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12.11.14

Ubuntu Core Announcement is Not About Microsoft and Hosting Ubuntu on Azure is Worse Than Stupid

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, Security, Servers, Ubuntu at 12:44 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: The power of media spin makes the idea of hosting Free software under the control of an NSA PRISM and back doors partner seem alluring

IN the spirit of tackling FUD we thought it would be worthwhile to tackle spin regarding the news of Ubuntu Core (news that already appears in our daily links).

Microsoft boosters such as Microsoft Gavin try to frame it as Microsoft news, saying: “A smartphone-inspired version of Ubuntu Server for Docker minimalists has been revealed with initial backing from Microsoft.” The headline is even worse. It’s deceiving for the sake of drama.

The news is not about Microsoft. This is what is called bias by omission or selection — similar to this lousy piece from Lance Whitney, former staff of Microsoft media whose latest propaganda is now omitting an old disclosure saying that he is Microsoft’s ‘former’ staff and uses US-only spin to make Android look bad (the US is not the whole world and economic advantage favours overpriced phones).

Several readers have told us that the article “Canonical restructures Ubuntu in mobile mode; Microsoft is first partner” had been removed (we searched the site to verify this) before it was reinstated. How odd. No explanation was given and while it was gone we made a copy from the Google cache of the article, very shortly after it had been deleted, then created permanent archive of the removed version. We wrote publicly at around noon yesterday about how this article vanished after it had been posted (just shortly before we made copies from Google cache and also used archive.is). We later compared the version we had archived with what was reinstated and found no obvious differences in the text. Well, maybe the problem was purely technical, but the content of the article from Paul Gillin was curious, not just the angle. A reader of ours explained: “Below is the text of an article which just disappeared. It was online for only a few hours but contains some very incriminating statements. More might show up later, but for now this is all I have. It sure explains why the Ubuntu forums moderators/staff have been slamming RMS and censoring critique of Microsoft and His Billness – in any context.”

“The situation is bad,” explained our reader. “The previous article was not a mistake” because there is other coverage although it does not provide the Microsoft spin, including phrases such as those highlighted in Diaspora. The factual part is this:

Ubuntu Core is now available on Microsoft’s Azure cloud.

This, however, is not the main news. A lot of effort was put into injecting some pro-Microsoft angle. Here is where promotional spin got injected (apart from the headline):

“Ubuntu Core is the smallest, leanest Ubuntu ever, perfect for ultra-dense computing in cloud container farms,” the company said in a press release. In a twist that’s sure to prompt a double-take from many industry veterans, Canonical chose the Azure cloud from longtime Linux foe Microsoft as its first deployment platform. “Microsoft loves Linux,” said Bob Kelly, Corporate Vice President at Microsoft, in a prepared statement.

“Microsoft has been a terrific steward of Ubuntu,” said Dustin Kirkland, product manager for Ubuntu Core, in an interview. “We have a very tight relationship.” The deal with Microsoft is exclusive for ”a couple of weeks,” after which Ubuntu Core is expected to be available on all public clouds that currently support the operating system.

So ‘“Microsoft loves Linux,” said Bob Kelly, Corporate Vice President at Microsoft, in a prepared statement.’

This is part of the new lie which we wrote about in articles such as:

The problem with articles like the above is the pursuit for talking points to lull the victim into passivity, pretending that Microsoft is now like a “best friend” of GNU/Linux. All that Microsoft does with Ubuntu Core is put it under surveillance and back door control. That’s what Azure is about, as NSA leaks serve to demonstrate.

We could of course tackle some other propaganda if we had more time for writing (I am working full time myself). Consider this new UBM spin which pretends TrueCrypt is FOSS (it’s definitely not) and cites one bug (in OpenSSL) to pretend FOSS as a whole is less secure than proprietary software blobs. There is another ugly story making the rounds about a so-called attack on GNU/Linux machines (attributing it to a government, possibly Russia’s); all the stories we have found (over a dozen so far) neglect to say that the victim must install the rogue code himself or herself, it cannot really propagate except by the user’s stupidity or recklessness. Finally, there is another batch of stories about DCOS, which is backed by a Microsoft thug who boasted about “tilting into a death spiral” competitors of Microsoft and bankrolled Microsoft proxies. DCOS — like Azure — is attempting to control GNU/Linux guests at a higher level. IDG called it a “data center OS” that “allows single-source command for Linux servers”, potentially providing a back door. I have personally seen companies that manage hundreds of GNU/Linux servers from VSphere (proprietary from EMC, which is connected to RSA and hence NSA back doors) on top of Microsoft Windows (also back doors). Can EMC be trusted to not allow intrusion? Can Microsoft? These are rhetorical questions.

