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Facebook, Google, Isovalent, Microsoft and Netflix Launch eBPF Foundation as Part of the Linux Foundation


Industry leaders come together to drive the growth of eBPF as a transformational technology to redefine networking, security, tracing and observability

SAN FRANCISCO, August 12, 2021 – The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, today announced that it is hosting the eBPF Foundation. Founding members include Facebook, Google, Isovalent, Microsoft and Netflix. This comes in advance of the eBPF Summit, a free and virtual event taking place August 18-19, 2021.

eBPF allows developers to safely and efficiently embed programs in any piece of software, including the operating system kernel. As a result, eBPF is quickly becoming the method of choice for achieving a wide range of infrastructure use cases, delivering significant efficiency and performance gains and dramatically reducing the complexity of the system. For example, Facebook is using eBPF as the primary software-defined load balancer in its data centers, and Google is using Cilium to bring eBPF-based networking and security to the managed Kubernetes offerings GKE and Anthos.

“eBPF is a revolutionary technology that allows us to modify operating system behavior in real time without risky or expensive kernel code changes. It’s had a remarkable impact on our ability to iterate quickly on everything from networking to security to containerization,” said Alexei Starovoitov, Co-creator and Maintainer of eBPF, Kernel Developer at Facebook.

eBPF changes the way operating systems and infrastructure services are designed. It bridges the boundary between kernel and user space. It encourages and accelerates innovation and is a significant leap forward in open source technology for networking, security, application profiling/tracing and system observability use cases. eBPF enables users to even combine and apply logic across multiple subsystems which were traditionally completely independent.

“eBPF has redefined the way we think about the operating system and has led to a massive wave of innovation in networking, security, and observability. Because of its deep relevance in the cloud native world, eBPF adoption has been accelerating at an incredible pace,” said Daniel Borkmann, Co-creator and Maintainer of eBPF, Kernel Developer at Isovalent.

By making the OS kernel programmable, infrastructure software can leverage existing layers, making them more intelligent, scalable and feature-rich without continuing to add additional layers of complexity to the system. eBPF has resulted in the development of a completely new generation of tooling in areas such as networking, security, application profiling/tracing and performance troubleshooting that no longer rely on existing kernel functionality but instead actively reprogram runtime behavior without compromising execution efficiency or safety.

The eBPF Foundation will expand the significant level of contributions being made to extend the powerful capabilities of eBPF and grow beyond Linux. It will be the home for open source eBPF projects and technologies and nurture the community through a variety of activities, including summits and other collaboration events in order to further drive the growth and adoption of the eBPF ecosystem.

“eBPF is one of the greatest examples of the kind of innovation that happens in the Linux community and encompasses technologies that are natural for us to host. It also represents the future of operating systems and microservices delivery,” said Mike Dolan, general manager and senior vice president of projects at the Linux Foundation. “We look forward to supporting the work of the eBPF Foundation and community.”

For more information, please visit: https://www.ebpf.io

Member Quotes

Facebook
“For many years, eBPF has played a critical role in accelerating the kernel development — thanks to the tireless work of many dedicated developers and maintainers,” said Chris Mason, Kernel Maintainer and Engineering Director at Facebook. “We’re excited to support the work of the eBPF community, enabling them to build the tools needed to power the next generation of Linux system development.”

Google
“We are excited to see the Linux Foundation announce their decision to host eBPF,” said Chris DiBona, director of open source at Google. “eBPF is the future of networking for the Linux kernel and Google is pleased to be part of the evolving standard it has created.”

Isovalent
“The programmability of eBPF has enabled a revolution in security, observability, and networking. In particular in the area of containers and the cloud native space more broadly. We are proud to have played a central role in developing and co-maintaining eBPF from its early days to the industry standard it has become. We are looking forward to continuing to work with the community,” said Thomas Graf, Chief Technology Officer, Isovalent. “Even though eBPF has already found its ways into the production stacks of countless enterprises, we are still at the beginning of the innovation curve that eBPF as a technology unlocks.”

