Monday, August 29, 2011

Technical Posts 2H August

Technical Posts 2H August

The following are technical articles related to Network Management in the past half-month.
  • Security: Devastating' Apache bug leaves servers exposed

    Attack code dubbed “Apache Killer” that exploits the vulnerability in the way Apache handles HTTP-based range requests was published Friday on the Full-disclosure mailing list. By sending servers running versions 1.3 and 2 of Apache multiple GET requests containing overlapping byte ranges, an attacker can consume all memory on a target system.

    The denial-of-service attack works by abusing the routine web clients use to download only certain parts, or byte ranges, of an HTTP document from an Apache server. By stacking an HTTP header with multiple ranges, an attacker can easily cause a system to malfunction.

  • Mobile: Dish eyes 4G LTE wireless network

    The radio spectrum owned by Dish, and LightSquared, is reserved for satellites, but as satellite transmissions have a hard time penetrating buildings and terrain operators are allowed to build an Ancillary Terrestrial Component* – infill transmitters operating at the same frequency as the birds and providing signal to those without line of sight.

    LightSquared turned that model on its head, suggesting that the ground-based network would be primary, with the satellite providing in-fill: estimated at around 2 per cent of traffic. LightSquared then successfully lobbied the FCC to permit it (and its wholesale customers) to ship equipment that isn't even capable of satellite communications, turning the company into a 4G network wholesaler without having to shell out for 4G spectrum.

  • Security: Worm spreading via RDP

    an Internet worm dubbed “Morto” spreading via the Windows Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP).

    F-Secure is reporting that the worm is behind a spike in traffic on Port 3389/TCP. Once it’s entered a network, the worm starts scanning for machines that have RDP enabled. Vulnerable machines get Morto copied to their local drives as a DLL, a.dll, which creates other files detailed in the F-Secure post.

    SANS, which noticed heavy growth in RDP scan traffic over the weekend, says the spike in traffic is a “key indicator” of a growing number of infected hosts. Both Windows servers and workstations are vulnerable.

  • Cloud: Java arrives on Heroku code cloud

    Heroku – the multi-language "platform cloud" owned by Saleforce.com – is now running Java applications.

    Akin to Google App Engine, Microsoft Azure, or VMware's Cloud Foundry, Heroku is an online service for building, deploying, and readily scaling applications. It was originally designed for Ruby on Rails apps, but has since expanded to Clojure, Node.js, and now Java.

  • Mobile: Why Apple is Removing Unique Identifiers

    Apple is planning to phase out unique device identifiers from iOS 5, according to documentation sent out to developers, possibly to stop people worrying about their privacy on iPhones and iPads... they should "create a unique identifier specific to your app".

    [Wall Stree Journal] Henschel also pointed to the recent spat between the notoriously secretive Apple and analytics firm Flurry as a possible spur for the move. In January, Flurry reported that it had identified around 50 tablet devices in testing at Apple's campus in Cupertino using its analytics.

    "Some company called Flurry had data on devices that we were using on our campus – new devices," Jobs said live at the D8 conference in New York. "They were getting this info by getting developers to put software in their apps that sent info back to this company! So we went through the roof. It's violating our privacy policies..."

  • Mobile: Nokia accidentally unveils OS it should have had in 2009

    Nokia is expected to unveil the a major refresh of its Symbian OS today, bringing it bang up to date with competitive phones from two years ago. Owners of more recent Symbian^3 models should be able to update their handsets eventually.

    Four new devices are expected to be unveiled – either today, or very shortly. The Belle update should keep loyalists happy for some time to come. Performance and usability appear to have been improved greatly.

  • Cloud: Performance Monitoring is Someone Else's Problem

    “Amazon and Google don’t have an army of service operatives monitoring their farms,” says Graeme Swan, a partner at consultancy Ernst & Young. “They basically smashed as much infrastructure as they possibly could into warehouses, and then just assumed that capacity would be there. Now, clients are telling them they want a premium service. They are worried that they have no way of monitoring it or tweaking it. So there is no premium service.”

    You can buy as much premium support as you like (although some question how well it works). Premium performance streams? Not so much.

  • Cloud: VMware turns shrink ray on open source dev cloud

    On Wednesday, the virtualization giant introduced Micro Cloud Foundry, a free downloadable version of its Cloud Foundry service that runs on a single laptop. This past spring, when VMware unveiled Cloud Foundry and open sourced the code behind it, the company indicated it would eventually offer a shrunken incarnation that would allow developers to test applications on their local machines.

  • Cloud: VMware turns self into (virtual) database co.

    vFabric Data Director has a utility pricing model, as you would expect, at a cost of $600 per VM under management per year that is running a database image. vFabric Postgres, VMware's tweaked and tuned version of PostgreSQL, is available free of charge for developers and will be available for download starting today at cloudfoundry.com.

    If you put a vFabric Postgres image into production, then it costs $1,700 per VM per year. The underlying vFabric 5.0 Standard Edition costs $1,200 per VM per year, while the Advanced Edition, which has more bells and whistles, costs $1,800 per VM. The Advanced Edition includes RabbitMQ messaging and an SQL interface for GemFire called SQLFire.

  • Cloud: Dell floats cloud built on ... VMware

    At the VMworld virtualization and cloud extravaganza in Las Vegas today, Dell said that it was fluffing up the Dell Cloud using VMware's brand-spanking-new ESXi 5.0 hypervisor, the vSphere 5.0 management tools for it, the vCloud Director cloud fabric, and the vCloud Connector extensions that allow a private cloud and a slice of a public cloud to be managed from the same console and to teleport jobs back and forth from the public and private clouds.