Anyone who is reckless enough to put a Ubuntu machine under Microsoft hosting sure has not been keeping up with news. Canonical too would be reckless to recommend such a thing, but perhaps it has short-term thinking, pursuing Microsoft dollars at the expense of customers’ security.

06.14.14

The Register Spreads Microsoft’s IIS Propaganda Using Gamed Figures

Posted in Deception, Microsoft, Servers at 4:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Pinocchio

Summary: The Register misleads readers into thinking that Microsoft is gaining market share on the Web

Simon Sharwood from The Register released a propaganda piece we are unable to ignore. It’s a familiar talking point. We covered this numerous times before. Sharwood’s propaganda is titled “Microsoft poised to take Web server crown from Apache” (implying growth) although the very opposite is true.

Microsoft is actually losing share (as it has been losing for years) and in servers that really count it has less than ten percent market share.

Fortunately, some readers of The Register are not dumb enough. They reply in the comments section. One insightful comment says: “Apparently MS has been throwing money or other arm-twisting tricks to persuade large hosters of parked pages to switch to IIS. AFAICS the only benefit of this is incomplete articles in the press about how IIS is set to become (/will become) the most popular web server, which is a useless metric. As mentioned, the picture for Active sites is very different, and the Top Million even more so .. which somehow does not get mentioned in the news reports.”

Sadly, very few people read comments, so the vast majority will be left with the impression that Microsoft is doing well on the Web. That’s some very powerful propaganda. All Microsoft had to do was bribe some people to game numbers, then find gullible or corruptible journalists (“useful idiots” or liars) to drop out there some misleading claims at Microsoft’s behest.

Ever since Microsoft paid The Register the publication has not been the same. Microsoft likes not only to bribe hosts (selectively) but also governments and media companies. It helps distort public perceptions. The Register is definitely part of the problem now. This example of one of many.

03.27.14

Hosting GNU/Linux Under Windows or Hyper-V is Hosting With Back Doors

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Servers at 6:30 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Azure

Summary: Why having Windows in the datacentre (at any level other than a guest machine) is a serious security issue, not to mention hosting in datacentres like Microsoft’s and Amazon’s (in Washington, United States)

WE HAVE been speaking to some leaders or contributors (commercial) of Apache projects that relate to news about Hyper-V support in CloudStack 4.3 [1,2]. Apache, as we have shown before, got a little too friendly towards Microsoft after Microsoft had paid Apache, but that’s not the point worth making. The point to be made here is that Apache neglects to take into account what Hyper-V actually is. Hyper-V is proprietary software which runs on a platform with NSA back doors (hence, via the host/master, it can provide back door access to FOSS and GNU/Linux guests/VMs also). To allow Microsoft to lure FOSS users into Hyper-V is very much misguided, even irresponsible. Hosting a “secure” GNU/Linux server under Microsoft Hyper-V is like mounting a tank on a hovercraft at sea. The Windows back doors were confirmed by Edward Snowden's leaks last year. It must be stressed that access to Windows implies access to Hyper-V (no matter if the drivers/shims/hooks are Free software). The Apache community should know better, but it helps facilitate Microsoft power (domination) over FOSS in this case. Remember what OpenStack did to Hyper-V [1, 2].

“The Apache community should know better, but it helps facilitate Microsoft power (domination) over FOSS in this case.”It is worth adding that if/when hosting on a third party, then the host matters too (the company doing the hosting, not the hosting software). Hosting in Azure, for example, guarantees no privacy and security at all [1, 2, 3, 4, 5], even if one uses a robust GNU/Linux distribution. Microsoft does not respect clients’ privacy and it even intrudes clients' private data for business reasons, nothing at all to do with security. According to Netcraft’s recent report, “Microsoft [is] neck and neck with Amazon in Windows hosting” and it is worth repeating the fact that nobody should use Amazon for GNU/Linux hosting (for similar reasons, not just because Amazon is an exceedingly malicious company but also because it’s a top CIA partner and a surveillance/censorship platform, as revealed by the likes of Wikileaks). At work, where I’m forced to work with some systems on AWS, I habitually receive marketing SPAM from Amazon (even earlier today) and I never assume any privacy at all.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Open-Source Apache CloudStack 4.3 Supports Microsoft Hyper-V
  2. Apache CloudStack 4.3 Supports Microsoft’s Hyper-V Virtualization

03.07.14

Red Hat Joins the Joke Which is Amazon’s ‘Secure’ Federal ‘Cloud’

Posted in Red Hat, Servers at 10:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Another Red Hat move which puts citizens’ data in the hands of unaccountable spies and their corporate partners/accomplices

