Protecting Sensitive Information From Appearing in Public Repos »

In the last several years and with the advent of social coding sites like GitHub, there has been an increasing openness in code sharing. This is great on so many levels as it promotes the open source model, and in general is a nice thing.

One security side effect has been the accidental disclosure of sensitive information in the code that is shared publically. This problem existed before with things like database or SMTP passwords in configuration files but in the world of cloud and API keys this problem increases in its severity.

Whereas database servers were generally well protected and so even accidentally revealing the password was not the worst thing to happen, exposing API keys on public repositories has serious consequences. You have given someone the keys to your whole cloud kingdom. With these keys one can spin up servers, view your data, upload illegal data and the list goes on. Hackers are most likely searching on these repositories for such information.

We recently had a good debate in the Rackspace tech community on this topic and this post tries to present some best practices and also some ways to clean up should it happen.

Can You Really Run a Fault-tolerant, High-performance, Scale-out SQL Database in a Cloud? »

For those of you not yet familiar with Clustrix, we have developed ClustrixDB, the industry’s first scale-out SQL database engineered for the cloud. ClustrixDB is uniquely and ideally suited to handle massive volumes of ACID-compliant transactional workloads while concurrently running real-time analytics on the same operational data. (See:!overview ).

Delivering a database like ClustrixDB with linearly-scaling performance, automated fault-tolerance and self-healing in a cloud would be a significant challenge. Success would depend heavily upon a well-architected infrastructure on which to deliver this level of enterprise value at the SLAs our customers had come to expect from us. And we were actively seeking a cloud with such capabilities.

Cloud Block Storage Volume Cloning Announced! »

Today our Control Panel team announced support for Cloud Block Storage Volume Cloning. Some of our savvier users may have noticed that volume cloning was silently released as an API-only feature back in early November. Volume Cloning (ergo volume copy) allows for the creation of a new volume from an existing one. While this is a pretty big feature, it would have been easy to miss, as its simply the addition of a source_volid parameter to the existing create volume call.

Elasticsearch Autodiscovery on the Rackspace Cloud »

Elasticsearch is a powerful distributed schema-less datastore and its main focus is indexing/search functionality. One benefit of Elasticsearch is simple cluster management via multicast, which is provided out of the box.

Unfortunately, multicast is often blocked by cloud vendors due to security concerns of a mutli-tenancy network (imagine exposing your software to the rest of the cloud via multicast). This is where Rackspace Cloud Networks can help out. One of the primary goals of Cloud Networks is to allow”personal” L2 networks in a mutli-tenancy environment. This means we get multicast!

Balloon Mapping and Outreach »

“What’s the difference between data and a map?” This question came from an inquisitive fifth grader at the University of Texas on a gorgeous February Saturday in Austin. We brought a group of Rackers, some kites, and a huge red balloon to “Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day,” presented by the UT Women in Engineering Program (WEP). We inflated the balloon to about five feet in diameter, attached a digital camera, and launched our mapping rig 100 feet in air above campus.

Announcing Gophercloud 0.1 »

I’m pleased to announce that the final PR for Gophercloud 0.1 has successfully merged to master! Gophercloud 0.1 is out!

Gophercloud 0.1 is an incremental and bug-fix release that also adds support for the following Nova extensions:

  • Floating IPs
  • Security Groups
  • Security Group Default Rules

In addition, 0.1 supports OpenStack deployments that do not expose Public and Private IP pools. Now, pools may possess any name configured by the OpenStack administrator.

As an added bonus to software developers, Gophercloud’s osutil sub-package provides a more convenient method of building an AuthOptions structure from a standard set of environment variables. That’s less code you have to write for every application.

Developers can grab Gophercloud on our Github page. If you’re interested in contributing to our upcoming 0.2.0 API, feel free to get in contact with us! You can learn more by visiting the our community page.

Provisioning Users at Rackspace »

This is a guest post from Topher Marie, VP of Engineering at JumpCloud, a Rackspace Cloud Tools Marketplace partner.

I’ve got a new Unix server up at RackSpace and I need to get my users some accounts on it. How do I go about doing that? I could copy and paste each of their passwords… well, I guess really I should have them come type their passwords, shouldn’t I? Actually, I know that public key authentication is more secure and robust than password-based. I’m going to go with that. Let’s make the assumption that each of the users that I want to give access to this machine have public/private key pairs already setup. Here are some basic notes for that procedure to get you started.

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