Systems Maintenance and Monitoring of FOSS to Reap Business Benefits

CJ Fearnley

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Top Stories by CJ Fearnley

Federal Computer Week published a great, succinct quote from Richard Schaeffer Jr., the NSA’s (National Security Agency) information assurance director, on three approaches that are effective in protecting systems from security attacks: We believe that if one institutes best practices, proper configurations [and] good network monitoring that a system ought to be able to withstand about 80 percent of the commonly known attack mechanisms against systems today, Schaeffer said in his testimony. You can actually harden your network environment to raise the bar such that the adversary has to resort to much, much more sophisticated means, thereby raising the risk of detection.” Taking Schaeffer’s three tactics as our lead, here is a FOSS perspective on these protection mechanisms: Best practices implies community effort: discussing, sharing and collectively building understanding a... (more)

Given 250,000 Tools on the Shelf, How Do You Manage Them?

Although I haven’t seen a thoroughly researched study, I figure there must be at least 250,000 FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) tools available to every systems administrator on the planet (230,000 at SourceForge + 15,000 at Launchpad + 12,000 at CodePlex + 5,000 at Google Code and that doesn’t count the Linux kernel or any of the myriad other self-hosted projects). These 250,000+ resources comprise the full “toolbox” that admins can use for building solutions with FOSS; they represent the FOSS equivalent of COTS (Commercial Off-The-Shelf). Of course, if you add open source b... (more)

The Nature and Importance of Source Code and Learning Programming with Python

Cloud Computing Expo Last year a client asked us for advice on getting started with programming. So I thought I’d share some thoughts about programming, its relationship with FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) management and why Python is a good language for learning programming including some great on-line resources. But first I want to make sure our business-oriented readers understand the nature and importance of source code. Register Today and Save $800 ! Explore Sponsorship Opportunities ! The “source” aka “the code” provides a language in which computer users can create ... (more)

Anticipating the Emerging Technologies for the Enterprise Event

I will be attending the 5th Annual Emerging Technologies for the Enterprise Conference (ETE 2010) this Thursday and Friday, April 8-9, 2010. The event is billed for “developers, architects, and IT executives” and attempts to provide a dynamic forum for “emerging technology and Open Source”. I look forward to seeing Robert C. (Uncle Bob) Martin’s keynote on “Bad Code, Craftsmanship, Engineering, and Certification”, a panel discussion on “Open source is a commercial enterprise”, another panel on “Social Media: Why should I care?”, a second Bob Martin presentation on “Agility and ... (more)

Debian Squeeze 6.0 Installation Over SSH

One of the great benefits of the Debian Installer is the ability to boot an ISO image, set up networking and complete an installation remotely via SSH (Secure Shell). You can use the following steps to get the installer launched. Boot from the CD and in the Installer boot menu select “Advanced options >” Select “Expert install” The installer will load up and you will be presented with the Debian installer main menu. If necessary set the default language and keyboard (you can reconfigure them later once you get this going over SSH if needed), and then select “Detect and mo... (more)