Amazon, which is a very special partner of the CIA* (we gave dozens of references before in order to highlight this), has already earned Ubuntu some tough words and a snub from the EFF, FSF, as well as many others (nongroups). For Red Hat to play buddies with Amazon makes little or no sense. Amazon not only does many disgusting things (to customers, staff, externalities) but it also pays Microsoft for GNU/Linux, including RHEL. Like with Azure (as we explained repeatedly before), putting any computational resource on Amazon ‘clouds’ is like handing it all over to the NSA (for surveillance, interception, interference, censorship, modification leading to framing, and so on). Red Hat is said to have joined some nonsense programme that involves AWS [1-4], marketed as “secure” and “federal”. Who is this secure from? The Federal government of the United States? Surely not, unless of course you happen to be the government itself. The whole thing sounds so dodgy and it won’t give Red Hat much credibility now that Red Hat’s relationship with the NSA [1, 2, 3] is debated in some circles (it was last mentioned in an article from Sam Varghese earlier this week).

Making things even worse, Red Hat makes an approach [5] towards something which resembles Mono and promotes Microsoft APIs. This is not a wise move, for reasons that we are going to deal with in the next post.

Red Hat’s CEO speaking of himself as a “great leader” (without saying so directly) in Red Hat’s self-serving Web site that’s now treated as a news site by Google News [6]. Some say that Red Hat is a one-of-a-kind [7], but if Red Hat leans towards the NSA, puts customers’ data on Microsoft-taxed and NSA-eavesdropped ‘clouds’, hires executive staff from Microsoft and even promotes/spreads .NET and Hyper-V (which provides an NSA back door into GNU/Linux guests through Windows hosts**), then maybe it’s better to promote alternatives to Red Hat as a flag bearer and GNU/Linux leader. Red Hat recently found itself in somewhat of a scandal involving OpenStack [8-10] while it also formed OpenStack partnerships [11-15]. Red Hat really can do and should do more to embrace and disseminate freedom, not cages like AWS. Red Hat’s middleware business is a good example of this [16,17] as business (as in revenue/sales [18], like IBM's) becomes the top priority, even when Red Hat makes public appearances [19,20].

Perhaps what we need now is more strength for community projects like Arch and Debian. They, unlike Red Hat, don’t share a bed with malicious companies that violate users’ rights.
____
* The CIA was, just earlier this week, found to be illegally spying on government officials that act as watchdogs.

** Proprietary virtualisation software is the issue here. VMware is not much better because it’s run by former Microsoft executives (Microsoft is the top NSA partner) and is owned by EMC, which also runs RSA, the NSA’s notorious back doors partner.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. AWS launches Red Hat Enterprise GNU/Linux in AWS GovCloud (US)
  2. Red Hat Enterprise GNU/Linux now on Amazon’s GovCloud
  3. Red Hat Courts Government Customers with GNU/Linux for AWS GovCloud
  4. Red Hat GNU/Linux now available on Amazon’s secure federal cloud

    If you’re a government worker and have been wanting to run Red Hat Enterprise Linux securely on your Amazon cloud, it’s your lucky day. The popular open-source operating system is finally available on Amazon Web Services.

  5. Red Hat brings Microsoft .NET Apps to its OpenShift cloud

    Uhuru was founded just over two years ago by veteran ex-Microsoft executives: former vice president Jawad Khaki and former general manager Jawaid Ekram. They are self-proclaimed experts in bringing Windows to Open Source PaaS.

  6. Great leaders are comfortable with who they are

    Over the last 25 years of my career—from serving as a partner at the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), to my time at Delta Air Lines, to my current role as president and CEO of Red Hat—I’ve been exposed to my fair share of leaders. I’ve learned that leaders and leadership styles can vary greatly depending on the company culture, industry and size, but there’s one commonality I’ve noticed among all of them: to be effective, leaders must be respected.

  7. A Formula for Launching the RedHats of the Future

    The bottom line, therefore, is that in order for the model promoted by Levine to succeed, it’s predicated on the existence of underlying projects that achieve the balance of benefits that I alluded to above. Without the right scope of opportunity, sufficient success in recruitment, and abundant skill in execution, there will be no more RedHats emerging from this new model than the last. But where this methodology is understood and followed, not only will such opportunities emerge, but they will do so with far greater predictability than in the past.

  8. Piston OpenStack 3.0 Arrives, Focused on Private Clouds
  9. GNU/Linux Ebb & Flow, Red Hat Oops, and Chakra Reviewed

    There’s rarely a dull moment when looking through Linux newsfeeds. Today we find Jesse Smith has reviewed Chakra GNU/Linux 2014.02. LinuxInsider.com looks at why distributions gain popularity then disappear. And finally, The Register covers a bit of convention confusion between Red Hat and cloud newcomer Piston.

  10. The importance of a community-focused mindset

    Piston, an Openstack-in-a-box vendor[1] are a sponsor of the Red Hat[2] Summit this year. Last week they briefly ceased to be for no publicly stated reason, although it’s been sugggested that this was in response to Piston winning a contract that Red Hat was also bidding on. This situation didn’t last for long – Red Hat’s CTO tweeted that this was an error and that Red Hat would pay Piston’s sponsorship fee for them.