Microsoft
“eBPF has resulted in a new generation of tooling that allows developers to easily diagnose problems, innovate quickly, and extend operating system functionality,” said Mark Russinovich, Chief Technology Officer, Microsoft Azure. “Microsoft looks forward to partnering with the community in further expanding the use of eBPF in new scenarios and platforms.  We’re excited to collaborate with the other founding members and hope additional organizations will join.”

Netflix
“eBPF is a new type of software that provides superpower capabilities, birthing an industry of networking, performance, and security technologies,” said Brendan Gregg, senior performance engineer at Netflix. “Netflix has pioneered uses of eBPF for observability, providing insight into countless areas that were previously difficult or prohibitively expensive to instrument. eBPF has helped us lower application latency and find cost savings. Netflix is delighted to join the eBPF Foundation to collaborate and develop more exciting technologies.”

Supporting Quote

Intel
Intel welcomes the creation of the eBPF Foundation. Technologies including eBPF have the potential to revolutionize critical applications and use cases across compute, storage, networking, and next generation infrastructure. We are excited to continue to contribute to eBPF and look forward to working with the new eBPF Foundation to accelerate customer workloads and unlock innovation,” said Jesse Brandeburg, a Principal Software Engineer in the Ethernet Products Group at Intel.

About The Linux Foundation
Founded in 2000, The Linux Foundation is supported by more than 1,000 members and is the world’s leading home for collaboration on open source software, open standards, open data, and open hardware. The Linux Foundation’s projects are critical to the world’s infrastructure including Linux, Kubernetes, Node.js, and more. The Linux Foundation’s methodology focuses on leveraging best practices and addressing the needs of contributors, users and solution providers to create sustainable models for open collaboration. For more information, please visit us at linuxfoundation.org.

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The Linux Foundation has registered trademarks and uses trademarks. For a list of trademarks of The Linux Foundation, please see our trademark usage page:  https://www.linuxfoundation.org/trademark-usage. Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds.

Media Contact
Jennifer Cloer
for the Linux Foundation
503-867-2304
jennifer@storychangesculture.com

The post Facebook, Google, Isovalent, Microsoft and Netflix Launch eBPF Foundation as Part of the Linux Foundation appeared first on Linux Foundation.

The Linux Foundation joins Accenture, GitHub, Microsoft, and ThoughtWorks to Launch the Green Software Foundation to put sustainability at the core of software engineering


As we think about the future of the software industry, we believe we have a responsibility to help build a better future – a more sustainable future – both internally at our organizations and in partnership with industry leaders around the globe. With data centers around the world accounting for 1% of global electricity demand, and projections to consume 3-8% in the next decade, it’s imperative we address this as an industry.

To help in that endeavor, we’re excited to announce the formation of The Green Software Foundation – a nonprofit founded by Accenture, GitHub, Microsoft, and ThoughtWorks established with the Linux Foundation and the Joint Development Foundation Projects LLC to build a trusted ecosystem of people, standards, tooling, and leading practices for building green software.

Read more at The Microsoft Blog

The post The Linux Foundation joins Accenture, GitHub, Microsoft, and ThoughtWorks to Launch the Green Software Foundation to put sustainability at the core of software engineering appeared first on Linux Foundation.

Microsoft Defender ATP is Coming to Linux » Linux Magazine


Microsoft started out by announcing it would release their new Edge web browser for Linux. Next came MS Teams. Continuing that cross-platform effort, Microsoft is set to release Microsoft Defender ATP for the open source platform. Microsoft’s stated goal was to build security solutions “not only for Microsoft, but from Microsoft.”

According to many MS customers, they’ve had to deal with attack vectors across a range of platforms and products. That includes Linux. And with the continued rise of Linux on Azure, it became clear to Microsoft they’d need to offer a security solution for more than just Windows and mac OS.

