IT infrastructure is moving to the cloud; VMs and containers are proliferating. There is a constant uptick in the amount of live applications, and all of them are hosted on servers. Today’s SysAdmins and DevOps teams have to manage a huge amount of servers; far more than they did even a few years ago. 

To deal with this technical challenge, Configuration Management (CM) and Remote Execution (RE) tools have been developed. CM and RE tools allow for the execution of tasks on multiple servers at once, and one-click app deployment. They do this through a process called infrastructure as code (IaC), in which an IT environment is represented via a programming language. 

Puppet, Ansible, Chef, and SaltStack are the big four in this tech space. (And all of them can be used to deploy KernelCare.) Here is the lowdown on Ansible. 

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Back in the nineties and early noughties, enterprises didn’t have to juggle too many servers. The rise of cloud computing has changed all that. Technologies like virtualization and containers now mean that the typical infrastructure is composed of many servers, hosting many applications.

As always, a sharp increase in scale makes it hard to maintain visibility and control. With the proliferation of servers within enterprise infrastructures, apps have sprung up to help IT professionals cope. These are usually referred to as Configuration Management (CM) or Remote Execution (RE) tools. These tools enable a process called infrastructure as code (IaC), in which an IT environment is represented via a programming language, and the tool automates the actions necessary to match the environment to this state. This can include actions like installing software, adding users, or partitioning storage devices.

There are four big players in this space: Puppet, Ansible, Chef, and SaltStack. Here’s a deep-dive into Puppet, the most popular option, which can be used for KernelCare mass deployment.

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In the last week of June 2019, a new type of malware emerged, dubbed “Silex.” Reminiscent of the BrickerBot malware of 2017, Silex went after IoT devices, and killed the operating systems of thousands of devices in a matter of hours. Silex was able to infect any system running a Linux distribution, and chiefly damaged smart thermostats, lights, and sensors. How is Silex able to wreak such havoc? Learn more in our blog.

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A majority of embedded systems constitute internet-connected Things. Most of these embedded systems use ARM chips and device architectures, and run on an operating system based on the Linux kernel. IoT appliances and devices are wise to use Linux. It allows for multiple suppliers of software, development and support; it has a stable kernel; and it facilitates the ability to modify and redistribute the source code. However, an IoT device running on Linux is as just as susceptible to vulnerabilities as any other Linux system. Learn more in our blog.

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Linux Torvalds is the creator and original developer of the Linux kernel. So when he has something to say about the future of software and cybersecurity, it’s wise to listen. Recently, at the KubeCon + CloudNative + Open Source Summit China in Shanghai, Torvalds warned of forthcoming challenges in the world of managing software. At the root of these challenges, he said, are two hardware issues that are causing DevOps teams major headaches. Learn more in our blog.

 

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SysAdmins will usually rationalise their delays in kernel patching with the argument that most patches are minor, correcting small, unthreatening flaws. They will point out that most kernel vulnerabilities are no big deal, that they aren’t any sort of invitation to malicious hackers.

But here’s the point: Now and again, a kernel vulnerability comes along which is truly terrifying.

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