  11. Red Hat Increases its Focus on OpenStack Partnerships

    Red Hat originally made a name for itself as the only U.S.-based public company exclusively focused on open source, as it has proved that its Linux-focused strategy could be very profitable. But the company’s future is increasingly being tied to cloud computing and OpenStack in particular. This week, Red Hat marks two years of collaborating with contributors and developers on key OpenStack.org projects “to bring OpenStack from a project to a product.”

  12. Red Hat Enterprise GNU/Linux OpenStack Platform Leveraged by Alcatel-Lucent, CloudBand ™ as Part of Its Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) Platform
  13. Alcatel-Lucent to deploy Red Hat Enterprise GNU/Linux OpenStack Platform
  14. Alcatel-Lucent deploys Red Hat Enterprise GNU/Linux platform

    Red Hat, a provider of open source solutions announced that Alcatel-Lucent deployed Red Hat Enterprise GNU/Linux OpenStack platform based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM), as the common platform for its Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) solution, CloudBand.

    “Alcatel-Lucent specifically chose Red Hat Enterprise GNU/Linux OpenStack Platform for use in managing CloudBand Nodes, the turn-key, all-in-one compute, storage and network node system that interfaces with the CloudBand Management System, along with any other OpenStack-enabled nodes,” the company said.

  15. Alcatel-Lucent Embraces OpenStack, as Network Function Virtualization Efforts Expand

    A key part of the overall solution is Alcatel-Lucent’s Cloudband technology which is the company’s NFV platform that provides the server, storage and networking infrastructure with the Cloudband Node. Cloudband also includes management and orchestration functionality to deploy and manage network functions deployed on the infrastructure.

  16. Red Hat Launches a 3-fer for Enterprise BPM Users

    Red Hat’s new JBoss BPM Suite is in part the result of its 2012 acquisition of Polymita, noted 451 Research analyst Carl Lehmann. The addition of that technology and other new features brings Red Hat’s BPM offering on par with other BPM suites and “gives Red Hat some competitive differentiation in the market,” he said. “I think they did a pretty good job there.”

  17. Red Hat’s Polymita acquisition to spawn new products

    That’s according to a Red Hat spokesperson who gave me some additional insight into a press conference that the Raleigh-based open source software company will hold on Tuesday at 11 a.m. to announce new products in middleware.

  18. Red Hat Executives Named 2014 CRN Channel Chiefs
  19. Red Hat to Webcast Middleware Press Conference on March 4
  20. Videos From Red Hat’s DevConf.cz Conference Now Online

    Videos from the DevConf.cz conference that happened earlier this month in Brno, Czech Republic, are now available online from the Red Hat focused event.

IBM Not the Only ‘Sugar Daddy’ of GNU/Linux

Posted in GNU/Linux, IBM, Servers at 7:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: As IBM declines it is worth remembering that GNU/Linux no longer rests on the shoulders of few giants

LAST month we wrote about IBM's not-so-secret NSA relationships causing massive issues for IBM in China (mostly because the NSA’s secrets have leaked), resulting perhaps in some of the latest layoffs, which now include “up to 25 percent of ‘hardware’ division” [1]. IBM recently sold yet more of its hardware business to China (after it had sold some to Lenovo) and it remains one of the most dominant GNU/Linux players. Its commitment is very real [2] even if self-serving, e.g. for “Watson” PR [3,4] and use of Free/libre/gratis software to sell super-expensive hardware. We oughtn’t treat IBM as an enemy, even if it often lobbies for software patents and spreads proprietary software [5] while looking for volunteers [6]. Famed journalist Cringely, who wrote many damning posts about IBM around 2012 (a series which predicted much of what’s happening to IBM right now), has just published somewhat of a strong-worded criticism of IBM [7] in relation to GNU/Linux.

With or without IBM’s support, GNU/Linux is going to do just fine on servers. OpenStack is massive [8], DigitalOcean (GNU/Linux servers) has just bagged a lot of venture capital money [9], banks and stock markets around the world depend on GNU/Linux servers [10], and the Internet as a whole is predominantly GNU/Linux-based [11] (at all levels, including back-end computational servers [12]). The fiction that IBM is synonymous with Linux or that Linux depends on IBM is about 14 years old and it’s out of date. IDC claims that the servers business is in decline [13] (maybe just better use of virtualisation and GNU/Linux efficiency for automation and provisioning [14]) and the days of UNIX are quickly ebbing away [15], taking away the lustre from UNIX giants like IBM.

