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Internet Infrastructure for Everyone

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the balkanizing-the-internet dept.

Operating Systems 63

just_another_sean sends in a story at Wired about a group of engineers trying to build a new server operating system that will make it easier to deploy a multitude of technologies for people and companies that aren't tech giants. "The project is based on Google’s ChromeOS, the new-age laptop operating system that automatically updates itself every few weeks, but unlike ChromeOS, it can run more than just your personal machine. It can run every web service you ever visit, no matter how big. And it will let the companies that run those services evolve their online operations much more quickly — and cheaply — than they can with traditional server software. 'We’ve borrowed a lot of concepts from the browser world,' Polvi explains, 'and applied them to servers.' You can think of CoreOS as a new substrate for the internet. Web giants such as Google and Amazon and big Wall Street financial outfits, including the NASDAQ stock exchange, have built similar server operating systems for their own use, but with CoreOS — an open source software project — Polvi’s startup is creating something anyone can use. 'We’re building Google’s infrastructure for everyone else,' he says. In doing so, Polvi and his team hope this OS can more rapidly fill the security holes that plague our computer servers, while speeding the evolution of the software applications that run atop them."

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Sounds like a bunch of bullshit to me (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44635871)

Can anyone decipher exactly what it is he's promising? Another layer in the OSI model that tries to reinvent the Java wheel and run everything natively?

Re:Sounds like a bunch of bullshit to me (3, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | about a year ago | (#44635975)

Sounds something like Usenet back in the 80's, before Spam, interwebs, virii and advertising made a train wreck of it all.

let's call it web 3.0

Re:Sounds like a bunch of bullshit to me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44636441)

http://linuxmafia.com/~rick/faq/plural-of-virus.html

</pedantry>

Re:Sounds like a bunch of bullshit to me (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44636225)

It is basically the OS for this:
Software-Defined Networking [wikipedia.org]

It works VERY well, far from bullshit. (well, given it is done right, that is)

Re:Sounds like a bunch of bullshit to me (3, Interesting)

asmkm22 (1902712) | about a year ago | (#44636281)

It almost sounds like their trying to tie server services into the cloud... probably not actual data storage, but the services and functions themselves. Kind of like how if you go install chrome on a new computer, it can port over all of your settings and stuff, or how if you setup a new android device it will automatically load up your apps and contacts, etc.. In this case, I think the idea is to make it so that the hardware is less important, and easier to replace without having to go through the normal motions of reloading from backups or doing some kind of barebones restore. Instead, you just swap out or install whatever new hardware you need to, and "long in" (or whatever the process may be) to get your new server node online and sync'd with the rest of your network without much hassle.

There's a lot of blanks that need to be filled here, like actual data store. I imagine that would still be done in-house with central storage. The basic idea, as I understand it, is actually really cool.

Re:Sounds like a bunch of bullshit to me (2)

asmkm22 (1902712) | about a year ago | (#44636345)

Also, for clarification, when I meant tie it to the cloud, I'm talking about the ability for the OS to be kept updated and maintained in the same way as, say, Google Chrome does. Not by simply hosting a bunch of services in some kind of cloud farm. The servers and all the services would probably be installed and maintained on site.

Re:Sounds like a bunch of bullshit to me (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | about a year ago | (#44641747)

Sure, because it's not like you can keep an OS automatically updated now.

Re:Sounds like a bunch of bullshit to me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44638809)

Wow, how long did it take you to come up with "tie server services into the cloud"? That's an instant bullshit bingo win.

What a revolutionary effort as well, tieing server services into the cloud. We'd have to invent some universal communication protocol first and then some protocol that applications could use to communicate.

Since all that doesn't exist yet, let's take some cool pictures of a garage (not because we're actually building something of noteworthy size, we'll just sit in front of laptops and look douchy) and "invent" a whole new set of problems/holes/wheels, excuse me, a new OS.

Seriously? Central settings storage is your idea that calls for a whole new server OS?

Fucking hipster retard.

Partitioned apps + automagic updates. (2)

Valdrax (32670) | about a year ago | (#44636291)

With CoreOS, the idea is to build an OS that you can instantly replace whenever you like, without breaking the software applications that run on it.