    The Dell Cloud comes out of the Dell Services unit, which is the amalgam of Dell's server and PC support business and consulting services practice with the Perot Systems system and application outsourcing business it acquired in September 2009 for $3.9bn.

  • Cloud: HP mates blades with VMware vSphere

    The VirtualSystem VS2 configuration for vSphere 5.0 moves to a bladed server and bladed Lefthand P4800 SAN arrays. The VS2 setup has a dozen BL460c G7 two-socket Xeon blade servers and two BladeSystem c7000 blade server chassis. Each blade has a dozen cores running at 3.06GHz

    The largest VirtualSystem for vSphere 5.0 setup is the VS3 box, which is designed to support up to 6,000 VMs. This monster has four BladeSystem c7000 chassis, a total of 64 of HP's ProLiant BL460c G7 servers

  • Mobile: Samsung 'considering purchasing' HP's orphaned webOS

    Samsung may be mulling over the purchase of webOS – recently orphaned by HP – in a move to protect itself from an increasingly unfriendly Apple and the threat of Google and its new toy, Motorola Mobility.

    Or so say "sources from notebook players", speaking with the Taiwanese rumor-and-news website, DigiTimes.

  • Cloud: VMware orders vCloud army across five continents

    VMware envisions a world where applications can roam across one big intercloud. Apps won't just jump from internal data centers to public cloud services, the company believes. They'll move from cloud to cloud like phone calls across cell networks.

    That's why VMware is keen on getting its vSphere server virtualization not only in the corporate data center, but out there on the service providers who want to be the next Amazon EC2. Then VMware can own the corporate cloud computing on both sides of the firewall.

  • Cloud: Citrix Cloud.com goes open source

    After taking control of the CloudStack cloud management framework through its acquisition of Cloud.com back in July, Citrix Systems is now open sourcing the code behind the tool. At the same time, it's adding support for the provisioning of workloads on additional hypervisors and, for the first time, on bare-metal machines.

    Cloud.com was founded in 2008 at about the same time as rival Eucalyptus Systems. It was known as VMOps before it came out of stealth mode in May 2010. Citrix is trotting out CloudStack 2.2.10, which has been certified to support rival VMware's ESXi 5.0 hypervisor, part of the vSphere 5.0 server virtualization stack that was annoumced in July and which started shipping last week.

    Citrix is trotting out CloudStack 2.2.10, which has been certified to support rival VMware's ESXi 5.0 hypervisor, part of the vSphere 5.0 server virtualization stack that was announced in July and which started shipping last week.

  • Internet: The case for a free market in IPv4 addresses

    Officially, the world ran out of IPv4 addresses earlier this year, when a final batch of addresses was divided among the five Regional Internet Registries. There are still a lot of unused and underused IP addresses in the hands of various private organizations. All that is needed is an incentive for them to part with their unused addresses voluntarily. In other words, what's needed is a market in IP addresses.

    Earlier this year, Microsoft paid $7.5 million for two-thirds of a million IP addresses that were previously held by a bankrupt Nortel, suggesting that the going rate for an IP address is around $10.

    Ford, Merck, Xerox, Halliburton, and nearly a dozen other companies not primarily in the networking business were each given a Class A block of 16 million addresses. MIT also got a Class A block, and the UK government got two of them. The US government claimed about a dozen Class A blocks, giving it control of nearly 200 million addresses—more IP addresses than all of Latin America has today.

  • Mobile: Sprint to get seat at grown-up table when iPhone 5 hits?

    Sprint will be the next carrier to offer the iPhone to customers in the US, according to sources speaking to the Wall Street Journal. The carrier will begin offering the iPhone 5 in October alongside AT&T and Verizon, both of which are also expected to begin selling the device mid-month, though it is believed that Sprint will also carry the iPhone 4, bolstering earlier rumors that Apple would keep around the iPhone 4 as the new low-cost replacement for the iPhone 3GS.

Network Management Connection

The transition from IP Version 6 from IP Version 4 may be a slow moving target. With companies like Microsoft buying large blocks and other companies holding millions - IP Addresses are like gold and oil. These investments may prove to not only be profitable, but the sale of these virtual goods may slow the implementation of IP V6.

Cloud Computing, based upon Virtualization technology from VMWare and Citrix open-sourced Xen continues to try to make inroads. Large system vendors like HP and Dell align themselves with proprietary VMWare. Oracle's VM technology maintains some level of compatibility with Citrix Xen. With Cloud Computing, the network becomes vastly more important.

Microsoft Windows has another WORM exposure, around it's proprietary RDP technology, based partially around file transfer options while UNIX Apache finds itself vulnerable to denial-of-service attacks. These key infrastructure points underpin modern intranet and internet computing today, both putting pressure on "the network". The Apache DoS merely makes it "look like" a network problem while another Microsoft worm really creates a possible capacity issue with "the network", if it can't be controlled.

HP finds itself bailing out of the mobile handset market (with Samsung possibly trying to buy it up for patent protections) dominated by heavy weights like Google (who ate Motorola's handset division and creates a mostly open-sourced based Android solution), Apple (with it's popular iPhone BSD UNIX parially open sourced solution), and Oracle (who is assaulting Google for using Java without paying license fees, like every other mobile vendor does.)

The mobile market has the opportunity to heat up, with more mobile 4G vendors hitting the market. By diversifying 4G to include Satellite vendors, in conjunction with Cell Phone operators, as well as land-line operators, in addition to new WiMax vendors (i.e. Clear) - there is the opportunity for a real explosion in the mobile network arena... which will all need to be managed. With dominant smart phone vendors like Apple possibly releasing iPhone for Sprint - this could really grow their market, as ATT and Verizon raise their costs to customers.

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