The mobile (phone/tablet) interaction with servers will continue to be a top trend — one that IBM failed to forecast or at least capitalise on. What remains of IBM may not be much a decade down the line (it looks somewhat grim), but that oughtn’t be much of a factor as far as GNU/Linux is concerned. Google and Android (with servers and phones) make much of IBM with its mainframes, laptops and office suites/collaboration tools obsolete. Google is far from the only player using GNU/Linux to that effect.

GNU/Linux is the tool of no single company. It’s the foundation of many platforms and the unifying system that becomes ubiquitous (universal).

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. IBM laying off up to 25 percent of ‘hardware’ division

    Big Blue confirms it’s commencing workforce cuts, but declines to put a number on the job losses. A source tells CNET the layoffs entail up to 25 percent in the Systems and Technology group.

  2. IBM’s Mike Day: KVM More Visible Through Collaboration

    About a year ago IBM doubled down on its commitment to the open source cloud, announcing that all of its cloud offerings would be built on OpenStack and renewing its investments in KVM, the Linux-based kernel virtual machine. Since then, both projects have undergone major changes, including the move last fall of KVM and the Open Virtualization Alliance (OVA) to become a Linux Foundation Collaborative Project.

  3. IBM’s megabrain Watson to make mobe, slab apps smarter? Not so fast
  4. IBM courts mobile developers for Watson platform
  5. IBM Announces BlueMix – The IBM PaaS
  6. Free cloud access to IBM Power servers for Linux Developers

    Free IBM Cloud Platform for developers…yeah, that’s a big deal. That platform being based on the latest IBM POWER7 and POWER7+ processor-based servers running Linux, AIX and IBM i operating systems…very big deal indeed!

  7. pCell is only as good as the Linux it runs on

    Typically with new technologies like this the inventors haven’t thought much about security or they rely on a small installed base to keep the product or service under the radar of the bad guys. But pCell, for all it’s high tech loveliness, is a Software Defined Network proudly running in a data center on plain old Linux servers.

  8. Ubuntu is the most used OS for production OpenStack deployments

    According to an official OpenStack User Survey Ubuntu is the most used Operating System for production deployment of OpenStack. OpenStack is an Open Source project to build a framework for the creation of cloud platforms, predominately Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) platforms. The survey found that Ubuntu accounts for 55% of the host Operating Systems used for OpenStack deployments, CentOS accounts for 24% and Red Hat for 10%. These results are not completely surprising as Canonical invests heavily in Ubuntu’s OpenStack development, it was one of the founding members of The OpenStack Foundation and is a Platinum Sponsor of the foundation.

  9. Linux cloud world’s best kept secret DigitalOcean just bagged $37m

    Cut-price virtual-server hosting biz DigitalOcean has banked a whopping $37.2m from Andreessen Horowitz and other valley investors.

    The mammoth series-A funding round was announced on Thursday and will give the 50-person company the funds it needs to aggressively hire talented developers and expand globally, while keeping its Linux cloud server prices as low as $5 a month.

  10. Three events that moved Linux forward

    Friday evening can be a very busy time in Citibank’s Changi Business Park office in Singapore. Hundreds of mission-critical applications hit the production servers, security patches are applied, hundreds of professionals including developers, systems engineers, Linux gurus, and management professionals spend the whole night on the conference calls ensuring the smooth functioning of servers at this financial giant. The applications that get life over the weekend have monetary value and therefore require robust servers to host them. These servers need to maximize the utilization of the applications and should have the stability to run for a longer period of time without a reboot. These servers should also have the capability to be scaled up as the infrastructure grows. The bottom line: these enterprise level boxes need to be tough.

  11. eWEEK at 30: The Lamp Stack Switches on Large-Scale Web Development

    Linux is the foundational bare-metal operating system on which the stack runs. The Apache web server first came on the scene in 1995 just as global Web use was starting to grow explosively, tracing its roots back to the very first NSCA HTTPd webserver. From April 1996 to the present day, the open-source Apache HTTP Server has held the enviable distinction of being the most widely deployed Web server on the planet.

  12. Big data, cloud boost Linux adoption

    The rise of big data, cloud computing, mobility and social media — what IDC dubs the ‘third platform’ — represents a big opportunity for Linux and open source more broadly, analyst Sally Parker this morning told the SUSE Open Forum in Sydney.

  13. 2013 Global Server Market Continues to Decline

    The server business had a mixed 2013. According to IDC’s fourth quarter 2013 Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker, global revenue came in at $14.2 billion, which is a 4.4 percent year-over-year decline. In contrast, analyst firm Gartner reported that fourth quarter server revenues declined by 6.6 percent.

  14. Are your servers pets or cattle?

    Under the old-fashioned “enterprise computing” infrastructure model, servers were given cutesy names like “Cookie,” “Dakota,” “Reagan,” or “Aardvark.” Each server was procured individually and configured by hand (often by several different people). Because each server was configured manually, no two servers were exactly like. Each machine was like a special snowflake.

