Mitigate TCP SYN Flood Attacks with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 Beta

Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks are becoming increasingly commonplace as business becomes more and more dependent on delivering services over the Internet.  One of the most common types of DDoS attacks is the well-known SYN-flood attack. It is a basic end-host resource attack designed to bring your server to its knees.  As a result, your server is unable to properly handle any new incoming connection requests.

Recently at DevConf.cz 2014, I gave a talk focusing on how you can survive TCP SYN-flooding attacks by implementing some recently developed kernel level Netfilter/iptables defense mechanisms. In this post I will provide a more condensed version of the talk highlighting how you can use these same techniques to protect your servers running Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 Beta.

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A New and Improved Installation Experience

The installation software used in Red Hat Enterprise Linux has a long and storied history. Hewn from a stone found deep underground in Durham, North Carolina (during the early days of Red Hat Linux), the installer has grown from a simple single-platform tool to a complex multi-architecture / multi-interface application used to deploy Red Hat Enterprise Linux. After more than ten years with the original evolving code base, the installer engineering team decided to use the advent of a new release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux as the perfect opportunity to make a few significant changes to the installation software. We are excited about these changes and hope that users will find the new installer to be more versatile and easier to use. Here are some of the main improvements and enhancements that you will encounter when working with the new installer for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 Beta:

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KVM Virtualization: Refining the Virtual World with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 Beta

Ever since Red Hat Enterprise Linux added KVM Virtualization as a kernel-based hypervisor to run virtual machines (way back in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.4), the operating system took on a dual personality.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux became both a Virtualization host for high density virtual data centers / cloud service platforms, and a guest operating system running on third party hypervisors such as VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V. As the topic is sufficiently broad, I plan to split my discussion of virtualization into two posts.

Today’s post will discuss Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 beta as a hypervisor using KVM Virtualization technology and it will highlight a few key enhancements that make Red Hat Enterprise Linux the operating system of choice for modern hybrid data centers. While the features that I will review are inherently those that I find to be the most exciting (note: I’m hoping you will find them to be exciting and useful as well), a complete list is available in the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 beta release notes.

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Network Management, Bandwidth, and Security

It’s difficult to overestimate the importance of networking in today’s business environment. Since networking provides a central means for data exchange and collaboration, it is often a critical factor when it comes to determining an organization’s ultimate potential for success.

At Red Hat, we understand the importance of networking and the role it plays in maintaining business continuity. As such, we made networking one of the primary focus areas of development for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7. Having incorporated numerous enhancements and performance optimizations into the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 beta – I’d like to take this opportunity to talk about “what’s new” with respect to improvements in network management, bandwidth, and security.

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Who Goes There? Identity Management in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 Beta

It seems that the daily news is full of the fallout that results when companies fail to protect online identities. The ability to limit access to sensitive applications and information to the right people with the right credentials is critical to ensuring the overall security of your infrastructure; critical… but not always easy.

Until recently, options for centralized identity management for the Linux environment were limited. There was no turnkey domain controller-like solution for the Linux/UNIX environment. Some Linux shops integrated open source tools like Kerberos and DNS to create centralized Linux-based identity management, but this option could be time-consuming to develop and expensive to maintain. Others integrated Linux clients directly into Microsoft Active Directory, but this option limited their ability to take advantage of some useful native Linux functionality like sudo and automount.

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NFS & GFS2

In an effort to round out my post from this past Tuesday I’d like to share a little additional information on both Network File System (NFS) updates and enhancements to the GFS2 shared disk file system (…all, of course, in the context of the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 beta).

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Is there a best Linux file system?

Is there a best anything? Perhaps. I, personally, tend to think that home-made chocolate chip cookies are the best dessert. However, when it comes to file systems… there are no absolutes.

File systems come in all shapes and sizes; and where one may be perfect for a particular application or scenario – it may not be right for other use cases. This is where Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 beta shines as it brings a variety of substantial enhancements to file systems in the form of scalability improvements, performance enhancements, and file system choices.

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Testers Wanted: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 Beta

We’re pleased to announce the beta availability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7. Ten years of inspiration, perspiration, and innovation have led to this, the next phase in realizing Red Hat’s vision for the open hybrid cloud and the future of enterprise computing.

With today’s announcement, we are inviting you – Red Hat customers, partners, and members of the public – to provide feedback on what we believe is our most ambitious release to date. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 is designed to provide the underpinning for future application architectures while delivering the flexibility, scalability, and performance needed to deploy across bare metal, virtual machines, and cloud infrastructure.

Based on Fedora 19 and the upstream Linux 3.10 kernel, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 Beta showcases hundreds of new features and enhancements, including:

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