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Open Source Virtualization News IT Technology

Godfather of Xen On Why Virtualization Means Everything 150

Posted by samzenpus
from the more-real-than-real dept.
coondoggie writes "While conventional wisdom says virtualized environments and public clouds create massive security headaches, the godfather of Xen, Simon Crosb, says virtualization actually holds a key to better security. Isolation — the ability to restrict what computing goes on in a given context — is a fundamental characteristic of virtualization that can be exploited to improve trustworthiness of processes on a physical system even if other processes have been compromised, he says."
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Godfather of Xen On Why Virtualization Means Everything

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  • OS design fail (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Animats (122034) on Thursday November 03, 2011 @07:54PM (#37942316) Homepage

    If OSs hadn't failed so bad on isolation, we wouldn't need so much virtualization. "Virtual machine monitors" are just operating systems with a rather simple application API. Microkernels, if you will.

  • Re:OS design fail (Score:4, Insightful)

    by White Flame (1074973) on Thursday November 03, 2011 @08:03PM (#37942420)

    OSes haven't failed as a whole. The current desktop/server ones just haven't caught up to and rediscovered the proper design principles of the old mainframes.

  • ad infinitum (Score:4, Insightful)

    by More Trouble (211162) on Thursday November 03, 2011 @08:26PM (#37942656)

    And if the current level of virtualization isn't secure enough, adding another virtual layer will certainly improve security even more.

  • Re:OS design fail (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 03, 2011 @10:11PM (#37943434)

    The higher security certifications start to have WEIRD consequences for a general purpose system, we went over these a bit in computer science.

              For instance, under the (apparently now obsolete) orange book ratings, C2 is pretty normal, NT4 (not on a network) was certified to this level, and a certified version of HP-UX, Irix, VMS, etc. were sold back in the day at level C1.

              To get a B1 rating? Well, for one example, "covert communications" channels are banned -- so, no pipes, no sysv shared memory .. but ALSO no conventional UNIX signals, a B1 OS cannot even tell you a load average, CPU usage, or other types of info "top" shows, because a process could modulate it's CPU usage or renice/unrenice itself to pass information covertly.

I'm all for computer dating, but I wouldn't want one to marry my sister.

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