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NSA Building a Secure Version of OpenStack

NSA OpenStackFrom the 'No Such Agency' files:

PORTLAND. The NSA (America's super secret intelligence agency) is no stranger to open source software and apparently they aren't strangers to OpenStack either.

NSA developer Nathaniel Burton was speaking at the OpenStack summit today, though he joked that he couldn't reveal how many servers they had running OpenStack or what they are running on those OpenStack servers.

He did note that the NSA is using a mix of commercial, open source and in-house software. From a cloud perspective, it's all about leveraging Big Data and achieving scale and agility for workloads.

"Before OpenStack, it took too much time from idea to capability and we needed scale and capability," Burton said.

The NSA knows a thing or to about security and in its work with OpenStack they have made improvements to secure and lock down the system.

"We hope to release that work back to the community similar to what NSA has done with Linux in the past," Burton said.

That's exciting.

Back in 2004, I first wrote about the NSA's work with Linux that become known as SELinux.SELinux today is a core component of many production Linux deployments and is key part of Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

Having an SE-OpenStack is an exciting prospect and could be the catalyst that will help adoption for highly-secure environments.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.