In a nutshell, Reboot-less Kernel Updates means your servers core operating system is automatically updated without the need to restart your server. Given that currently most updates do require a server reboot, and that each reboot amounts to a few minutes of downtime, reboot-less updates can save your business hours of downtime every year. Best of all, it's free with AJKservers Kernel & OS Updates.
Ksplice Uptrack is a new service that lets you effortlessly keep your Linux systems up to date and secure, without rebooting. Ksplice updates the core of your operating system, the kernel, while it is running-without disrupting your operations or requiring a reboot. Our datacenter has exclusive partnership with Ksplice to offer the Uptrack service to our customers.
Why is Ksplice Uptrack needed?
Today, every mainstream operating system requires regular reboots in order to be up to date and secure. Since reboots cause downtime and disruption, people are forced into the uncomfortable dilemma of choosing between security and convenience.
Ksplice enables running systems to stay secure without the painful disruption of restarting the system. Specifically, Ksplice creates rebootless updates that are based on traditional source code patches. These updates are as effective as traditional updates, but they can be applied seamlessly, with no downtime.
Ksplice currently only offers support for updating the Linux kernel, but the Ksplice Uptrack system methodology applies to any operating system or to user space applications and support for future systems is forthcoming.
For those who are curious or technically inclined, we offer the following information much more technically detailed explanation of how Ksplice Uptrack works.
Ksplice Technical Explanation
Provided by Ksplice, Inc.
At this pace a new security issue is found and fixed every six days. Traditional updates require you to tolerate the downtime and disruption of rebooting in order to keep your system up to date and secure. Only Ksplice's unique technology updates the running code at the core of your system to keep you seamlessly secure.
Above diagram illustrates the steps involved in creating a Ksplice update. Essentially, Ksplice Uptrack compiles your kernel twice-once without the patch and once with the patch applied. Second, it compares the output of the two compilations, looking for differences. In particular, it needs to find functions that have changed. For each changed function, it pulls out a copy of both the old and the new versions and puts them in the output file.
Above diagram illustrates the steps involved in applying a Ksplice update. First, it has to locate the functions that it's trying to change. So if it's trying to change printk, it first needs to find it in kernel memory. Once it has found the old copy of the function and confirmed that it is the correct code, it needs to replace it. It accomplishes this by first loading the new version of the function elsewhere in memory, using the kernel's module loader. Next, at a safe time, it overwrites the first instruction of the old function with a jump instruction that goes to the new function. This is called a trampoline, because it "bounces" all of the callers of the old function immediately over to the new function.
Ksplice Uptrack is available only on Linux-based servers. Not all Linux versions are supported. Please consult AJKservers sales for details. Reboot-Less kernal/OS Updates service available as a addon with every server.
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