Originally Published: Tuesday, 25 September 2001 Author: The Linux.com Staff
Published to: enhance_articles_sysadmin/Sysadmin Page: 2/3 - [Printable]

Linux.com Interview: Azi Cohen and Izar Tarandach of Aduva

Linux.com is an international community just as Linux and open source technologies are an international movement. Here at Linux.com we continue our series of Linux around the world with a visit to another hot Linux startup, Aduva founded in Israel. As you will see Aduva is one of many up and coming Linux companies poised to do well in the enterprise markets.

Enterprise Solutions  << Page 2 of 3  >>

Linux.com: What about behind the firewall implementations for enterprises? Won't some companies be concerned with security in your architecture?

Azi Cohen: Yes, we can provide those customers with a proxy server or a CD of the rules, but more than that, this is an area where Aduva is sharply differentiated from our competitors. Our architecture preserves the privacy of the customers. What happens is actually very interesting.

Let's assume that the customer is not deploying the rules internally, he's using the Aduva servers for the rules, what happens is that if you want to install Netscape, for instance, the agent will communicate through the firewall and ask the database "give me all the rules concerning Netscape". The rules themselves are sent over the network and through the firewall, and inside the firewall we apply an algorithm that interprets those numbers and figures out what is relevant enough and applies to the specific situation the agent is being asked to deal with, in this case installing Netscape.

This means we don't push the assets in the server or workstation over the network, the configuration, we just ask for generic rules and we sort those out within the agent. So, with this solution even if the customer is deploying the database of rules internally the only place where he is exposed at all is in the flow of updated rules, all of which are very general. There is no exposure of the internal configurations.

This is what we call our enterprise solution, and this is the only solution like that.

Linux.com: What about the capacity of the architecture?

Azi Cohen: We've done capacity planning with about five thousand servers asking for updates at the same time, and we found no waiting of any kind.

Linux.com: What is your prime market?

Azi Cohen: Our prime market today is building partnerships with people like HP, and many other vendors and support providers, with hardware vendors, with framework providers. These kinds of partnerships are the prime market for us today. We're concentrating now on building a technology bridge between our solutions and their solutions, and working with those partners to incorporate our technology into their solutions.

Izar Tarandach: From our research, if you're talking about a remote support provider (like a hardware company needing to provide support for their boxes) our solutions cut 40 to 50% from the cost of providing that service to their customers.

Linux.com: Ok, wow. So let's for a second imagine we're talking to the individual admin., what kind of immediate benefits will they experience? The agent doesn't have an interface I know, but what about here at the Director level?

Azi Cohen: OK, well for one thing we pride ourselves on being multi-distribution so you can have a Red Hat box and a SuSe box, whatever, so if the admin wants to have the very same application set on all those different boxes then at the Director, through an easy to use GUI, he can do that and it will be quick, easy and possible.

The bottom line for the admin is that we cut a lot of operational time. Around 30 to 40% of the operational time spent in a day by a sysadmin is being cut by using the Aduva solution. What we provide to the sysadmin is the ability to work with a logical view. They can create logical views of the different servers they have, and later on deploy that view to physical machines from a single remote location. Double click and that's it. Drag and Drop.

We also provide a lot of other functionality like "what ifs", y'know, so if you want to know what the implications of the next change are going to be you can run a simulation using the same rules in the Aduva database. This is particularly useful for a very large site. Beyond that even we provide some scheduling tools, so you can schedule an update to happen automatically at midnight. You can create the operational policies - so, for example, if you don't want to have games installed for a certain group of people in the organization...

Linux.com: Like the sales department, maybe?

Azi Cohen: Yes, correct. We can make that change with very simple work. A more serious example might be when you want to get all the security patches for Apache. So the policy management is very important. But beyond that we have other capabilities so the sysadmin can know if the box is not reporting for some period of time, and maybe identify a problem there. We also have a health check so the smart agent can activate itself, lets say once a day for a pre-defined duration, and check as many parameters as you like, just to make sure that everything is maintained at the same level without any new dependencies coming out of people downloading or whatever.

So ultimately we are a complimentary product to different frameworks, we don't do performance monitoring or anything like that, but we do help in taking the systems from one steady configuration to the other, and we do that in the quickest way, and in the safest way.

Enterprise Solutions  << Page 2 of 3  >>