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Growing Up Open Source

Growing Up Open Source

I guess I got tired of waiting around for someone else to do it for me?” ~ Young Frank Walker.
tomorrowland

 

This quote was taken from the Movie “Tomorrowland.” This was the innocent response young Frank Walker gave when asked why he built a jet pack. I couldn’t find a better description to answer the common question, “How did Open Source Software come to existence?”

 Open Source reflects an open-mind. It does not only describe a type of software license, it is bigger than that, it is a culture. One way we can understand this culture, is to observe and recognize it through its impact on an individual’s life, and that’s what this post is about.

Twenty years ago, in my teenage years, I got struck by cupid’s arrow, for the internet. A network with the power to connect the world, is too strong to miss. It wasn’t long before I sacrificed a sound system capable of playing the nastiest rap tunes that were so dear to me, to buy a computer, get on the internet bandwagon.

Just like every other teenage kid, my jaw dropped every time I came across news of how teenagers can break security of sophisticated systems from their bedrooms, I was intrigued, wanted to begin but not sure where to go? I headed down to where these genius teenagers would hang out, the IRC chat rooms of EFNet.

On these chat rooms, lots of ambiguous technical terms were continuously scrolling, the one that caught my eyes, ended with the letter X (Linux).. It took me some time to realize that LinuX is not really a hacking tool, it is nothing but an Operating System.

slackware

Completely clueless but extremely determined, my mission in life was installing Slackware Linux on my Desktop. Bear in mind, that was 1994, so installing Linux was not as easy as today, I remember holding 3 floppy disks, not knowing what to do with them, one had the Kernel, one had the Master boot record and one with the Shell. After nights on end of head banging, “Linux” was installed, only with a black terminal and a blinking cursor. A 13 year old kid could not be happier.

Ten years later (2004), I found myself responsible for securing the network of an Internet Service Provider, serving thousands of subscribers. Such a responsibility was never going to be possible for a young guy of my age, without the Open Source exposure of my teenage years. That time, the challenge was different, but the solution was the same. Find a way to stop Denial of Service attacks on the network, without paying top dollar for fancy solutions.

The IRC world of Open Source enthusiasts turned into serious business, I found myself sitting in meetings with Executives, explaining why our internet gateway was receiving millions of malicious packets, filling our pipes, and how I came across an ‘experimental’ piece of software with a funny name (Zazu), to stop these attacks. As you would expect, Zazu is Open Source. The author and I collaborated to modify it and ultimately ended up with a solution that was tailored to our needs.

Fast forward again, ten years later (2015), where Open Source has gone mainstream. The culture is expanding into new frontiers. Check out OPNFV (Open Platform for NFV). This is not your common Open Source project, it’s not about writing code, it’s about system-integration, but in an Open Source fashion.

The Linux foundation is working with Network Operators and Vendors on OPNFV, a community-driven effort to integrate NFV and SDN projects.

Cisco is heavily involved in OPNFV and other Open Source initiatives like Opendaylight, Openstack…etc. The Cisco team of contributors and I attended the OPNFV first Summit in San Francisco (November 2015), we gave different presentations on different projects, My presentation was to demonstrate a use-case of how building a fancy cloud-based service is no longer a daunting task, using Open Source components included in OPNFV.

OPNFV produced their first release (Arno) as a lab-ready reference platform that integrated Openstack, Opendaylight and OVS, Previously, that required a complex setup that takes weeks or even months. These are big projects that require lots of integration work. They also offer easy programmable interfaces (REST APIs) that the community can leverage to build valuable applications. The second release of OPNFV is called (Brahmaputra).

During the OPNFV Summit, It was particularly interesting to see the cross-vendor collaboration. Ignoring commercial or technical competitiveness, I saw people from competing vendors sit together to discuss progress, hack code, and practice slides. I found this spirit to be too good to miss, so I signed up to one of the OPNFV projects (Functest) and I am happy to be back to the IRC-style meetings that I used to enjoy 20 years ago.

In conclusion, over the span of 20 years, It is obvious that Open Source was and still is the major contributor to my career development, no matter how different my scope is, whether a child’s play, a network operator or a product vendor. Open Source culture finds a way to get involved, solve problems, encourage collaboration and networking between people and bits/bytes.

Curious about getting started in Open Source. Here is  great example from OPNFV.

OS chart

Guest Blog by:

Ahmed Maged,
Cisco Engineer

Keep the conversation going on Twitter!  @amaged

 

* https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hacker_%28term%29#Hacker_definition_controversy

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What You Missed at OpenStack Tokyo

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What You Missed at OpenStack Summit

The OpenStack community gathered in Tokyo for the 12th-Liberty release of the OpenStack platform. The Foundation reported over 5,000 attended the conference–50% for the first time. Attendees were from across the globe with 46% from APAC and 38% from North America. Job roles varied and included developers (28%), user/operators (25%), manager/architects (19%), sales/marketing (11%), and CxOs (10%).

OpenStack has entered the post-excitement phase, which may appear slow-moving, but reflects deeper customer engagement and a focus on the operationalization of OpenStack. Hundreds of interesting sessions were presented by community members and recorded for those who could not be there.  Check out the OpenStack Foundation Summit site for the full schedule.  Common themes included overcoming the complexity of configuring, deploying and maintaining OpenStack; retaining workload flexibility; and various approaches to manageability, scalability and extensibility. Having the Summit in Japan was an opportunity to highlight Asia-based users of OpenStack, including Kirin Brewing, Yahoo Japan, NEC, NTT Resonant, GMO Internet, CyberAgent, and Rakuten.

Below are links to the strategic and technical sessions presented on Cisco solutions at the Summit.

OpenStack Summit Sponsored Sessions:
Migrating Enterprise Applications to OpenStack
Bringing Enterprise Grade OpenStack Clouds Online Faster
Panel on Real-World Solutions for Network Function Virtualization
OpenStack: Changing the Face of Service Delivery

OpenStack Summit Technical Sessions:
Finally FDE: OpenStack Full Disk Encryption and Missing Pieces
Monitoring Docker Containers and Dockerized Applications
Neutron Firewall-as-a-Service Roadmap
OpenStack Consumption Models: Three User Perspectives
Containers Are Hot, But How Do They Network?
Kolla: Ansible Deployment + OpenStack in Docker Containers = Operator Bliss
Let’s Talk Roadmap: OpenStack Style
Ceilometer + Monasca = Ceilosca
OpenStack Federation Panel: Past, Present and Future

vBrownBag Tech Talks:
Addressing DHCP and DNS Scalability in Neutron
Multiple Ceph Storage Clusters with OpenStack
Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure and OpenStack
Best Practices for TDD Ansible and OpenStack Deployment
Nova Solver Scheduler: Optimization and Scale for OpenStack Cloud
Scalable and Reliable OpenStack Deployments on FlexPod
Troubleshooting RabbitMQ and Its Stability Improvement
Kubernetes on OpenStack
Cache Affinity Solutions for VNF/Cloud Workloads
Gluon: A Networking Service Beyond Neutron
Network Segmentation in the Cloud
Cisco UCS and Red Hat OpenStack to Streamline Deployment
Accelerate POC to Production with OpenStack on FlexPod

For more information on OpenStack at Cisco, visit www.cisco.com/go/openstack and mark your calendars for the next OpenStack Summit April 25-29 in Austin, Texas.

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What You Can Do In Ten Minutes

The pace of change around us is no longer constant. It is continually accelerating. We all want to get and consume information, services, and just about anything instantly. My new coffeemaker brews me a fresh cup in just a couple of minutes, but it usually takes me ten minutes just to collect up the tools I need to prepare to start a home improvement project, and more than that to travel and get what I need from the local hardware store. And let’s not forget how long commute times are for most of us — much longer than just 10 minutes.

Family Vacation

So, just how fast can we get new networking services up and running and customize them for our businesses.   Imagine if we could easily and securely order the network services we want online in minutes. Imagine too if you could select them from an online marketplace and personalize them just like ordering your favourite late evening food cravings with just an emoji or on-line tweet. Imagine no more, with this video.

Cisco Virtual Managed Services is Read More »

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Threat Vectors for Criminals: Common Coding Errors and Open-Source Vulnerabilities

Coding errors in software products provide easy paths of entry for online criminals, who can exploit vulnerabilities to compromise systems or launch additional attacks and malware. As reported in the Cisco 2015 Midyear Security Report, certain types of coding errors consistently appear on lists of most common vulnerabilities. This raises an important question for vendors and security professionals: If the same coding errors are identified year in and year out, why aren’t these errors being mitigated?

Buffer errors, input validation, and resource errors are usually among the most common coding errors exploited by criminals, according to the list of Common Weakness Enumeration (CWE) threat categories. As we explain in the Midyear Security Report, the likely culprit is the lack of sufficient attention paid to security during the product development lifecycle. In many cases, vendors wait until products come to market, and only then resolve vulnerabilities. However, this process should be reversed. Vendors should build security safeguards and conduct vulnerability testing during product development, in order to lessen the chance that criminals can profit – and customers can suffer.

jeff1 Read More »

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Securing the IoE with OpenAppID

We introduced OpenAppID in early 2014 with the goal of empowering customers and the open source community to control application usage in their network environments. Since then, we have increased our coverage from 1,000 OpenAppID detectors to more than 2,600, and have received valuable feedback from the community on ways to improve the product.

The case of having an open, application-focused detection language and processing module for Snort has attracted the attention of the Internet of Everything (IoE) world. There are countless devices out there using the Internet on their own, varying from a remote IP based camera to an industrial based sensor in which may include some security features on them.

With the combination of OpenAppID and Snort we are giving the capability to the open source community to create their own application-based protocols and classifications, which can be used to Read More »

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