  15. Watch people explain UNIX in 1982

    If your knowledge of the UNIX operating system is basically the line from the 1993 movie “Jurassic Park” (where Lexie goes, “It’s a UNIX system! I know this!), you might want to brush up a bit more on the subject. Sure, there’s Wikipedia, but if you’re a video fan, you’ll want to check out this film, published today on YouTube by the folks from the AT&T Tech Channel.

02.11.14

Recent News About GNU/Linux on Servers

Posted in GNU/Linux, Servers at 8:20 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: A showcase of GNU/Linux on servers, based on very recent news

GNU/Linux Rankings

  • Hosting Providers Know A Real OS When They See One

    A real OS doesn’t limit what you can do with your hardware and it doesn’t charge you extra for doing what you want. GNU/Linux is a real OS. Just ask the hosting providers. On Netcraft’s list of 47, 1 uses F5-BIG-IP, 5 use *BSD, 5 have an unknown OS and only 4 use that other OS with the EULA from Hell. All the rest, 32, use GNU/Linux as they should.

  • How to keep your Linux-heavy data center up and running

    Linux is an excellent tool for creating the IT environment you want. Its flexibility and open-source architecture mean you can use it to support nearly any need, running mission-critical systems effectively while keeping costs low. This flexibility, however, means that if something does go wrong, it’s up to you to ensure your business operations can continue without disruption. And while many disaster recovery solutions focus on recovering data in case of an outage, leaving it at that is leaving the job half done. Having the information itself will be useless if the applications that are running it don’t function, and you are unable to meet SLAs.

Rackspace

ARM

  • IT Vendors Announce Open Standards for ARM-Based Enterprise Servers

    The channel has moved another step closer to having ARM-based server rooms a major presence in the enterprise. On Jan. 28, ARM—together with a slew of collaborators including Canonical, Citrix (CTXS), Linaro, Microsoft (MSFT), Red Hat (RHT), SUSE, Dell and Hewlett-Packard (HPQ)—announced the new Server Base System Architecture (SBSA) specification for deploying servers based on the ARMv8-A 64-bit processor.

  • ARM is not about the status quo : Open source breeds new architectures

    “The rise of open source has opened doors for new architectures; the ARM partnership entering the market has already changed people’s perception of what’s possible; you’ll see that it’s going to drive a faster pace of innovation. Think of what happened in the phone ecosystem. It changed so much over the last five years in terms of what’s possible, and that’s been largely because there’s been a huge number of choices and innovation in terms of supply chain, in terms of new IP that’s being integrated. I expect to see the same thing happen in the data center space because now you have all these choices and people are innovating at different paces but it’s still overall accelerating the pace of innovation in the market,” said Mandyam.

IBM

  • Cloud Migration Service Shifts From IBM i To Linux

    Even though we don’t talk about it much, there are companies throwing in the towel and looking for IT solutions that do not include IBM i, Power Systems, or IBM. One of the companies with a track record of working in the IBM i migration business is Infinite Corporation, which last week introduced a new cloud-based migration plan called Infinite i. It will compete head-to-head with IBM i-based clouds.

  • Hardening the Linux desktop

Dell

AMD

Linode

  • Linode’s Command Line Interface Tool Helps Automate Cloud Servers

    According to the company, which concentrates its efforts on Linux-based virtual servers, “We’re pleased to announce the official release of Linode CLI – a simple, yet powerful and easy-to-use tool to manage and provision Linode cloud services from the command line. The Linode CLI gives users the same functionality they’re accustomed to, but with the convenience of the command line. The Linode CLI can create, reboot, rename, and resize Linode servers, manage domains and DNS records, NodeBalancers and more. Users can even access their account balance and network transfer. The Linode CLI makes it easy to script and automate tasks with its built-in JSON output mode.”

Arduino

  • Galileo: The Slowest Fast Computer Around?

    Trying to marry Linux and Arduino together isn’t giving me a good feeling and I’ll tell you why.

  • The other end of the telescope: Intel’s Galileo developer board

    Yet it’s no less an Arduino board than the de facto standard Arduino board, the ATmega328-based Uno R3. Perhaps more so, in fact, since it has on-board features that the Uno lacks and requires add-ons to accommodate: Ethernet connectivity, a mini PCI Express connector and a Micro SD slot, for instance.

  • Like Arduino? Miniaturize your project with TinyCircuits

    “The traditional view of open source is about software. Open source hardware has been around for about 7 to 10 years. Making hardware open and building a community around it is a huge advantage in hardware like in software,” Burns said. “The community behind it keeps it alive, keeps it useful.”

