|By Joshua Drake||
|January 14, 2002 12:00 AM EST||
(LinuxWorld) -- Let's start from the beginning. In July 2001, I was responsible for upgrading a customer's server from Red Hat 6.2 to Mandrake 8.0. The machine was built from scratch, and Mandrake was installed onto a freshly formatted RAID 5 array. We then migrated the Red Hat 6.2 applications to the new machine.
After a little configuration, the machine seemed to run fine. We successfully migrated the entire system in less than five hours. Considering this was a large-scale server, that was quite a feat and was certainly welcomed by our paying customer.
However, after about a month into deployment I started noticing strange problems with the machine. Intermittent lockups were the most common. The lockups appeared physical, and the machine was unrecoverable without a reboot.
While performing research on the problem, I learned there was a serious sync() bug in the 2.4 kernel. This bug exists in all kernel 2.4 versions until 2.4.6. The solution seemed simple: I upgrade the kernel.
About a week later, the machine locks up cold -- again. We considered it a fluke and rebooted. The very next day the machine locked up -- again. We do further research and find that the original 2.4 VM (Virtual Memory) implementation was causing problems. In my frustration and embarrassment, I would be inclined to call it bad design, but I don't know enough about the intricacies of the Linux kernel to say whether it was.
The VM problem was so horribly bad that the kernel team decided to rip out the older implementation and implement a completely new design. These problems continued as the kernel versions worked their way up through 2.4.11, which has a serious symlink bug that could lead to corrupted inodes. As of 2.4.13, things finally seemed to be cleaned up a bit. The kernel seemed to show more stability. Then we hit kernel 2.4.15.
Linux version 2.4.15 contained a bug that was arguably worse than the VM bug. Essentially, if you unmounted a file system via reboot -- or any another common method -- you would get filesystem corruption. A fix, called kernel 2.4.16, was released 24 hours later.
Kernel 2.4.16 now appeared to be the kernel of choice. It seemed as if it was possible that after almost a year of "stable" status that the 2.4 kernel would be usable in a production environment.
We still aren't there yetAlas, the mire of trouble within the 2.4 series kernels continues. As of kernel 2.4.16, there is a serious bug in the OOM that can cause system lockups. The lock-up bug in 2.4.16 has supposedly been fixed in 2.4.17pre4aa1.
The current kernel release is 2.4.17, and one would hope that it is stable, but a brief review of the changelog will show that the kernel team is still working on fine-tuning the new VM design, and the vast amount of changes that have been made are already making me weary of it.
As I reviewed the archives of late December, I found that the per-user limit support in the 2.4 series kernels is broken. With the limit support broken, any user -- privileged or not -- has the potential to suck up all of the machines resources, effectively causing an intramural DoS (Denial of Service) attack. They could do this accidentally, and it would cause a great deal of grief for any system administrator.
So, what does all of this mean for me? It means that after five months of battling the new, better-than-fresh-butter, enterprise-ready 2.4 kernel, I am moving my customer back to the stodgy, conservative, more-enterprise-ready-than-2.4-has-been-since-its-release-almost-a-year-ago, 2.2 kernel-based Red Hat 6.2.
The 2.2 kernels may not handle large SMP machines as well, they may not handle large amounts of memory well (only 2 gigabytes), and they may have a practical limit of 2 gigabytes on a single file, but the 2.2. kernels don't crash or cause phone calls at 5:00 AM. Moreover, the 2.2 kernels don't make customers unhappy that they chose Linux as their server solution.
What does this mean for you?What does all of this mean for you? That is your decision. You just read mine.
I hope Red Hat, SuSE, and Mandrake are taking a long hard look at the 2.4 process and formulating long-term plans to circumvent problems like this. I know, for example, that Red Hat has its own stress testing for the kernel, and that the Red Hat-shipped kernel is a fork of the standard Linux kernel. This fork is a good thing, because it means that Red Hat is able to apply patches that, in theory, make its kernel more stable.
On the desktop that I write this article, I am running Red Hat 7.2 with the 2.4.9-enterprise kernel. (It's a long story that involves this machine's AMD Duron processor.) I have yet to have any lockups on the Red Hat kernel since I upgraded to 2.4.9. I can say that Red Hat 7.2 seems reasonable and usable (at least as a desktop machine) but I am unsure if any 2.4 kernel-based system would be considered acceptable in a production server environment today.
In 2014, Amazon announced a new form of compute called Lambda. We didn't know it at the time, but this represented a fundamental shift in what we expect from cloud computing. Now, all of the major cloud computing vendors want to take part in this disruptive technology. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, John Jelinek IV, a web developer at Linux Academy, will discuss why major players like AWS, Microsoft Azure, IBM Bluemix, and Google Cloud Platform are all trying to sidestep VMs and containers...
Feb. 26, 2017 05:30 PM EST Reads: 2,102
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
Feb. 26, 2017 05:15 PM EST Reads: 1,882
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named “Platinum Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CA Technologies helps customers succeed in a future where every business – from apparel to energy – is being rewritten by software. From ...
Feb. 26, 2017 03:45 PM EST Reads: 2,657
With 10 simultaneous tracks, keynotes, general sessions and targeted breakout classes, Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo are two of the most important technology events of the year. Since its launch over eight years ago, Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo have presented a rock star faculty as well as showcased hundreds of sponsors and exhibitors! In this blog post, I provide 7 tips on how, as part of our world-class faculty, you can deliver one of the most popular sessions at our events. But before reading the...
