Blogrotate #18: The Weekly Roundup of News for System Administrators

Posted in: Technical Track

Is it Friday already? Where does the time go? Lots of stuff going on this week–here’s a few of the things that I found interesting.

Operating Systems

Russia Today-TV announced the existence of “Red Star”, the new OS developed in North Korea and based on Linux. I found this by way of Slashdot of course, citing the source as The Korea herald. According to the article it looks very much like the Windows UI, and features a “My Country” icon that allows connection to Korea’s closed internet-like network and the Woori office application. Slightly more information can be found there in the article N. Korea develops own OS.

The upcoming Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid Lynx) has had the third alpha version released. The alpha versions are not for the faint of heart, and I have had to put in several bug reports myself already. It’s just part of the process though and will hopefully result in a rock solid release next month. The full release announcement can be found on the mailing list: see Lucid Alpha 3 released. A rundown of some of the things you can expect is on The H Online in Canonical releases Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Alpha 3.

Ars Technica has more on an item mentioned last week about the future of Open Solaris. OpenSolaris not dead; might not get all new Solaris features The exact details of which features may be excluded are not clear from the article but I did not get a chance to dig into some of the source material referenced so you may find more by clicking through them.


Opera 10.5 is out and Ars Technica has a detailed review of the new features, performance improvements and UI changes. There’s a lot of detail in the article, I suggest you read it for yourself. Hands on: Opera 10.50 makes impressive performance gains is the place to go. I think I’ll give the new Opera a try myself.

Local company makes good! I mentioned last week the takedown of the Waledac botnet, this week the Mariposa botnet suffered a similar fate. Ottawa’s own Defence Intelligence detected this botnet in 2009 and started an investigation that ended with the dismantling of the botnet by Spanish authorities. This is a much more important takedown than Waledac because Mariposa actually put sensitive and financial information at risk. You can read more of this story in Spanish arrests mark the end of dangerous botnet. Ottawa, represent!


Microsoft has released new drivers to improve the performance of Red Hat Enterprise Linux systems running under Hyper-V. The new drivers include new network and storage drivers, but still only support a single virtual CPU. These drivers are not officially included in, or supported by Red Hat, but they are fully support by Microsoft. Read Microsoft releases Hyper-V drivers for RHEL for more, and you can check out Microsoft’s side of the story on the technet blog in Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Hyper-V.

How Server Virtualization Impacts Storage. The title says it all. Penned by Heidi Biggar from Hitachi it has a good perspective on current industry trends and growth. We all know that consolidation methods, like virtualization, add bottlenecks on resources like CPU, memory and storage because they are all shared by many instances. Find out what Heidi has to say on the subject.

Data Center

Data Center Knowledge is reporting that the demand for data centers has been growing continually and no change is in sight for 2010. We’re certainly seeing the trend here with many companies making the push for full, real disaster recovery sites. There seems to be a real shortage of data center space and new ones are popping up slowly, so if you have lots of cash this may be a good business to get into. But I digress. The full story is in Strong Data Center Demand Seen for 2010.


The H Online has a good article about the US government’s new cyber security policy. I haven’t had a chance to review the whole document as yet, but I have it bookmarked for later reading. US government publishes parts of its cyber security directive is where to go, which also links the source document.


Tom’s Hardware has an interesting Op-Ed piece on the past, present and future of the 3D graphics industry. See Opinion: AMD, Intel, And Nvidia In The Next Ten Years for 10 pages of goodness.

Allyn Malventano has a very detailed review of Western Digital‘s first foray into the SSD market. The new 256GB offering performed well through the tests but is still priced a bit too high for the market. The full review is at PC Perspective, see Western Digital SiliconEdge Blue 256GB SSD Review – WD enters the SSD market. You can find the Western Digital product information page on their site.

Well that about wraps it up for this edition. Comments are always welcome. Until next time, may your days be productive and the levels of administratium be non-toxic.

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About the Author

Brad is just a guy, you know? I fought my way up in the world tooth-and-nail. Starting in broadcasting and music to travel to computer support to development of mid size xBase programs. Finally I settled into the wonderful world of system administration where I have honed my skills doing many diverse tasks. I started using Solaris in the mid 80's and built my first Linux system on a 386 using 30-some floppy disks and never looked back.

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