01.26.14

IBM Shows That Collaborations With the NSA Are a Company’s Death Knell

Posted in Asia, IBM, Servers at 5:22 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: China refuses to buy from IBM because of its “special relationship” with the NSA and shortly thereafter China takes over IBM’s server business

IBM recently reported a sharp decline in sales, blaming this on a slump/collapse of contracts with China after the NSA leaks. Perhaps realising that trust is impossible to regain now, IBM, which does not exactly support software freedom on its servers [1], is selling its server business — just like the desktop business — to China [2-4]. It shows the ongoing decline of IBM, which added NSA-oriented extensions such as TPM to Linux-centric agenda. IBM claims to be “hardening the Linux server” these days [5], but historically its agenda inside Linux has been even more dubious than Red Hat's or Intel's because it pushed into Linux (the kernel) software patents agenda and artificial limitations, as we have demonstrated here for years. Linux is used extensively for server security [6], but when Linux itself becomes less secure, then we have a real issue in our hands. Air France now turns to HP [7] — not IBM — for its private server farm needs. Knowing that Boeing is the benefactor of industrial espionage (aided by US diplomats and the NSA), Air France would be wise to dodge IBM. HP has back doors too, but suffice to say, this is less obvious than IBM’s publicly-advertised NSA collusion.

“For many years now IBM has been outsourcing its workforce to India and China and now it’s actually selling parts of its business to the East.”Techrights has historically been friendly towards IBM but also highly critical of the company's patent agenda (lobbying for software patents), marketing tactics, and promotion of freedom- and privacy-infringing technology. The impact of the NSA on IBM is not at doubt [8], and it’s far from negligible [9,10]. For many years now IBM has been outsourcing its workforce to India and China and now it’s actually selling parts of its business to the East. Can clever people in the West (perhaps former IBM workers) outdo IBM by providing a freedom-respecting stack and consulting services around GNU/Linux and Free software? The term FUD comes from IBM, as IBM used these tactics to demonise a former employee who had gone independent with IBM expertise.

At this stage, despite deceiving marketing, IBM needs GNU/Linux and Free software more than GNU/Linux and FOSS need IBM. Recently, the President of the Open Source Initiative (OSI) called IBM a patent troll. IBM can carry on openwashing its business with OpenStack [11,12], Hadoop [13] and so on (even OpenOffice.org), but until it stops serving the NSA, the software patents agenda and various other conflicting interests (causes that harm software freedom and GNU/Linux) we are better off nurturing “true” (as in completely) Free software companies.

Going a few months back (as we mentioned at the time), we have reports such as:

IBM found black budget from the military/surveillance industrial complex too intoxicating to refuse. It sure it alluring to many companies and IBM is no exception; in the 1930 IBM famously did business with the Nazis, helping Hitler’s party profile people (before the data was used for imprisonment and genocide).

For those who did not know about the IBM/NSA relationship, here is a quick wakeup call. It’s not news. It was made known even in the NSA’s Web site. IBM boasted about it. To quote the page about TAPO:

What the Trusted Foundries have to offer:

Accreditation of Trusted Suppliers, with the list available at the DMEA website http://www.dmea.osd.mil/trustedic.html. Potential customers should engage directly with the listed suppliers (except IBM) for all services.
Through TAPO, a contractual relationship with IBM to produce leading-edge microelectronics parts in a trusted environment. IBM maintains world-class facilities in both Vermont and New York, providing a broad range of capabilities to the government in support of the Trusted Foundry contract.

Who can use TAPO services?
Any government-sponsored program can use TAPO to access the IBM Trusted Foundry:

DoD Sponsored Programs may qualify for subsidized pricing on specific MPW runs, provided funding is available.
Other government agencies will need to provide full funding for access.
Contractors working on IR&D projects may access the foundry provided they have a government sponsor.

What services are available?
Through industry partnership at IBM, TAPO offers:

Foundry Services including Multi Project Wafer runs, dedicated prototypes, and production in both high- and low-volume models.
Intellectual Property (IP) development, including standard prepurchased IP.
Packaging and test services.
Custom Logic Service: Cu-08, Cu-65HP, Cu-45HP, and Cu-32.

Foundry Services:
TAPO offers several production options in the foundry business area depending on the schedule and the quantity desired. Designs up to the secret level are accepted.

Multi Project Wafer (MPW) Prototyping – MPW prototype runs have multiple designs on a single reticle and are targeted to customers in need of low volume with no production quantities.
Dedicated Prototype is a dedicated single design prototype run that includes the mask build. IBM guarantees a minimum of two wafers will be delivered to the customer.
Production phase produces unlimited chip quantities, following a successful prototype phase.

Custom Logic Services:
TAPO now has a contract in place for IBM’s commercial Custom Logic flow on digital chips. The customer provides a netlist of RTL hand off and IBM will do the physical layout, package, design, and GDSII generation, and provides tested packaged parts. Design submissions are accepted in Cu-08 Cu-65HP, Cu-45HP, and Cu-32. IBM’s Custom Logic methodology is also available for classified designs.