What is Microsoft Defender ATP? According to Microsoft, it is “…a unified endpoint platform for preventative protection, post-breach detection, automated investigation, and response.” In other words, Defender ATP is an enterprise-grade security solution that goes beyond the standard antivirus service. Unlike the standard Windows Defender, ATP works on behavioral analysis to collect usage data and store it on the same system. When Defender ATP notices an inconsistent behavior, it sends the data to Azure service, where it can compare it to a collection of data, and then offer up advice or solutions.

Microsoft Defender ATP for Linux will be made available to Microsoft customers some time in 2020. However, the public preview should be open soon and will be available to install on RHEL 7+, CentOS Linux 7+, Ubuntu 16 LTS or higher, SLES 12+, Debian 9+, and Oracle EL 7.

Microsoft Defender ATP for Linux will include both command line and GUI tools.

Original source: https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/microsoft-defender-atp/microsoft-defender-atp-for-linux-is-coming-and-a-sneak-peek-into/ba-p/1192251#

 



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Jcat: A New Alternative To Microsoft Catalog Files


FREE SOFTWARE --

Prolific open-source developer Richard Hughes of Red Hat who has been responsible for the creation of PackageKit, the ColorHug colorimeter hardware, GNOME Software, and for the past number of years focused on the Fwupd firmware updating utility and Linux Vendor Firmware Service (LVFS) has a new open-source project.

Brought on by his LVFS development work, Hughes began developing Jcat as a new open-source project providing an alternative to Microsoft Catalog files. Due to Microsoft still not having documented the Catalog file format that hosts security catalog information and with that the inability to reliably generate Catalog files from Linux, Richard Hughes began developing Jcat. Jcat and Microsoft Catalog files are focused on holding arbitrary signatures for external files. This is of importance for LVFS for ensuring BIOS/firmware files are not tampered with and in fact originated from the LVFS platform.

Jcat amounts to being a gzipped JSON file of detached signatures. It’s designed to be easy to support in varying languages / platforms and overcomes the issues of Microsoft Catalog files handling. Hughes currently has a work-in-progress branch supporting Jcat files within fwupd and LVFS.

Those wanting to learn more can do so via Richard’s blog in announcing the new effort today.


Petitioners Demand Microsoft Release a Free Windows 7 | Software


By Jack M. Germain

Jan 28, 2020 12:03 PM PT

The
Free Software Foundation wants Microsoft to keep Windows 7 alive as a free operating system. Microsoft stopped providing free security patches and support for Windows 7 earlier this month.

Although the popular operating system reached its 10th birthday last fall, some 200 million PCs around the globe still run it, according to industry estimates. Users include small business owners, some larger companies, government agencies, and hordes of consumers worldwide.

Microsoft expects most Windows 7 users to migrate to Windows 10, but it continues to provide patches and support for Windows 7 Pro and Enterprise, which are eligible for extended security update support for three years, for a fee. Windows 7 Home editions and Ultimate editions are not included in the options to purchase extended support.

The FSF this week launched the “Upcycle Windows 7”
petition. The organization is still collecting signatures, though it has surpassed its goal of getting 7,777 people to sign on to make Windows 7 available for free. The current tally is approaching 10,000.

Making the OS free would allow users “the freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve the software,” according to the foundation.

The petition makes no reference to who would maintain the free version with necessary patchs and continued upgrades, if any.

Making Windows 7 free could be viable, said Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT.

“At this point, the likelihood of converting current Windows 7 users to Windows 10 seems nil. Releasing the OS could earn Microsoft the goodwill of those users, and might lead to projects that would help ensure the continuing viability and security of Windows 7,” he told LinuxInsider.

Not Just a Big Ask

The petition’s wording is to demand rather than simply ask that the company release Windows 7 as free software. The petition asserts that Microsoft ended “10 years of poisoning education, invading privacy, and threatening user security.”

Windows 7’s end of lifecycle gives Microsoft “the perfect opportunity to undo past wrongs, and to upcycle it instead,” it states.