Google has long done this sort of thing on desktops and laptops. The search giant built its web browser, Chrome, so that it can automatically update the thing whenever it likes, and it eventually extended this arrangement to ChromeOS, which revolves around the Chrome browser. If you own a Chromebook, you get a new operating system every six weeks or so â" and all you have to do is reboot your machine.
[...]
Part of the trick is that Polviâ(TM)s team has pared a server operating system down to the bare minimum. The thing doesnâ(TM)t include all the bells and whistles youâ(TM)ll find in other server OSes, including most versions of Linux, and it cleanly separates the OS from the applications that run atop it.

With CoreOS, all applications sit inside âoecontainersâ â" little bubbles of software code that include everything an application needs to run. These containers then latch onto the main OS through the simplest of interfaces. That means you can easily move applications from OS to OS and from machine to machine â" much as you move shipping containers from boat to boat and train to train â" but it also means you can easily update the OS without disturbing the applications. âoeThe way weâ(TM)re able to consistently update the OS â" and be nimble â" is to make sure we have a consistent way of running applications,â Polvi says.

That's what's being promised. Sounds ambitious.

Re:Partitioned apps + automagic updates. (2)

cusco (717999) | about a year ago | (#44636719)

all applications sit inside "containers" - little bubbles of software code that include everything an application needs to run.

So they're going back to the way that apps ran under DOS. I always thought that made sense, and since there isn't really a need to save disk space, CPU or memory any more (at least not like there used to be).

Re:Partitioned apps + automagic updates. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44636907)

More like copying Apple's current OSX/IOS setup

Re:Partitioned apps + automagic updates. (1)

TCM (130219) | about a year ago | (#44638829)

So in other words, they discovered gcc -static and just ship giant binary blobs? Yawn.

Re:Partitioned apps + automagic updates. (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a year ago | (#44640803)

How so? It sounds like.....well pretty much what ChromeOS already is, a stripped down Linux thinclient.

Thinclients aren't exactly new, in fact I remember when companies like Sun were pushing the "all you need is thinclients!" mantra and just like this the thing that bit a big chunk out of your behind was the fact that if you ever lose your connection you're screwed which you'd be surprised how often that happens, not to mention the fact that the ISPs are all getting nastier when it comes to caps.

So while i wish this guy all the luck in the world i really don't see anything revolutionary, at least from TFA, it just seems like a server thinclient to me and with the huge number of CPUs you can get in even a cheap server along with VMs that allow moving running VMs on the fly? Well maybe he'll find a niche but it sounds more like a solution in search of a problem to me.

Re:Sounds like a bunch of bullshit to me (1)

TCM (130219) | about a year ago | (#44638721)

Hipster shit.

In other news: botnet sizes at all-time high.

*yawn* (2)

nurb432 (527695) | about a year ago | (#44635901)

Sounds like little VMs on a bare bones OS to me. Nothing new here and yet another rehash.

Re:*yawn* (1)

Traze (1167415) | about a year ago | (#44636019)

Well, IMO, this a step further. The OS has little Virtual Apps, not a hyper visor with little OSes. If they can get state for any VA to another machine with minimal overhead, and OS version offset doesn't matter, I can see some potential here.

Re:*yawn* (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about a year ago | (#44636357)

I was thinking in terms of jails, not VMs in the traditional sense. My fault for not being clear.

Re:*yawn* (1)

Pichu0102 (916292) | about a year ago | (#44636899)

Do you mean having applications run into their own little sandboxes that can be effortlessly moved to any other system running this, as opposed to having to move an entire VM to a new server?

Re:*yawn* (1)

Traze (1167415) | about a year ago | (#44646857)

Do you mean having applications run into their own little sandboxes that can be effortlessly moved to any other system running this, as opposed to having to move an entire VM to a new server?

Indeed.

Re: *yawn* (1)

cripkd (709136) | about a year ago | (#44636207)

Yes, that's what out sounds like. This must be one of the most confusing summaries ever. This is not about Chrome, or something being ported to the browser. That part about the web services being available for everyone basically exploded everything to nonsense.

Re: *yawn* (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44636603)

The summary was clearly written to appeal to people who might have a snowflake's chance in hell of caring about this operating system... which is pretty much limited to the audience of people lease time on clusters, and people who run those clusters.

Re:*yawn* (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#44636507)

It feels like a finer granularization of the existing mainstream ideas. Continue further along that axis, pass through Microkernel Junction and you eventually arrive at Smalltalk Central Station - a bunch of small stateful objects communicating by passing messages.

