Researchers at MIT have turned an innovative open source security technology known as Ksplice into a commercial product.
Ksplice Uptrack, whose general availability was announced today, eliminates the need to reboot Linux servers to perform monthly updates and security patches, the Cambridge, Mass. company said.
ZDnet wrote about the technology in early 2008 based on a tip from Linux Foundation's Ted Ts'o, who saw great promise with the technology.
The subscription service that is based on the MIT technology allows the Linux kernel to be updated live without restarting or disrupting applications: no downtime. This is key because of the frequent updating of the Linux kernel.
Ksplice Uptrack is now available for Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Ubuntu, Debian GNU/Linux, CentOS, Parallels Virtuozzo Containers, and OpenVZ. The subscription fee is 3.95 per month per system after a 30-day free trial. A free version is available for Ubuntu, the company also announced.
"On the coolness scale, this is like changing out a car's engine while speeding down the highway," said Keith Winstein, a business development spokesman for the company.
DreamHost, Media Temple and HostGator are among 40 early adopters of the technology.
Ksplice developer Jeff Arnold, a former MIT graduate student, is Ksplice Inc's CEO. Here's what he said upon the product release today: "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," Arnold said in a press release. "They can avoid the biggest headache of server maintenance, with better availability and a smaller window of vulnerability than ever before."