downward movement, not uncommon for AMD in general. Hopefully this article showed you that CTS's report is largely nonsense and a fabrication with perhaps a small kernel of truth hidden somewhere in the middle. If the vulnerabilities are confirmed by AMD, they are likely to be easily fixed by software patches. If you are long AMD, stay long. If you are looking for an entry point, this might be a good opportunity to use this fake news to your advantage. AMD is a company with a bright future if it continues to execute well, and we see it hitting $20 per share by the end of 2018. Read more

Canonical Officially Announces Mozilla's Firefox as a Snap App for Ubuntu Linux

The Firefox Snap package appears to be maintained by Mozilla, which allows Linux users to test drive the latest features of their Quantum browser on multiple GNU/Linux distributions that support Canonical's Snappy universal binary format. Developed by Canonical, the Snap universal application packaging format for Linux lets Linux users enjoy the most recent release of a software product as soon as it's released upstream. It's secure by design and works natively on multiple popular Linux OSes. Read more