Mac OSX server (1)

goombah99 (560566) | about a year ago | (#44648633)

Uh, isn't this exactly what the GUI tool set for mac OSX server is for? I't s avery powerful suite of tools that lets you manage a suite of macs and the server services that connect them. It strikes a mid point between doing everything possible that your could do from a command line script, and being very easy to use. It's no walk in the park since you need to be fairly savvy about the services you want to provide. It just rolls up the confusing aspects of configuring and corralling all of them into a common interface, and giving you graphical ways to monitor them and the hardware health of all the macs in your intranet. it costs about $50 which is chump change. If it doens't save you 30 minutes of time then you really should not be touching any server.

It can do everything (0)

Russ1642 (1087959) | about a year ago | (#44635913)

Where have I heard this line before? Oh yeah, from con artist salesmen.

Re:It can do everything (1, Insightful)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about a year ago | (#44635977)

"It can do everything"

Except that it's based on Google Chrome... so it DOESN'T do everything that Linux does, and everything it DOES do is reported when it phones home.

Thanks, but the NSA isn't much worse. I'll stick with Linux.

Re:It can do everything (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about a year ago | (#44636513)

"Troll"? Really?

Give me a break, folks. I wasn't trolling, that is my honest opinion.

Re:It can do everything (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44636949)

You bashed Google, everybody knows that Google gives stuff away for free and wants nothing in return, also they do no evil. Seriously if you point out that they are the world's biggest miners and on-sellers of your personal data you will get down-modded as a troll or flamebait because there are some people here who dont want those facts mentioned.

Brilliant! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44635925)

Let's turn our core infrastructure into shitty, worthless JavaScript crapps that run in a web browser! Now if you're doing any maintenance on the server, one wrong keystroke or closed tab will kill your DNS, mail, LDAP, etc...

Oh look... another slashvertisement... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44635979)

it's getting old...

Re:Oh look... another slashvertisement... (2)

Russ1642 (1087959) | about a year ago | (#44636121)

If you're worried about getting old maybe you should look into the Cryonics Institute for a chance at immortality.

Troll "story" (1)

oldhack (1037484) | about a year ago | (#44636009)

See subject.

Needs IPV6 (2)

bitflusher (853768) | about a year ago | (#44636049)

If you want all devices to run everything you need IPV6. ISPs are lagging badly. Even though it is not the hardest thing in the world. France and Asia are switching. My ISP is running a pre-pilot for over 2 years, it runs fine. They are still not roling it out for the rest of the users (probably corp funding that is lacking).

Re:Needs IPV6 (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about a year ago | (#44636133)

IPV6 is not needed. Not at all in any way. I dont need to connect my watch to my toaster back home vial the internet. I do want to connect to it when I am home so NAT (ZOMG EVIL NAT!!! ZOMG!) works just fine and will work just fine for the next 30 years.

What is needed is ISP's to deliver REAL bandwidth to the home and not the low grade dog food they deliver today.

Re:Needs IPV6 (1)

bitflusher (853768) | about a year ago | (#44636211)

NAT is a band aid. It works mostly. However you can have the carrier grade NAT I have on my cell Phone any day! it is the future for the next 30 years. It is a band aid over a band aid and we will all have it. I really hope the NAT stuff is here to stay for backwards compatibility but also really hope for the already available real solution to become widespread in the next 3 to 5 years, not 30.

Re:Needs IPV6 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44636277)

Why doesn't my PS3 work? Ohh sorry, your ISP is using CGN.

Re:Needs IPV6 (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about a year ago | (#44636389)

I was a part of the internet when it started and was the wild wild west. Everyone had nearly unlimited ip addresses and NOBODY used them for several reasons.

First nobody put everything on the internet. It's just Dumb to put workstations on the internet... Sally in accounting does not need a public IP and all it does is make her computer easier to target and attack. Hiding behind that router on a separate private network is far more secure. Plus it is easier to defend a single point of entry than it is to defend a 255.255.0.0 address space from the world.

Second I have yet to have someone give me a real need for having everything on the internet with a direct address. you have zero need to have your toaster accessible from the internet.

Re:Needs IPV6 (2)

mars-nl (2777323) | about a year ago | (#44636739)

I was a part of the internet when it started and was the wild wild west. Everyone had nearly unlimited ip addresses and NOBODY used them for several reasons. First nobody put everything on the internet.

That was then. Now is now. The billion people on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr don't put anything online? Sure, it's all crap, but it sure is not nothing.

