How I Validated KernelCare for VMware Cloud on AWS
VMware has been a part of my working life for some time now. As a former Linux System Administrator, I've used it many times in different places. It's been one of my favorite ways to try out new operating systems (read: distro hopping) without having to buy more hardware.
But, up until now, VMware's ‘pro’ products were a little beyond my pay scale. So, I was excited to hear that one of the development teams at CloudLinux would soon get a chance to try out VMware Cloud on AWS. The only problem was, I didn't know which team, which of our products, or when.
I've been at CloudLinux for almost two years, busy testing KernelCare and ePortal packages. It's been an interesting time for live patching these past few years; it’s a technology that’s really starting to catch on. Several nasty vulnerabilities have put kernel security in the spotlight recently (for example, Spectre/Meltdown and Zombieload). That makes it even more important that the KernelCare team responds quickly to Linux kernel vulnerabilities, builds well-tested patches, and releases them ASAP.
I’m used to being on standby, sometimes working weekends to get patches out, so when the news came that it’ll be me testing KernelCare on an AWS VMware instance, I was more than ready.
Even so, it wasn’t going to be easy. The test period had to start 48 hours later, and then there'd be only 48 hours to run the test pack and verify KernelCare on an AWS VMware VM. If I missed that window, it'd be a long wait for a second chance. This is because the VMware people have a long list of companies queuing up to test their products. There was no way I was going to miss this slot.
I made contact with the VMware ISV team who showed me how to access the instance through a browser. Once in, I found the interface very like the familiar desktop VMware ESXi. It was fast and had a massive 512Gb of RAM. I installed KernelCare and ran the standard suite of tests, our own and those from the Linux Test Project. Having tested KernelCare on so many platforms, I wasn't surprised to find it working as expected.
A week or so later, I got the happy news that KernelCare is officially validated for VMware Cloud on AWS. And I’ve also just found out that KernelCare has been upgraded to AWS Advanced Tech Partner. I guess our team’s hard work is paying off.