Enterprise Unix Roundup: Mainframes Go Retro Chic Page 2
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» Sun managed to post a profit in its fourth-quarter earnings report this week, despite the company's computer systems revenue being down 4 percent. The company reported total server shipments grew 7 percent, pushing its profits to 4 cents per share. When income from last year's Microsoft settlement is factored out, the company is up over last year. Along with a better financial outlook, Sun took time out on Tuesday to tout the fact it has distributed 2 million Solaris 10 licenses at a rate of about 11,000 registrations per day. But this week's good news was followed up with some bad: Sun's cutting 1,000 jobs.
» Back during The Boom, when "the Linux business model" was to be selling support, LinuxCare was one of the more promising outfits, employing much talent and capturing much mind share. Like almost everything having to do with the boom, LinuxCare fell apart. The company is now back as Levanta, and its first hardware offering is a $7,500 Linux management appliance.
The Intrepid M is a Pentium-4-based device designed to track the status of Linux servers, workstations, and virtualized Linux installations and keep them running through rollbacks, change-tracking, and testing. It comes with a variety of templates for common server profiles to ease new server deployments. According to the company's press release, a Linux admin with as little as two years' experience can competently run an Intrepid.
» Earlier this year we looked into the sagging fortunes of IBM's iSeries servers, which had been handed over to Mark Shearer, who had also successfully helped the zSeries out of a slump. An announcement out of IBM this week indicates Shearer has had a successful six months. The iSeries enjoyed 10 percent revenue growth in the second quarter of this year, with revenue totaling $4.9 billion.
» India Times reports Gartner claims open source applications will account for no more than 10 percent of the software inventory in Global 2000 companies through 2010, but by 2008, 95 percent of those companies will have formal open source acquisition processes. The firm concluded that by 2010, those companies will be considering open source software for 80 percent of their infrastructure software investments and 25 percent of their business software purchases.
The Lyris list server was upgrade to version 8.8. The new version includes support for Solaris 9 and 10 as well as PostgreSQL 8.0.3. A number of interface and performance enhancements are also included.
Sophos has reported a "highly critical" bug in its antivirus product. A buffer overflow vulnerability could allow for remote compromise of a system running the product.
Fetchmail has a "moderately critical" bug that could be exploited to effect a remote compromise. Patches are in from Gentoo, Ubuntu, Slackware, Red Hat's Enterprise AS, WS and ES products, and Fedora.
A bug in the version of zlib used by MySQL has left the database vulnerable to denial of service attacks or remote compromise.
Tips of the Trade
One of the simplest and most efficient backup utilities is rsnapshot. Based on the also efficient rsync, rsnapshot sets up in a few minutes, and completely automates the entire backup process. You can literally set it and forget it. rsnapshot will even monitor available disk space and generate regular disk usage reports. It runs on Linux and Unix, and on Windows under Cygwin. It also operates on any filesystem recognized by *nix (e.g., FAT32, NTFS, ext2/3, ReiserFS, XFS, and JFS).
A good way to use rsnapshot is to set up a central backup server running a simple PATA or SATA RAID 5 array, and allow users access to their own files. Alternatively, you may retain iron-fisted control and restrict access however you like. rsync transmits only the changes in files, so once the initial backup has been set up, subsequent incremental backups are very small. Restores are fast and easy, whether you need to find a single file or rollback a system to an earlier state. Also, rsnapshot supports SSH for encrypted network file transfer.
rsnapshot is configured in /etc/rsnapshot.conf. We recommend saving a copy of the original, in case you get hopelessly messed up and need to start over. You may specify files and directories to include or exclude in /etc/rsnapshot.conf:
backup /home/ hostname/
A useful convention on a backup server is to label the different backup sets by hostname. File types can be excluded or included. For example, backup files created by applications are preceded a tilde (~). These can be excluded like this:
This example includes all files with the .sxw (Open Office) extension:
When you're finished with /etc/rsnapshot.conf, check the syntax with:
# rsnapshot configtest
Use cron to run rsnapshot at desired intervals. Run a test simulation of your setups by running rsnapshot -t hourly, or whatever interval you wish to test.
Carla Schroder writes the Tips of the Trade section of Enterprise Unix Roundup. She also appears on Enterprise Networking Planet and Linux Planet, covering Linux from the desktop to the server room, and is the author of the Linux Cookbook.
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