BrandPost: Loyal to a Fault: Why Your Current DNS May Be Exposing You to Risk

Ask seasoned IT professionals what they dislike most about their infrastructure, and they’ll answer in unison: Change. IT, network and security professionals all rely on tried-and-true products to keep the business humming along, but is doing so exposing them to new risks? This post looks at some hidden risk factors present in many of today’s DNS environments, and what enterprises should be doing now to ameliorate them.

There are very few organizations more change-averse than enterprise IT professionals – especially their network and security teams. With network stability (read uptime) at the heart of their existence, reliance on known products and services can become a crutch – and a blindfold, limiting the ability to objectively consider new infrastructure solutions. As the advent of cloud came upon IT, many organizations needed to fight the ‘server-huggers’, who insisted that their sacred server or device located in the datacenter was the only way to run a specific application or perform a specific business function.

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Source: Network World

How the L1 Terminal Fault vulnerability affects Linux systems

Announced just yesterday in security advisories from Intel, Microsoft and Red Hat, a newly discovered vulnerability affecting Intel processors (and, thus, Linux) called L1TF or “L1 Terminal Fault” is grabbing the attention of Linux users and admins. Exactly what is this vulnerability and who should be worrying about it?

L1TF, L1 Terminal Fault, and Foreshadow

The processor vulnerability goes by any of those names. Researchers who discovered the problem back in January and reported it to Intel called it “Foreshadow”. It is similar to vulnerabilities discovered in the past (such as Spectre).

This vulnerability is Intel-specific. Other processors are not affected. And like some other vulnerabilities, it exists because of design choices that were implemented to optimize kernel processing speed but exposed data in ways that allowed access by other processes.

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Source: Network World

When it comes to IP desk phones, the secondary market is the way to go

As I sit at my desk and stare at the phone in front of me, I think back to a time when “experts” predicted desk phones would no longer be needed.

Well, those experts were certainly wrong. Instead, we have several options in desk phones — so many, in fact, that you may feel you need directory assistance just to get started. You’re left wondering if you should go with an old favorite or try a newer model. And you’re likely concerned about Cisco’s announced end-of-sale and end-of-life dates for the Cisco Unified IP Phones 7945, 7965, 7975, and 7916. Are they still a good value, and will they still be available in the secondary market?

Or maybe you’re wondering if you should go with the Cisco 8800 Series models that came out a few years ago that were supposed to eventually replace the whole 7900 Series. Can you afford all the bells and whistles that go with the 8800 series?

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Source: Network World

Data center power efficiency increases, but so do power outages

A survey from the Uptime Institute found that while data centers are getting better at managing power than ever before, the rate of failures has also increased — and there is a causal relationship.

The Global Data Center Survey report from Uptime Institute gathered responses from nearly 900 data center operators and IT practitioners, both from major data center providers and from private, company-owned data centers.

It found that the power usage effectiveness (PUE) of data centers has hit an all-time low of 1.58. By way of contrast, the average PUE in 2007 was 2.5, then dropped to 1.98 in 2011, and to 1.65 in the 2013 survey.

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Source: Network World

Examining partitions on Linux systems

Linux systems provide many ways to look at disk partitions. In this post, we’ll look at a series of commands, each which shows useful information but in a different format and with a different focus. Maybe one will make your favorites list.

lsblk

One of the most useful commands is the lsblk (list block devices) command that provides a very nicely formatted display of block devices and disk partitions. In the example below, we can see that the system has two disks (sda and sdb) and that sdb has both a very small (500M) partition and a large one (465.3G). Disks and partitions (part) are clearly labeled, and the relationship between the disks and partitions is quite obvious. We also see that the system has a cdrom (sr0).

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Source: Network World

Are microservices about to revolutionize the Internet of Things?

Along with the rise of cloud computing, Agile, and DevOps, the increasing use of microservices has profoundly affected how enterprises develop software. Now, at least one Silicon Valley startup hopes the combination of microservices and edge computing is going to drive a similar re-think of the Internet of Things (IoT) and create a whole new software ecosystem.

Frankly, that seems like a stretch to me, but you can’t argue with the importance of microservices to modern software development. To learn more, I traded emails with Said Ouissal, founder and CEO of ZEDEDA, which is all about “deploying and running real-time edge apps at hyperscale” using IoT devices.

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Source: Network World

What is data deduplication, and how is it implemented?

Deduplication is arguably the biggest advancement in backup technology in the last two decades.  It is single-handedly responsible for enabling the shift from tape to disk for the bulk of backup data, and its popularity only increases with each passing day.  Understanding the different kinds of deduplication, also known as dedupe, is important for any person looking at backup technology.

What is data deduplication?

Dedupe is the identification and elimination of duplicate blocks within a dataset. It is similar to compression, which only identifies redundant blocks in a single file. Deduplication can find redundant blocks of data between files from different directories, different data types, even different servers in different locations.

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Source: Network World

What is DHCP, and why might its days may be numbered as IPv6 grows?

Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) is the standard way network administrators assign IP addresses in IPv4 networks, but eventually organizations will have to pick between two protocols created specifically for IPv6 as the use of this newer IP protocol grows.

DHCP, which dates back to 1993, is an automated way to assign IPv4 addresses, but when IPv6 was designed, it was provided with an auto-configuration feature dubbed SLAAC that could eventually make DHCP irrelevant. To complicate matters, a new DHCP – DHCPv6 – that performs the same function as SLAAC was independently created for IPv6.

Deciding between SLAAC and DHCPv6 isn’t something admins will have to do anytime soon, since the uptake of IPv6 has been slow, but it is on the horizon.

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Source: Network World

Intel continues to optimize its products around AI

Normally, this is the time of year when Intel would hold its Intel Developer Forum conference, which would be replete with new product announcements. But with the demise of the show last year, the company instead held an all-day event that it live-streamed over the web.

The company’s Data Centric Innovation Summit was the backdrop for a series of processor and memory announcements aimed at the data center and artificial intelligence, in particular. Even though Intel is without a leader, it still has considerable momentum. Navin Shenoy, executive vice president and general manager of the Data Center Group, did the heavy lifting.

News about Cascade Lake, the rebranded Xeon server chip

First is news around the Xeon Scalable processor, the rebranded Xeon server chip. The next-generation chip, codenamed “Cascade Lake,” will feature a memory controller for Intel’s new Intel Optane DC persistent memory and an embedded AI accelerator that the company claims will speed up deep learning inference workloads by eleven-fold compared with current-generation Intel Xeon Scalable processors.

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Source: Network World

IDG Contributor Network: Evolution of IT departments to support IoT and digital transformation

You can’t spell IoT without IT, but that doesn’t mean IT departments are big fans of Internet of Things deployments. In fact, we’ve observed that IoT tends to exacerbate some of the challenges that IT departments face within their organizations.

Understanding and anticipating IT’s primary areas of concern can help IoT deployments succeed.

Lines are blurring

Traditionally, the IT department has operated in a vacuum. The focus of IT departments has been in internal support, network management and managing enterprise applications. IoT deployments have been the traditional focus of operations teams that typically deploy point solutions to solve a business issue.

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Source: Network World