(Gawkwire.com) Ksplice Inc. today announced the general availability of its Uptrack service, eliminating the need to restart Linux servers when installing crucial updates and security patches.
Based on technology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Ksplice Uptrack is a subscription service that allows IT administrators to keep Linux servers up-to-date without the disruption and downtime of rebooting.
Before Uptrack, system administrators had to schedule downtime in advance to bring Linux servers up-to-date, because updating the central part of a computer’s software — known as the kernel — previously required rebooting the computer. Until a system can be updated, it remains vulnerable to security flaws. By allowing IT administrators to install kernel updates without downtime, Uptrack dramatically reduces the cost of system administration.
"We’ve been thrilled with how Ksplice makes us more secure and available while saving us time and hassle," said Dallas Kashuba, the co-founder and chief technical officer of DreamHost, an early adopter of Ksplice Uptrack. "Using Ksplice has improved our response time to critical kernel exploits from a few days to only minutes," Mr. Kashuba said.
Ksplice Uptrack is now available for users of six leading versions of
Linux: Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Ubuntu, Debian GNU/Linux, CentOS, Parallels Virtuozzo Containers, and OpenVZ. The subscription fee starts at $3.95 per month per system, after a 30-day free trial. A free version is also available for Ubuntu.
In 2009, major Linux vendors asked customers to install a kernel update roughly once each month. Before Uptrack, each such update required a reboot.
"Why reboot if you don’t have to? Reboots are disruptive and require costly supervision," said Jeff Arnold, Ksplice’s chief executive officer. "Now system administrators can keep their systems up to date without coordinating outages, and they don’t need to come in Sunday at
2 a.m. to take everything down. They can avoid the biggest headache of server maintenance, with better availability and a smaller window of vulnerability than ever before."
More than 40 leading Web hosting and IT infrastructure companies have deployed Ksplice Uptrack as early adopters of the service, which has successfully saved tens of thousands of reboots to date.
"Like other hosting providers, we’ve needed this capability for a long time, but we didn’t think that it was possible to apply these updates without a reboot until we saw Ksplice in action," said Joshua Barratt, chief technical officer of Media Temple, an early adopter of Ksplice Uptrack. "This is an exciting change in how we run our systems."
"Ksplice is superb," said David Collins, chief technical officer of HostGator, an early adopter of Ksplice Uptrack. "It reduces one of the biggest costs associated with any server — system administrator maintenance time — and helps us improve the quality of service we can provide to our customers," Mr. Collins said.