One of Those “Ksplice Saved Our Asses” Moments

Posted by Nessa | Posted in , | Posted on January 15, 2011

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There comes a time in every sysadmin’s life when you realize that as long as you have your job, you’re never going to

  1. have a life
  2. have friends
  3. sleep
  4. have a break from all the madness

When you fix server A, server B breaks. When you patch exploit 1, exploit 2 strikes threefold.  And to top it off, our customers are still using passwords like 123456.  Luckily, there’s someone out there that appears to be seeing things at my level.

We started using Ksplice back in September 2010 when one infamous kernel exploit started it all. We used to only have to do kernel updates a few times a year.  Now the RHEL guys decided to start compiling their kernels from sad pandas and french fries, backporting and reintroducing a string of security holes that hackers have been sitting until the opportune moment. When you’re working for one of the best hosts in the industry and basically guaranteeing 99.9% uptime, you try rebooting a dump truck full of servers five or six times a month just to avoid some asshat defacing all the index pages on your server with pictures of babies and swastikas.

I mean, unless you’re into that kind of thing.

During these unsexy times there’s one thing I’ve been continually grateful for – and that’s the fact that the developers of Ksplice apparently have no lives, girlfriends, or any other dreams in life other than to make all our jobs easier.  Here at IMH, we were all slightly depressed when we found out that we couldn’t have reboot parties anymore.  The Ksplice guys usually have new vendor-released kernel patches available within a day  and we can easily and instantly run kernel updates on our entire fleet of servers without having to reboot a single one.  With that, we don’t have to wait until the middle of the night over the span of several days to fix critical security problems, and customers don’t have to complain about downtime.  This lets us focus on what’s important: drinking, karaoke, and nude ice fishing keeping people happy.  If that’s not worth the $2.95 a month, I don’t know what is.

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Comments (4)

Totally agree.

I’d add that CloudLinux has also made life much less interesting also. We’ve not had servers running out of resources or users complaining about speed since we switched to CloudLinux from CentOS on our shared hosting.

The two together has meant no more late nights and that sense of panic when not being within 6ft of an ssh terminal has all but disappeared.

Agreed Ksplice + CloudLinux + cPanel = peace of mind, however, battle is not over, you still have take care of other things.

Remember that as a sysadmin, you can code/buy/download tools that will make your life easier but they’ll never replace you ;)

DOnt remind of those defaced index pages. It brings back nightmares. Ksplice though is a godsend – although yeah the reboot parties will be sorely missed!

I’m curious to find out what blog system you are using? I’m experiencing some small security issues with my latest blog and I would like to find something more safe. Do you have any recommendations?

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