Ksplice Boots the Reboot
It's doubtful that very many users enjoy reboots. Although system uptime is often worn like a badge of honor — as though power-cycling were some form of humiliating defeat — the majority of us can probably agree that having to restart is a pain, if only for the lost time involved. It almost seems as though the annoyance grows exponentially the more frequent they come.
By far the most common reason to reboot, across all platforms, comes as the result of updating. Running Linux takes some of this pain away, as most Linux updates can be applied without restarting — as a general rule, only the far less frequent kernel updates require rebooting. While the reboot will never disappear entirely, the developers at Ksplice have made a giant step in that direction with Ksplice Uptrack, a service designed to take the restart out of even those pesky kernel updates.
If you happen to be in Berlin or Porto Alegre, Brazil this week, you can learn about the company's offerings first hand — Ksplice President Jeff Arnold and company COO Waseem Daher will present at both LinuxTag 2009 and Fórum Internacional de Software Livre this week. Coinciding with their presentations is the release of a free "demonstration" version of Ksplice Uptrack for consumers using Linux. The service, which is currently only available to those running the most recent version of Ubuntu — 9.04 or Jaunty Jackalope — promises all the security and bugfix updates offered through the normal upgrade channels, but without the hassle of having to reboot.
According Ksplice Chief Technology Officer Tim Abbott, the consumer version of Ksplice Uptrack is just the beginning: "[E]xpect to see general availability of an enterprise product within a few months." He went on to say that Ksplice is "excited that this technology can make systems vastly more secure and maintainable, and launching this service for Ubuntu is an opportunity to start showing many people what our technology can do." A fuller explanation of the technology, which was initially developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, can be found in a technical paper presented in the Proceedings of the 2009 ACM SIGOPS EuroSys Conference on Computer Systems, available from the Ksplice website.
Interested Jaunty Jackalope users can download the demonstration version from Ksplice — the company's product literature indicates the service "will be freely supported for as long as it the newest version of Ubuntu," presumably until the end of October. Only the "generic" kernel is currently supported, though support for the "server" and "virtual" kernels is promised before the end of the month. And, of course, if you find yourself in Berlin or Brazil, you can stop in and hear all about it straight from the source.
Justin Ryan is News Editor for LinuxJournal.com.
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Justin Ryan is a Contributing Editor for Linux Journal.
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
One of the best things about the UNIX environment (aside from being stable and efficient) is the vast array of software tools available to help you do your job. Traditionally, a UNIX tool does only one thing, but does that one thing very well. For example, grep is very easy to use and can search vast amounts of data quickly. The find tool can find a particular file or files based on all kinds of criteria. It's pretty easy to string these tools together to build even more powerful tools, such as a tool that finds all of the .log files in the /home directory and searches each one for a particular entry. This erector-set mentality allows UNIX system administrators to seem to always have the right tool for the job.
Cron traditionally has been considered another such a tool for job scheduling, but is it enough? This webinar considers that very question. The first part builds on a previous Geek Guide, Beyond Cron, and briefly describes how to know when it might be time to consider upgrading your job scheduling infrastructure. The second part presents an actual planning and implementation framework.
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With all the industry talk about the benefits of Linux on Power and all the performance advantages offered by its open architecture, you may be considering a move in that direction. If you are thinking about analytics, big data and cloud computing, you would be right to evaluate Power. The idea of using commodity x86 hardware and replacing it every three years is an outdated cost model. It doesn’t consider the total cost of ownership, and it doesn’t consider the advantage of real processing power, high-availability and multithreading like a demon.
This ebook takes a look at some of the practical applications of the Linux on Power platform and ways you might bring all the performance power of this open architecture to bear for your organization. There are no smoke and mirrors here—just hard, cold, empirical evidence provided by independent sources. I also consider some innovative ways Linux on Power will be used in the future.Get the Guide