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Get ready to use Linux containers

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Server

One of the most exciting things to happen in the Linux world in the past few years is the emergence of containers — self-contained Linux environments that live inside another OS and provide a way to package and isolate applications.

They're not quite virtual systems, since they rely on the host OS to operate, nor are they simply applications. Dan Walsh from Red Hat has said that on Linux, "everything is a container," reminding me of the days when people claimed that everything on Unix was a file. But the vision has less to do with the guts of the OS and more to do with explaining how containers work and how they are different than virtual systems in some very interesting and important ways.

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Exploring Linux containers

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GNU
Linux
Red Hat
Server

They're not quite virtual systems, since they rely on the host OS to operate, nor are they simply applications. Dan Walsh from Red Hat has said that on Linux, "everything is a container," reminding me of the days when people claimed that everything on Unix was a file. But the vision has less to do with the guts of the OS and more to do with explaining how containers work and how they are different than virtual systems in some very interesting and important ways.

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Servers: Containers, MapR, 'Serverless', Bonitasoft

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Server
  • Containers versus Operating Systems

    The most popular docker base container image is either busybox, or scratch. This is driven by a movement that is equal parts puritanical and pragmatic. The puritan asks “Why do I need to run init(1) just to run my process?” The pragmatist asks “Why do I need a 700 meg base image to deploy my application?” And both, seeking immutable deployment units ask “Is it a good idea that I can ssh into my container?” But let’s step back for a second and look at the history of how we got to the point where questions like this are even a thing.

    In the very beginnings, there were no operating systems. Programs ran one at a time with the whole machine at their disposal. While efficient, this created a problem for the keepers of these large and expensive machines. To maximise their investment, the time between one program finishing and another starting must be kept to an absolute minimum; hence monitor programs and batch processing was born.

  • MapR: How Next-Gen Applications Will Change the Way We Look at Data

    MapR is a Silicon Valley-based big data company. Its founders realized that data was going to become ever increasingly important, and existing technologies, including open source Apache Hadoop, fell short of being able to support things like real-time transactional operational applications. So they spent years building out core technologies that resulted in the MapR products, including the flagship Converged Data Platform, platform-agnostic software that’s designed for the multicloud environment. It can even run on embedded Edge devices.

  • 7 Open-Source Serverless Frameworks Providing Functions as a Service

    With virtualization, organizations began to realize greater utilization of physical hardware. That trend continued with the cloud, as organizations began to get their machines into a pay-as-you-go service. Cloud computing further evolved when Amazon Web Services (AWS) launched its Lambda service in 2014, introducing a new paradigm in cloud computing that has become commonly referred to as serverless computing. In the serverless model, organizations pay for functions as a service without the need to pay for an always-on stateful, virtual machine.

  • Bonitasoft Offers Open Source, Low-Code Platform on AWS Cloud

    Bonitasoft, a specialist in open source business process management and digital transformation software, is partnering with the Amazon Web Services Inc. (AWS) cloud to broaden the reach of its low-code development platform.

    That platform, just released in a new version called Bonita 7.6, comes in an open source version and a subscription version with professional support and advanced features.

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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Linux
Server

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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Server
  • 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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Server

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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Server
  • 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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Server
  • 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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Linux
Server

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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