Feb. 26, 2017 03:30 PM EST Reads: 8,895
"Storage is growing. All of IDC's estimates say that unstructured data is now 80% of the world's data. We provide storage systems that can actually deal with that scale of data - software-defined storage systems," stated Paul Turner, Chief Product and Marketing Officer at Cloudian, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 17th Cloud Expo, held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Feb. 26, 2017 02:30 PM EST Reads: 7,092
The best way to leverage your Cloud Expo presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at Cloud Expo. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audiences.
Feb. 26, 2017 02:30 PM EST Reads: 2,437
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy.
Feb. 26, 2017 01:30 PM EST Reads: 2,352
Bert Loomis was a visionary. This general session will highlight how Bert Loomis and people like him inspire us to build great things with small inventions. In their general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Architect at IBM Bluemix, and Michael O'Neill, Strategic Business Development at Nvidia, discussed the accelerating pace of AI development and how IBM Cloud and NVIDIA are partnering to bring AI capabilities to "every day," on-demand. They also reviewed two "free infrastructure" pr...
Feb. 26, 2017 01:15 PM EST Reads: 1,836
Have you ever noticed how some IT people seem to lead successful, rewarding, and satisfying lives and careers, while others struggle? IT author and speaker Don Crawley uncovered the five principles that successful IT people use to build satisfying lives and careers and he shares them in this fast-paced, thought-provoking webinar. You'll learn the importance of striking a balance with technical skills and people skills, challenge your pre-existing ideas about IT customer service, and gain new in...
Feb. 26, 2017 01:00 PM EST Reads: 3,021
SYS-CON Events announced today that Hitrons Solutions will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Hitrons Solutions Inc. is distributor in the North American market for unique products and services of small and medium-size businesses, including cloud services and solutions, SEO marketing platforms, and mobile applications.
Feb. 26, 2017 12:45 PM EST Reads: 605
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and shared the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the develop...
Feb. 26, 2017 12:45 PM EST Reads: 6,434
For basic one-to-one voice or video calling solutions, WebRTC has proven to be a very powerful technology. Although WebRTC’s core functionality is to provide secure, real-time p2p media streaming, leveraging native platform features and server-side components brings up new communication capabilities for web and native mobile applications, allowing for advanced multi-user use cases such as video broadcasting, conferencing, and media recording.
Feb. 26, 2017 11:30 AM EST Reads: 6,684
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Steve Wilkes, CTO and founder of Striim, will delve into four enterprise-scale, business-critical case studies where streaming analytics serves as the key to enabling real-time data integration and right-time insights in hybrid cloud, IoT, and fog computing environments. As part of this discussion, he will also present a demo based on its partnership with Fujitsu, highlighting their technologies in a healthcare IoT use-case. The demo showcases the tracking of patie...
Feb. 26, 2017 11:00 AM EST Reads: 1,336
Almost two-thirds of companies either have or soon will have IoT as the backbone of their business. Though, IoT is far more complex than most firms expected with a majority of IoT projects having failed. How can you not get trapped in the pitfalls? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Tony Shan, Chief IoTologist at Wipro, will introduce a holistic method of IoTification, which is the process of IoTifying the existing technology portfolios and business models to adopt and leverage IoT. He will delve in...
Feb. 26, 2017 11:00 AM EST Reads: 2,774
SYS-CON Events announced today that Outlyer, a monitoring service for DevOps and operations teams, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Outlyer is a monitoring service for DevOps and Operations teams running Cloud, SaaS, Microservices and IoT deployments. Designed for today's dynamic environments that need beyond cloud-scale monitoring, we make monitoring effortless so you...
Feb. 26, 2017 10:30 AM EST Reads: 2,419
Unsecured IoT devices were used to launch crippling DDOS attacks in October 2016, targeting services such as Twitter, Spotify, and GitHub. Subsequent testimony to Congress about potential attacks on office buildings, schools, and hospitals raised the possibility for the IoT to harm and even kill people. What should be done? Does the government need to intervene? This panel at @ThingExpo New York brings together leading IoT and security experts to discuss this very serious topic.
Feb. 26, 2017 09:15 AM EST Reads: 3,115
It is one thing to build single industrial IoT applications, but what will it take to build the Smart Cities and truly society changing applications of the future? The technology won’t be the problem, it will be the number of parties that need to work together and be aligned in their motivation to succeed. In his Day 2 Keynote at @ThingsExpo, Henrik Kenani Dahlgren, Portfolio Marketing Manager at Ericsson, discussed how to plan to cooperate, partner, and form lasting all-star teams to change the...
Feb. 26, 2017 09:15 AM EST Reads: 5,499
The buzz continues for cloud, data analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT) and their collective impact across all industries. But a new conversation is emerging - how do companies use industry disruption and technology enablers to lead in markets undergoing change, uncertainty and ambiguity? Organizations of all sizes need to evolve and transform, often under massive pressure, as industry lines blur and merge and traditional business models are assaulted and turned upside down. In this new da...
Feb. 26, 2017 09:15 AM EST Reads: 1,620
“We're a global managed hosting provider. Our core customer set is a U.S.-based customer that is looking to go global,” explained Adam Rogers, Managing Director at ANEXIA, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Feb. 26, 2017 08:45 AM EST Reads: 2,330
WebRTC services have already permeated corporate communications in the form of videoconferencing solutions. However, WebRTC has the potential of going beyond and catalyzing a new class of services providing more than calls with capabilities such as mass-scale real-time media broadcasting, enriched and augmented video, person-to-machine and machine-to-machine communications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Luis Lopez, CEO of Kurento, introduced the technologies required for implementing these idea...
Feb. 26, 2017 08:00 AM EST Reads: 7,010