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IBM, Qwest web hosting deal

By kmself in News
Tue Mar 28, 2000 at 09:31:31 AM EST
Tags: Internet (all tags)

Qwest Communications and IBM are creating a US$5 billion venture to run 28 web hosting centers. The CNET story doesn't provide much in the way of technical details, but I can only wonder if it might not all be for the birds -- raptors, that is.

The Raptor project is IBM's Linux port to S/390 -- the mainframe hardware architecture. As described in the article, a single LPAR (logical partition), one of 16 on a system, was capable of hosting 41,000 independent Linux images. Granted this was a total saturation of resources on this component of the system, but the possibilities for webhosting in which hundreds to thousands of fully autonomous, root-access systems could be offered in a form-factor roughly the size of a standard 7' rack are pretty phenomonal, as is the level of control over service offerings made possible by the S/390's resource management systems.

This could be kind of cool ;-)


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o Managed Hosting
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Related Links
o CNET story
o raptors
o Also by kmself

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IBM, Qwest web hosting deal | 4 comments (4 topical, editorial, 0 hidden)
I read that LinuxPlanet article a w... (none / 0) (#1)
by rongen on Mon Mar 27, 2000 at 10:06:03 PM EST

rongen voted 1 on this story.

I read that LinuxPlanet article a week ago or so (I left my brain at a party this weekend). It blew me away. The idea of being able to get a whole Linux server, not just an account, as the platform for a web hosting account is just amazing... Of course there are various security problems, etc. But a specialized and air-tight installation would probably take care of that for the most part (comprimise one installation and you probably own the whole thing until some finds out, though---is that a real possibility? Owning (in the script-kiddie sense) 41,000 "virtual" linux servers?)
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Re: I read that LinuxPlanet article a w... (none / 0) (#2)
by asad on Tue Mar 28, 2000 at 12:11:29 PM EST

no I think you will have to  break into each individual machine, unless you
know how to break into the hardware behind each linux box and from reading the
article that's not an easy task. 

[ Parent ]
Re: I read that LinuxPlanet article a w... (none / 0) (#3)
by rongen on Tue Mar 28, 2000 at 04:48:41 PM EST

I was thinking that if all the installations were basically the same image (a default install that could then be configured by the account holders) it would be possible to discover a vulnerability with this distribution that could be exploited en masse. Crack one system, then run your exploit against all the other virtual systems running on that mainframe. See what I mean now? Now the attacker "has" all those systems---not the same thing as owning the mainframe but still a pretty big chuck of systems to have in your back pocket.

If you were installing some kind of distributed attack bot (or whatever, what do I know?) this might be particularly effective... and potentially annoying/damaging for both account holders, thier clients, and sites which may get attacked from this large group of comprimised systems. Easy enough to fix though (if the systems were configured well they could all be upgraded easily, etc).

Inshiro, if you are reading, I would be interested (as always) to hear what you think about this... Especially the damage control techniques which might need to be employed after the fact (we are talking about thousands of virtual systems here, apparently).
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[ Parent ]

Re: I read that LinuxPlanet article a w... (none / 0) (#4)
by asad on Tue Mar 28, 2000 at 04:55:12 PM EST

ok I see what you are saying now. And you are correct if they were all mirrors of each other if found a crack in one you found a crack in all of them.

[ Parent ]
IBM, Qwest web hosting deal | 4 comments (4 topical, 0 editorial, 0 hidden)
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