It's just Dumb to put workstations on the internet... Sally in accounting does not need a public IP and all it does is make her computer easier to target and attack. Hiding behind that router on a separate private network is far more secure. Plus it is easier to defend a single point of entry than it is to defend a 255.255.0.0 address space from the world.

Bullshit. If in IPv4 your internal network would be 192.168.10.0/24, you can define an IPv6 range for that as well, e.g. 2001:db8:1234:10::/72. And then you put in your firewall:

2001:db8:1234:10::/72 Inbound: DENY ALL

Done. Hard? No. Harder than IPv4? No. Easier? Yes. Sally needs direct connection to Tom in the other branch (for file transfer, video conference, etc):

2001:db8:1234:10::5411/128 Inbound: ALLOW ALL FROM 2001:db8:1234:11::703/128

Good luck telling your IPv4 CGN ISP you need a port forwarded.

Second I have yet to have someone give me a real need for having everything on the internet with a direct address. you have zero need to have your toaster accessible from the internet.

Oh yeah? Sally might need that 30 GB Powerpoint presentation of her coworker in the other branch. Or that 100 MB customer database. Well, you know, this [xkcd.com] . How much easier would that be with a very simple app that even you could hack together that sends a file from one IP address to the other. Simple and fast, with IPv6. Try it with IPv4.

Re:Needs IPV6 (1)

nmr_andrew (1997772) | about a year ago | (#44645463)

Good luck telling your IPv4 CGN ISP you need a port forwarded.

Just curious - why would you think that the ISP that's unwilling to port forward an IP4 address will be any more willing to forward an IP6 address?/p?

Re:Needs IPV6 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44650619)

Clearly the hope is that the ISP wouldn't use nat66 so there wouldn't be any need for port forwarding.

Re:Needs IPV6 (1)

nmr_andrew (1997772) | about a year ago | (#44654019)

Fair enough, I was thinking port forwarding more in the firewall sense than the NAT sense.

Re:Needs IPV6 (1)

mars-nl (2777323) | about a year ago | (#44691683)

Why would my ISP need to firewall my connection? I pay them for access and routing. Not for firewalling and especially not for unfirewalling. They could offer firewalling as an opt-in service (as my ISP does). This is meant for dummy users who tend to be open mail relays without their knowledge etc.

Re:Needs IPV6 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44659603)

You are a Complete retard, one that has zero clue as to reality of the Internet or even how business works.

You running a cash register at McDonalds has not done much for your IQ...

Come on back when you understand that you can connect to Facebook and post crap even today with NAT...

Retard.

Re:Needs IPV6 (2)

TCM (130219) | about a year ago | (#44638877)

Another one confusing NAT and packet filters.

Plus it is easier to defend a single point of entry than it is to defend a 255.255.0.0 address space from the world.

What the hell does address space size have to do with how easy it is to "defend from the world"? Do you patch a cable for each individual IP address to your border?

NAT+filter or just filter, which one is simpler? All security comes from the filter, not from NAT. OTOH, all problems come from NAT, not the filter. The question is not whether you have a good reason to put your toaster on the net, the question is whether you should cripple yourself _if_ you want to put it on the net.

Re:Needs IPV6 (1)

Qzukk (229616) | about a year ago | (#44637263)

Yeah, it's not like companies are going to let us host our own games anymore, not when they can charge us monthly to do it for us.

If you deploy without understanding, you will fail (2)

gweihir (88907) | about a year ago | (#44636057)

There is no way around understanding what you are doing. If you want to have services without that expertise, rent them from a managed service provider. Chances are good they will not mess up as badly as you are certain to do.

Re:If you deploy without understanding, you will f (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44636371)

Maybe this is for MSCEs who want to run 'Linux' but are afraid of the command line?

Re:If you deploy without understanding, you will f (1)

gweihir (88907) | about a year ago | (#44638587)

Possibly. Would make sense.

*nix with self contained application packagesOS X (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44636143)

It sounds like what's "new" is putting applications in self contained, portable packages. That's what OS X does. CoreOS will be a *nix OS, like OS X.
So basically if you took OS X and removed the beautiful interface and all of the existing application packages, then removed the guaranteed hardware compatibility, then you'd be left with CoreOS.

Already have it.... (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about a year ago | (#44636219)

It's called Linux and BSD....

It runs on the worstations, laptops, tablets, servers and even network gear.... no other OS can say that.

