TMCnet - World's Largest Communications and Technology Community



Deploying Next-Gen Appliances? Follow Rule No. 1: Use a Hardened, Secure Linux OS
» More Appliance Deployment Feature Articles

Appliance Deployment Featured Article

November 02, 2009

Deploying Next-Gen Appliances? Follow Rule No. 1: Use a Hardened, Secure Linux OS

By Marisa Torrieri, TMCnet Editor

With the buildout of new cloud application architectures and improved server-virtualization capabilities, enterprise software developers have many platform options on which to deliver their application.
But often times, these developers don’t know how their development choices impact these delivery methods. To address this issue, technology partners NEI and rPath teamed up to create the white paper “Top Five Considerations for Deploying Next-Gen Appliances.”  

“This white paper helps software developers and OEMs understand the subtle but important benefits of a hardened appliance,” said Peter Predella, director of marketing for NEI. “It explains why the return on investing some time to optimize the operating system is so significant.”
To start, OEMs and software developers in the market for next-gen appliances should consider the benefits of not choosing out-of-the-box solutions, and instead get back to basics: A hardened, secure Linux operating system has been stripped down to the bare minimum needed to run the application ensures security and performance. This, according to NEI and rPath, is a better alternative to out-of-the-box, or “bloated,” operating systems, which are slower and more open to security threats.
“We look at the appliance model as being very flexible way to deploy software where the OEM as a software vendor has more control over that deployment,” Mike Slatery, director of software development for NEI, told TMCnet. “The advantage that we see with the appliance around the hardened operating system is you’ve tuned it performance wise, you’ve minimized it, you’ve made it more secure, and so there’s less to keep up to date. By doing work up front, you’ve made your job post-deployment easier.”
The hardened, or stripped down, Linux OS contains what NEI and rPath call “Just Enough Operating System” or JeOS. The customized OS is built up from the “kernel,” resulting in an OS that accommodates each developer’s specific application, free of excess baggage in a commercial distribution. Having this smaller footprint means there’s less to keep updated and less drag than with a general-purpose OS.  
“In general, what you’re doing is planning around performance and what you really need,” Slatery told TMCnet.
Because it’s based on this bare-bones Linux OS structure, NEI’s appliance model can be tailored more easily when it comes time to construct the hardware that will serve as the basis for applications, according to the white paper.
“Just enough operating system – that’s really what you’re striving for. What that means is that the operating system that you require for your application to work and no more, Slattery told TMCnet. “The conventional approach is to take a general purpose OS and prune items you don’t need which is tedious and time consuming work seldom resulting in the smallest footprint possible. The alternative approach that we use is we begin with the smallest entity that you can, the kernel, and from there add only those packages that are required for that application to run. The result is the smallest footprint possible for the application to function properly”
This is the first article in a series addressing the most crucial considerations for deploying next-generation appliances.

Marisa Torrieri is a TMCnet Web editor, covering IP hardware and mobility, including IP phones, smartphones, fixed-mobile convergence and satellite technology. She also compiles and regularly contributes to TMCnet's gadgets and satellite e-Newsletters. To read more of Marisa's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Marisa Torrieri

» More Appliance Deployment Feature Articles

A computing entity that delivers predefined service(s) through an application-specific interface with no accessible operating software
Definition of an Appliance
Gartner, Inc.

White Papers

A Virtual Appliance Model for Deploying Applications in the Cloud
Top Five Considerations for Deploying Next-Gen Appliances
How to Deliver Software as a Purpose-Built Appliance
Gaining the Business Benefits, Avoiding the Pitfalls
Energy Star Specifications for Enterprise-Class Servers
What Application Software Vendors Need to Know and Why the Intel® Xeon® 5500 Microarchitecture Will Help Achieve Compliance

Success Stories

Endace Selects NEI to Support Rapidly Growing Systems Business
Endace is a leading provider of next-generation, high-speed network monitoring and recording systems. Its solutions are guaranteed to capture 100% of packets at speeds up to 100 Gb/s and easily optimized for a wide range of monitoring and security applications.
NEI Enables Alert Logic to Scale its Business by More Than 40%
The task of securing enterprise data and ensuring compliance can be daunting, particularly as the use of mobile devices grows and computing environments evolve.
Right-Sizing a Security Management Appliance
Bringing Cross Domain Security from Software to Hardware
ITT-AES Chooses NEI for a Comprehensive Approach to Product Development
Modus Operandi: Taking Email Security to the Next Level
NEI Brings Flexibility and Cost-Effectiveness to Vircom's ModusGate Solutions


Thrive in '09 - Strategies for Success with Intellitactics
Learn how to gain market share, increase efficiencies and reduce costs
Thrive in '09 - Strategies to Increase Efficiencies and Keep Costs Down Featuring Vircom
Learn how to gain market share, increase efficiencies and reduce costs
NEI speaks out on Energy Star server ratings
Listen to eWEEK's podcast with NEI about the impact of Energy Star ratings on servers
Implementing Smart Services
Learn how smart services can improve lifecycle management, reduce operating expenses and grow revenue
[ Get WebEx Player ]


Low-Cost Desktop SOHO Network Appliances (S-500)
1U Rack Mount SATA Systems (S-1000 R5 / S-1200 / S-1400)
High-Performance, Low-Profile Systems (S-1600 / S-1800 / S-1900)
Highly Customizable, Small Footprint Communications Systems (C-1000 / C-1200 / C-1500)
Highly Customizable, Scalable, Long-life Communications Systems (C-2400 / C-2500)
High-Reliability, Medium-Density Communications Systems (E-1800 / E-2000 R5 / E-2900)

Daily Alerts

[ Appliance ]
[ Appliance Deployment ]
[ Software Appliance ]
[ NEI ]
[ Communications Solutions ]
[ Network Appliance ]
[ Application Deployment ]
[ Linux Appliance ]
[ Server Appliance ]

Technology Marketing Corporation

35 Nutmeg Drive Suite 340, Trumbull, Connecticut 06611 USA
Ph: 800-243-6002, 203-852-6800
Fx: 203-866-3326

General comments:
Comments about this site:


© 2017 Technology Marketing Corporation. All rights reserved | Privacy Policy