Intellectual Property:
TAPO has bought pre-paid access to certain roadmap IP that it makes available to customers on an as-needed basis. A complete list of available IP can be obtained from TAPO. IP orders can also be placed for existing IBM IP, custom IP, and certain non-IBM IP.

No company should brag about working with above-the-law spies who engage in industrial espionage, lists for assassination, political coups, etc. IBM’s affairs with the NSA are not new; what’s news is public disapproval (even inside the US) of the NSA and its actions.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. IBM Stays Committed to the Cloud, But What of OpenStack?

    While there have been questions about IBM’s true commitment to the OpenStack cloud computing platform, the company definitely remains focused on cloud computing. Today IBM announced plans to commit more than $1.2 billion to significantly expand its global cloud footprint. The investment includes a network of cloud centers that clients can apparently leverage, including allowing businesses to run their IT operations in the cloud.

  2. Lenovo Confirms Purchase Of IBM x86 Server Business For £1.4 billion
  3. Lenovo Agrees to Buy IBM Server Business for $2.3 Billion
  4. IBM Sells Server Business to Lenovo for $2.3 Billion
  5. Hardening the Linux server
  6. A10 Networks Debuts Thunder DDoS Hardware

    ACOS is a Linux-based networking operating system.

  7. Air France builds private cloud with HP for Linux server farm

    Air France says it has automated and increased the reliability of its 1,500 Linux servers by deploying a private cloud solution.

    The deployment is based on HP’s Cloud Service Automation (CSA) software to accelerate deployment times for physical and virtual infrastructures.

  8. IBM’s Full Year Revenues Hit by NSA Scandal
  9. IBM Earnings – Don’t Expect Big Blue to Get Out of Its Slump
  10. IBM: At Least 10% Downside To Fair Value
  11. IBM Explains Its Participation on the OpenStack Foundation Board of Directors

    Todd Moore, director, IBM Standards and Partnerships, discusses his participation as a member of the OpenStack board of directors.

  12. IBM Optimizes OpenStack Cloud Performance with Scheduler

    In a nod to the need for more efficient resource management for public and private cloud computing, IBM (IBM) has unveiled a new product for its OpenStack platforms. Called the Platform Resource Scheduler, the resource provides a virtualized programmable interface for automating the allocation of cloud resources.

  13. IBM’s Watson Fails To Compute In A World Of Open-Source Hadoop

    IBM has big plans for Watson, but its proprietary, developer-free approach is under-delivering.

01.16.14

Don’t Host GNU/Linux Under Hyper-V or Windows; There Are Back Doors

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Security, Servers at 11:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Azure

Summary: Reminder that Microsoft’s proprietary hosting environments have got holes in them, facilitating access even to guests (irrespective of the operating system)

ONE THING we know for sure, especially owing to Edward Snowden’s leaks, is that Microsoft and the NSA are two heads of the same hydra (one is privately-owned).

This morning we explained that Windows gets the latest back doors, whereas GNU/Linux gets endorsement from the British government (for internal use), so why would anyone want to make GNU/Linux dependent on (or a guest under) Windows hosts? Putting GNU/Linux on Azure is bad enough, but the same goes for hosting GNU/Linux as a virtual machine under Windows (a Trojan horse for the NSA), especially with Hyper-V (which is proprietary). According to [1], there are now vulnerabilities (read: back doors) in Hyper-V, so even the guests are being compromised (through the host). The same back doors that the NSA puts in Microsoft products (with Microsoft’s help) may turn out to be exploited by non-state actors [2], based on an example Bruce Schneier gave today.

There are other cases where anything from Microsoft should be strongly avoided. Cars are increasingly becoming surveillance devices [3], especially ones with Microsoft inside (instead of Linux inside) and we know this because of Microsoft's connection to Ford and Ford's own position on surveillance.

In short, those who value privacy should avoid everything from Microsoft, including the surveillance device which is Xbox (chat, camera, et cetera) and malware called Skype. When you use something from Microsoft you should assume to be under surveillance. Evidence provided by Edward Snowden should reassure you that you’re not being “paranoid”.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Whodunit: A Hyper-V failure may reveal fabled ‘escape attack’
  2. Cell Phone Tracking by Non-State Actors
  3. 10 security, privacy issues you might not know about your car’s auto-location services

    As cars become more wired to the Internet and other communications services, the threat that your personal information and privacy could be exploited goes up exponentially.

    You can understand the concerns since at least one study from Frost & Sullivan found that the market for telematics services provided by auto manufacturers in North America is expected to increase from 11.8 million subscribers in 2012 to 31.6 million in 2016.

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