April 29, 2015

The Companies That Support Linux: Fox Technologies

Mark Lambiase, CTO of Fox Technologies, Inc.Linux has long been regarded as a stable and secure platform for enterprise applications. And the recent explosion of container technology presents yet another way for developers to build securely on top of Linux, says Mark Lambiase, CTO of Fox Technologies, Inc.

The Linux container model “will provide for the opportunity to separate and segment applications from a shared OS model, which can provide both security and performance/configuration advantages,” Lambiase said.

Fox Technologies, which helps companies manage and maintain Unix and Linux systems with its BoKS ServerControl application, is contributing to such growth and innovation in the Linux ecosystem, in part, by becoming new corporate members of the Linux Foundation. (See the full announcement.)

“Having benefited so much from the Linux Foundation's efforts, Fox Technologies feels this is a good way to give back to the community,” Lambiase said.

Here, he tells us more about Fox Technologies, the latest release of its server management software, why and how they use Linux, and technology industry trends in open source and security.

Linux.com: What does Fox Technologies do?

​Mark Lambiase: Fox Technologies has been in the business of ​designing and developing security and administration tools for Unix and Linux systems for over 20 years. The BoKS ServerControl application is a cross-platform account administration, access control and privilege management tool. The combination of features allows for positive and proactive controls of large and small Linux/Unix deployments, providing tangible economic and security benefits, allowing administrators to set, control and maintain policy. Often used to meet compliance requirements, BoKS ServerControl provides detailed information of the accounts, access and use of privilege on protected servers. 

BoKS is deployed by a number of the largest financial enterprises in the world, with deployments across tens of thousands of servers. BoKS is also used in industries with much smaller server deployments, such as power generation, where up-time, as well as regulatory compliance​ are critical.

How and why do you use Linux?

​Our development systems, build servers, CVS, intranet, bug-tracking system and other internal systems are all hosted on Linux.  FoxT developers tend to lead their development on Linux systems, porting to other Unix platforms after the functionality is built and tested. Linux and tools running on Linux provide the backbone of our development effort.​

Why did you join the Linux Foundation?

​BoKS ServerControl benefits from a number of Open Source projects, as well as the proliferation of Linux. Our developers have worked in the Unix space for over 25 years, and have enjoyed the benefits of the growth of the Open Source movement, and the development​ and growth of the various Linux platforms. Having benefited so much from the Linux Foundation's efforts, Fox Technologies feels this is a good way to give back to the community.

What interesting or innovative trends in security are you witnessing and what role does Linux play in them?

​Linux offers enterprises the opportunity to tightly control how their servers are built, and what is running on them. When done well this can offer a stable and secure environment, especially important for critical applications. The adoption of virtualization ​technologies has allowed for enterprises to scale beyond the hard-limit of physical systems, realizing the benefits of application-specific systems on often underutilized shared physical systems.

The growth and adoption of the Linux container model allows for application specific containers to share the physical resources, as well as some of the host OS resources without thick layers of virtualization. This will provide for the opportunity to separate and segment applications from a shared OS model, which can provide both security and performance/configuration advantages, although it will add to the burden of administrators to maintain control over the configuration of the many and multiplying containers.

How is your company participating in that innovation?

​Although many free and open source tools are being developed to help manage and maintain the explosion of Linux systems in the enterprise, this growth has created a fertile marketplace for third-party vendors, such as Fox Technologies to step in and help solve these problems. ​As part of the ecosystem our goal is to provide a useful tool and service to our customers, and today we provide financial support to the Linux Foundation. Over time our goal is to participate more directly, allowing our developers to engage in the many and varied projects, and allowing FoxT to help not just financially but through direct support and participation in the development of various interesting projects.

What other future technologies or industries do you think Linux and open source will increasingly become important in and why?

​It sure seems like Linux is being positioned to become the engine behind the Internet-of-Things. When we finally hit the inflection point there will be an explosive growth of connected devices of all types. Devices will range in purpose from the sensing and collection of information to the actuation or control of various devices in the physical world​. All of these interconnected devices will also create an explosion of responsibility to 

What else is new and exciting at Fox Technologies?

​F​ox Technologies recently announced the release of version 7.0 of its flagship BoKS ServerControl product. Our staff has continued to develop a unique product, designed and built by Unix people for Unix people. Additionally, Fox Technologies has opened new development positions, adding jobs for dedicated, skilled and talented developers.

For more information on Fox Technologies visit: www.foxt.com, and view detailed information of the new release, BoKS ServerControl 7.0, by visiting our blog: http://www.foxt.com/foxt_boks-70/

As Chief Technology Officer, Mark Lambiase is responsible for Product Management, Engineering and Customer Services at FoxT. Mark comes to FoxT with over 15 years of experience designing, building, implementing, and supporting a broad range of identity, authentication and other related security technologies. Most recently, he was the Chief Security Architect and Director of Research at SecureAuth.

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