A precedent for releasing some core Windows utilities as free software already exists, according to the petition. So Microsoft would lose nothing “by liberating a version of their operating system that they themselves say has reached its end.”

Microsoft released code for the Windows Calculator. So it can do the same for Windows 7, according to the foundation.

Also, Microsoft released MS-DOS five years ago as downloadable code. However, using it is limited to the terms of a noncommercial-use license agreement.

Given Microsoft’s growing prominence in open source, and its ownership of GitHub, releasing the Windows 7 code as open source also could be beneficial to Microsoft.

It could be positioned as “putting our money where our mouth is,” King noted. Many in the open source community would welcome that.

Divided Responses

From Microsoft’s perspective, releasing Windows 7 might not be as straightforward as one might expect. For typical consumers, Windows 7 already was free since it came bundled with their computers.

Microsoft is a for-profit company. That means it incurs costs to develop software for commercial use. The for-profit model is the foundation of the company, said Maryanne Steidinger, head of marketing for
Webalo.

“IF they have no additional development costs — services, support, troubleshooting — around Windows 7, that might be a consideration to make it freeware, but then they should cut all support and let the market take the calls. I don’t think anyone would want that,” she told LinuxInsider.

The proprietary OS still has considerable market share to consider. Win 7’s market share is expected to be 35 percent in 2020 and 28 percent in 2021, Steidinger added.

“So that endears users to keep it and maintain it,” she said. “Because of the continuing market share and revenue generation for Windows 7, I think the company will say no.”

It would be great if Microsoft released Windows 7 as freeware, but it is not a sure bet that the company will respond favorably to the petition, said Michael Arman, economic development director for the City of Oak Hill, Florida.

“Microsoft is not known for their charity, and there is plenty of code in Windows 7, which is used in 10 and in various other flavors of Microsoft’s software. Why should they give that away when they can sell it?” he told LinuxInsider.

Mixed Corporate Signals

Microsoft declined our request to comment on the FSF’s petition.

However, over the last few years, Microsoft executives have suggested that open sourcing some of its software titles was not out of the question.

A future version of Windows released as open source was “definitely possible,” Microsoft’s Mark Russinovich said at ChefConf 2015 in Santa Clara, California.

Microsoft should release Windows 7 code under a free software license to prove that its love of open source software is not just a vehicle to “exploit users,” the foundation argues in the petition.

The foundation did not respond to LinuxInsider’s request for clarification on the petition.

Why Keep Windows 7 Working?

For government agencies, consumers, and businesses still using Windows 7, the main reason to keep Windows 7 alive is a no-brainer. “It just works” is the common battle cry.

Upon its introduction, Windows 7 was a very good, highly stable OS that corrected most of the mistakes Microsoft made with Vista, Pund-IT’s King pointed out.

“It still fills the bill for numerous Windows and applications, so satisfied consumers and businesses see little if any reason to change. This has been a recurring issue for past Microsoft OSes, including Windows 3.1, NT and XP, and I expect it will continue so long as Microsoft remains an OS vendor,” he said.

Some Windows 7 users go even further in their continued praise for the out-of-date OS. It still works with an assortment of equipment and software that may not be compatible with Windows 10.

“Everyone who uses it has more or less gotten it figured out and is comfortable with it,” Oak Hill’s Arman emphasized.

“There is also a HUGE installed base of Windows 7 software in business applications, and in many cases drivers for custom applications to interface with Windows 10 have not been written and may never be written,” he said.

The ONLY thing “wrong” with Windows 7 is that Microsoft no longer supports it. That will make it increasingly vulnerable to malware, said Arman.

“If the machine is not connected to the Internet, there is NO reason to make the change,” he added. “Windows 7 is now effectively out of warranty, such as it was. That doesn’t mean it won’t work.”


Jack M. Germain has been an ECT News Network reporter since 2003. His main areas of focus are enterprise IT, Linux and open source technologies. He has written numerous reviews of Linux distros and other open source software.
Email Jack.





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