McAllen, Texas: Cloudflare opens 119th Data Center just north of the Mexico border

McAllen, Texas: Cloudflare opens 119th Data Center just north of the Mexico border

McAllen, Texas: Cloudflare opens 119th Data Center just north of the Mexico border

Five key facts to know about McAllen, Texas

  • McAllen, Texas is on the southern tip of the Rio Grande Valley
  • The city is named after John McAllen, who provided land in 1904 to bring the St. Louis, Brownsville & Mexico Railway railway into the area
  • McAllen, Texas is named the City of Palms
  • The border between Mexico and the USA is less than nine miles away from the data center
  • McAllen, Texas is where Cloudflare has placed its 119th data center

Second datacenter in Texas; first on the border with Mexico

While McAllen is close to the Mexican border, its importance goes well beyond that simple fact. The city is halfway between Dallas, Texas (where Cloudflare has an existing datacenter) and Mexico City, the center and capital of Mexico. This means that any Cloudflare traffic delivered into Mexico is better served from McAllen. Removing 500 miles from the latency equation is a good thing. 500 miles equates to around 12 milliseconds of round-trip latency and when a connection operates (as all connections should), as a secure connection, then there can be many round trip communications before the first page starts showing up. Improving latency is key, even if we have a 0-RTT environment.

McAllen, Texas: Cloudflare opens 119th Data Center just north of the Mexico border
Image courtesy of gcmap service

However, it gets better! A significant amount of Mexican Cloudflare traffic is delivered to ISPs and telcos that are just south of the Mexican border, hence McAllen improves their performance even more-so. Cloudflare choose the McAllen Data Center in order to provide those ISPs and telcos a local interconnect point.

Talking of interconnection – what’s needed is a solid IXP footprint

As astute readers of the Cloudflare blog know, the Cloudflare network interconnects to a large number of Internet Exchanges globally. Why should that be any different in McAllen, Texas. It’s not. As of last week, there was a brand new Internet Exchange (IX) in McAllen, Texas.

McAllen, Texas: Cloudflare opens 119th Data Center just north of the Mexico border
Image, with permission, from Joel Pacheco’s Facebook page

MEX-IX is that new IX and it provides a whole new way to interconnect with Mexican carriers, many of which are present in McAllen already. Cloudflare will enable peering on that IX as quickly as we can.

Next up, we go south!

Cloudflare has plenty of datacenter presence in South America, however Panama is the only datacenter we have operating within Central America. That means that we still have to work on Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua.

But there’s one more place we need to deploy into in order to move the Mexican story forward and that’s Mexico City. More about that in a later blog.

Cloudflare will continue to build new datacenters, including the ones south of the border, and ones around the globe. If you enjoy the idea of helping build one of the world’s largest networks, come join our team!

Read more here:: CloudFlare

HP patches hundreds of laptops to remove hidden keylogger

If you bought an HP laptop any time in the last five years, it could be tracking your every key stroke. Over the weekend HP revealed that nearly 500 of its notebooks dating as far back as 2012 shipped with a secret keylogger installed. Alongside the announcement, HP released driver updates to eradicate the software on affected laptops.

Security researcher Michael Myng discovered the keylogger when probing the Synaptics touchpad software on an HP laptop. HP’s security bulletin says the “potential security vulnerability” affects all laptops with “certain versions of Synaptics touchpad drivers”—not necessarily just HP models. The keylogger is disabled by default, however. “A party would need administrative privileges in order to take advantage of the vulnerability,” the bulletin states. “Neither Synaptics nor HP has access to customer data as a result of this issue.” HP told Myng that the keylogger was a debugging tool.

To read this article in full, please click here

Read more here:: IT news – Security

The end of the road for Server: cloudflare-nginx

The end of the road for Server: cloudflare-nginx

Six years ago when I joined Cloudflare the company had a capital F, about 20 employees, and a software stack that was mostly NGINX, PHP and PowerDNS (there was even a little Apache). Today, things are quite different.

The end of the road for Server: cloudflare-nginxCC BY-SA 2.0 image by Randy Merrill

The F got lowercased, there are now more than 500 people and the software stack has changed radically. PowerDNS is gone and has been replaced with our own DNS server, RRDNS, written in Go. The PHP code that used to handle the business logic of dealing with our customers’ HTTP requests is now Lua code, Apache is long gone and new technologies like Railgun, Warp, Argo and Tiered Cache have been added to our ‘edge’ stack.

And yet our servers still identify themselves in HTTP responses with

Server: cloudflare-nginx

Of course, NGINX is still a part of our stack, but the code that handles HTTP requests goes well beyond the capabilities of NGINX alone. It’s also not hard to imagine a time where the role of NGINX diminishes further. We currently run four instances of NGINX on each edge machine (one for SSL, one for non-SSL, one for caching and one for connections between data centers). We used to have a fifth but it’s been deprecated and are planning for the merging of the SSL and non-SSL instances.

As we have done with other bits of software (such as the KyotoTycoon distributed key-value store or PowerDNS) we’re quite likely to write our own caching or web serving code at some point. The time may come when we no longer use NGINX for caching, for example. And so, now is a good time to switch away from Server: cloudflare-nginx.

We like to write our own when the cost of customizing or configuring existing open source software becomes too high. For example, we switched away from PowerDNS because it was becoming too complicated to implement all the logic we need for the services we provide.

Over the next month we will be transitioning to simply:

Server: cloudflare

If you have software that looks for cloudflare-nginx in the Server header it’s time to update it.

We’ve worked closely with companies that rely on the Server header to determine whether a website, application or API uses Cloudflare, so that their software or service is updated and we’ll be rolling out this change in stages between December 18, 2017 and January 15, 2018. Between those dates Cloudflare-powered HTTP responses may contain either Server: cloudflare-nginx or Server: cloudflare.

Read more here:: CloudFlare

How killing Net Neutrality will affect enterprise mobility

Efforts to dismantle net neutrality will likely effect enterprises and the way they do business, from how mobile apps are designed to where companies choose to store data commonly accessed on mobile devices.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) intends to vote this Thursday to repeal net neutrality rules the Obama administration implemented to ensure internet service providers (ISPs) treat all data the same.

In the past, ISPs such a Comcast secretly slowed throughput, also known as “throttling,” for certain peer-to-peer file sharing applications; others were accused of slowing video-streaming services.

The concern among Democrats, industry advocacy groups and some business executives who oppose the changes, is that once net neutrality rules are dismantled, ISPs will begin showing preferential treatment to some streaming services or charge extra for “fast lane” Internet access.

To read this article in full, please click here

Read more here:: IT news – Internet

Is source code inspection a security risk? Maybe not, experts say

Moscow’s recent demand to inspect the source code of American software vendors supplying the Russian government does not pose the severe security threat some are making it out to be, experts say, emphasizing that while sharing source code with a nation-state adversary does make it easier for an attacker to find security flaws, source code is far from the “keys to the kingdom” for bug hunters.

At a time of heightened cyberespionage between the US and Russia, Moscow’s worries about possible backdoors in American software seem like legitimate concerns that justify a request for source code review, experts suggested.

Read more here:: IT news – Security