Re:Already have it.... (1)

simonbp (412489) | about a year ago | (#44636295)

Yes, as even the summary says, it's based on ChromeOS, which is in turn based on Gentoo Linux. But there is typically more software on a server than a kernel.

The better question is whether they are just making a custom Gentoo Portage repository...

Re:Already have it.... (1)

exomondo (1725132) | about a year ago | (#44636993)

It's called Linux and BSD....

CoreOS's kernel is Linux.

Re:Already have it.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44659621)

So it's a complete scam that is built on others work.... So you made everyone's point.

"The project is based on Google’s ChromeOS" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44636263)

And I stopped reading.

ChromeOS on a server (1)

Shadowhawk (30195) | about a year ago | (#44636415)

Not sure how an OS tuned to run on under-powered laptops would be a good choice to use as a server OS. What's the thinking there? Server OS should be stable, whereas if a laptop crashes, "turn it off and back on". It's just a totally different focus, IMHO.

Re:ChromeOS on a server (1)

Animats (122034) | about a year ago | (#44636555)

Not sure how an OS tuned to run on under-powered laptops would be a good choice to use as a server OS.

Me either. Chrome "OS" is mostly a user interface on top of Linux. A server doesn't need a user interface.

If anything, there's an argument for a much simpler server OS than Linux. Something that's more like a virtual machine manager with remote facilities for loading, starting, and monitoring client image. The client images need a minimal OS that's more like a run-time library - no file systems, no drivers, no GUI.

Re:ChromeOS on a server (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44636919)

It's because Chrome sounds cooler than Linux, and makes it sound like they're doing something different.

SmartOS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44636435)

This sounds like SmartOS except based on Linux instead of OpenSolaris.

Now I know better (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44636651)

In the begining of my career, when I saw those "old guys" complaining about "technology" I thought they were just.. well, old. After 15 years working in this industry (or should I say circus), I can understand them perfectly. The old failure is the new thing being hyped.

The project home page has better info than TFA (5, Informative)

Morden' (84563) | about a year ago | (#44636809)

Unlike the article, http://coreos.com/ [coreos.com] front page actually summarizes what they are doing. Stripped down Linux kernel only OS that runs your apps in 'containers'.

Post a new story when... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44636925)

Some project that's light-weight, "clean", and stable arises... as opposed to being the latest "internet thing" or "web x.0" by a 20-something programmer who's never actually written an entire stand-alone program but rather just pastes-together 30 different packages using 10 languages to produce bloat-ware that has a few obscure bad behaviors, calls "home" occasionally to report on its users, and is not actually completely understood even by its most "expert" users/developers. I grow weary of all the "new" "next great thing" announcements that amount to "some kids slapped together bits and pieces of stuff other people wrote then got a lot of web page hits, tweets, etc. released a book, did a start-up, etc" followed by a plunge into obsolescence and obscurity in the face of the next pile of cobbled-together junk that will never become fully stable before going "unsupported", and on, and on, and on....

How about some actual coding... and some pride-of-ownership of the results? Can we please get somebody to go back to the idea of a project that "owns" (in the sense of responsibility, understanding, documenting, etc) ALL of the included code. Too much of the current stuff is slip-shod slap-together crap... bits and pieces of some other guy's code glued, taped, stapled, and chewing-gummed together with a flashy GUI gooped onto the top to hide all the crimes-against-programming committed beneath; The sort of thing that sucks people in with visuals, but leaves them cursing months later when they hit all the rough seams where the bailing wire and masking tape are holding the bits together. How about an entire project coded only in C or C++ plus a scripting language like Lua or Python...with NO other dependencies on any other project. Something completely understood by and maintained by the developers and not vulnerable to changes in 50 other groups of programmers? Something that does not take days to compile and require gigs of storage because it is modern bloatware?

If this thing is based on ChromeOS then it cannot be trusted and should not be deployed on any network containing private information and if it's not being written by the ChromOS team then its "developers" probably do not fully grok what they have "created" and will eventually be unable to properly maintain/upgrade it.

Really, a Garage? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44637445)

No clue why Wired is writing about these guys. Is the garage thing really necessary?
I guess fabricating a joke startup is like fabricating a boy band...

I concede, you guys are right. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44638821)

This dummy thinks it's a good idea to remake a big system out of little, reusable pieces. Somehow it will all just be compatible and useful.

And he's giving it away free on the internet.

You're absolutely right. That's a terrible idea. If only Linus had had such advice!

Do No Evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44642829)

Is data mining evil?

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