Archive

Archive for the ‘Buzz’ Category

Google’s Third Muppets Theme – Bert and Ernie

November 6th, 2009 No comments

It appears Google has posted yet another muppet-themed home page today.

image

Thanks Google for supporting the muppets!

Categories: Buzz Tags:

VPS (Parallels) or VM (VMware ESX)

October 31st, 2009 No comments

Ever heard someone use the term VM or VPS? About the only thing they have in common is the V in their name.

A VPS (commonly OpenVZ or Parallels Containers) is a Virtual Private Server and usually runs on what is referred to as a “host node” or the main hardware node. VPS systems allow you to dynamically adjust resources without a restart.

A VM (commonly VMware ESX) is a fully paravirtualized system which all hardware is also virtualized. Many operating systems seem to work the best with paravirtualized systems as the hardware is presented as regular physical hardware.

VMware Pro’s
  • Full Paravirtualazation
  • imageVirutualizes at the hardware level- most compatible
  • Flexibility
  • Industry Standard
  • Can run Windows/Linux/Suse/Novell/OSX all on the same host
VMware Con’s
  • Cannot dynamically scale resources, VM’s must be rebooted to apply new allocations
  • Slightly slower than software-level virtualization
  • Cost, expensive

imageParallels Pro’s
  • OS level virtualization
  • Fast provisioning
  • Dynamic resource allocation, no reboots
  • Tighter control of space and inode allocations
  • Burstable RAM settings
Parallels Con’s
  • Only Linux or Windows VPS systems may exist on a single hardware node
  • Price, although cheaper than vmware, still pricey. OpenVZ is a safe free version.

Conclusion

There are many different solutions to virtualizing or “chopping” up the resources for a single, large host system. Our winner was Parallels for their ease of installation, dynamic resource allocation and faster performance. Also keep in mind that if you are virtualizing systems make sure to have a good backup plan and spare parts or on-site warranty. One large host system may provide 20-50 virtual systems. An outage is now multiplied by the systems you have running on top of your hardware node.

Categories: Buzz Tags:

Storage in the Cloud

October 11th, 2009 No comments

1216703_58267031_web

Caught up in “cloud” technology? Think it’s useful or just some hype? This post will provide an extensive review of the pros and cons of cloud storage. We’ll also provide a definition of “cloud” storage and the difference between a public and private cloud.

Cloud Overview

There are a few different types of cloud storage. The main goal of the term “cloud” is to separate and decentralize storage. Systems should be expected to fail, fail often (more often than enterprise class hardware) and be easily replaced when they do. There are many providers of public cloud storage and quite a few vendors which provide cloud storage software so you can start your own cloud.

Public Cloud Providers

Private Cloud Providers (Software)

Cloud Benefits

There are many benefits to utilizing cloud storage. One of Powering Cloud Storagethe best benefits of using public storage is to diversify and distribute storage across the nation. Utilizing a private cloud allows you to decentralize your storage and possibly speed up largely parallel reads and build fault tolerance into your storage systems. I’ve personally had experience with ParaScale and it seems to work great. The software allows you to build your own private cloud storage system. In testing it has proved to be very fast and efficient.

Cloud Cons

Utilizing a public cloud can be a bit scary for some. Of course it requires a level of trust and assurance to allow your data to be on a public system. I’m sure most responsible persons will keep copies of their data elsewhere beside a public cloud. Private clouds are still somewhat new and require special software. If the software (or any underlying proprietary system) fails, it will require custom services (provided by the software vendor) to recover the data. Private clouds can be very helpful but we must weigh the benefits against the risks.

Conclusion

Cloud storage has been very successful in both private and public practice. Cloud storage provides cheap and distributed storage for files and can add speed if used privately. This technology is still very new and it must be considered with a “grain of salt” – we’re talking about our data here! In conclusion, Cloud storage technology is very efficient, decentralized, highly fault-tolerant and can offer us many benefits. The only way for the technology to mature is to provide more use and refinement. When cloud storage platforms are fully matured we can place more hope in the “cloud hype.”

Categories: Buzz Tags:

The RioRey DDoS Solution

July 30th, 2009 No comments

 

Product Overviewimage

The RioRey solution is a DDoS protection device not widely used or heard of … yet. First of all let me assure you that I am in no way associated with the RioRey company and my focus is to give an honest and unbiased opinion of their product offerings.

 

The RioRey device is a rack-mountable device with one copper management port and two copper or fiber (Multimode SX/LC or Singlemode LX/LC) ports. Their products tier in the volume of packets per second they are able to mitigate under a real DDoS attack. They range from 150K packets per second (PPS) to their newest eight rack unit 16M packets per second model. The model I have had the most experience with is their entry-level 150K PPS model. This will be the model I talk about in the remainder of this article. 

 

imageInstallation

Using the device is a breeze. Installation is as simple as installing it in line to the closest “edge” of your connection. For most companies and hosting providers this would be at their handoff from their bandwidth provider (e.g. Cogent, ATT) The device can be purchased (at no additional cost) with the ability to fail to bypass. This means that if the device has a  hardware failure the device will act as a straight-through cable and continue to pass traffic. In testing this device did not even trip external monitoring when simulating failure.

 

Usage

The device comes with a very primitive web interface which is used for setting up low-level functions like syslog reporting and IP addressing of the management interface. The device comes with a pre-configured IP address to access this web console for first installation. The device also comes with their management software called “rView” This software allows you to view the status of the device, perform reports, get real-time insight into current attacks and customize how the device behaves under attack. The device also has the ability to send SNMP traps, log to syslog and email when an attack is detected.

 

Real World Experience061309-RioReyUDP-2

I’ve personally and (un)fortunately had this device work for me. This device was blocking a 1.3GBit/sec UDP flood and was currently only linked at 100mbit. All sites/devices/services behind the RioRey were still responsive. The sites did notice a small uptick in response time but no dropped packets or requests. The device performed as advertised and their patented Micro Behavioral Analysis (MBA) algorithms performed beautifully. Within 60 seconds the attack was mitigated and “polluted” traffic was removed. The graph on the right illustrates how fast the traffic was blocked. Notice the blue line grow and then almost instantly disappears. This blue line is the “after filtering” traffic (the traffic passed to the LAN interface.) The attack traffic was almost instantly mitigated- all without human intervention.

 

Summary

This device is a very valuable tool. It’s kind of like a fire extinguisher, when you need it you really need it; when you don’t need it you never really even know or care to know that it’s there. Was it worth the investment? It’s hard to gauge these things after an attack is mitigated. If we didn’t have the device under attacks it would be much harder to identify the attacker and the victim and would cause more downtime simply analyzing the traffic to find the source(s).

I believe the device is well worth it. It’s entry-level pricing is second to none (when compared to other solutions) and it allows a level of protection that most never thought possible for the price. To obtain more information and pricing please visit The RioRey Site.

If you have any questions about the device and would like to contact me for more information please post a comment or email Adam [at] Admo.net for more information!

Categories: Buzz, General Tags:

Google Chrome Bug?

September 2nd, 2008 4 comments

Here is something odd I found with Google Chrome.

 

Open Chrome

Go to “google.com”

Middle click maps at the top and see the distorted map on the new tab.

 

image

What causes this? Google how well did you review your code. I know it’s a beta … but I expect better from Google :-) It works fine when visiting the maps site directly or refreshing.

 

Video

Categories: Buzz Tags: