Soft ICP: PC & Linux Hardware

The Future Has Always Been Linux.

Posts Tagged ‘linux’

The Grudge Match – NT vs. Unix

Anyone who regularly reads this column knows l have spent much of the past year calling on the UNIX community to pay serious attention to desktop UNIX. Not only have lexhorted vendors to develop small, friendly, shrink-wrapped versions of UNIX, but I have discussed at length the market effects on companies such as Santa Cruz Operation (SCO), if UNIX does or does not meet the challenge.

The good news is that UNIX vendors have perceived the same need ldid and have understood that the desktop UNIX must look and feel a whole lot different than its predecessors. USL and Univel have made surprisingly giant strides in this direction. SCO, in its own way, has continued to improve its high-end product, ODT. What Sun is doing, other than standardizing on SVR4, is open to conjecture, but the Solaris’s portability to Intel systems shows an appreciation of this platform.

For 1992, UNIX’s understanding of the strategic importance of the desktop rates very good. The next question is: Can UNIX market its wares?

The marketing arena is critical. Here, the main opponent is Microsoft and its vast marketing resources. For example, the recent UNIX Expo in New York had more vendors and more attendees than ever. The mood was by and large

Designing An Old-Style Linux Network

Everything starts from a proper design.

If you’re smart, you know the solution is 100 percent pure Linux. All the internal network from the routers down to the Web servers is 100 mbit/sec (Fast Ethernet). From the Web servers to the Network Appliance file servers the wires run a cool 1000mbit/sec (Gigabit). The first time the gamblers hit a Linux machine is when the TCP/IP packets arrive at the firewall.

This computer is a Compaq Alpha workstation with 256 MBs of RAM and it runs SuSE’s 7.0 distribution. This being the only non-Intel machine in the solution, one might wonder why. The reason is security. Most buffer-overflow exploits on Linux are pre-compiled for the Intel x86 architecture. Running a platform not able to execute them will statistically diminish the attacks by script kiddies. One more reason is that this is the only non-redundant point in the whole network, and Compaq’s Alpha machines are just more reliable than other x86-based PCs.

You’re going to need some of these.

The firewalling itself is IPCHAINS-based. Basically, the only thing allowed to come into the network is an http’d packet addressed to port 80, everything is discarded. In the outgoing direction, only packets back from the Web servers are allowed. The rule set for