Adding a new ingredient to the alphabet soup of cloud service acronyms is the new paradigm of Operating System as a Service or OSaaS where patches and system updates are constantly and routinely delivered to enterprise servers without typical downtime associated with patching and maintenance.
Managed Linux by CoreOS is being promoted as the world’s first operating system as a service, giving enterprises an edge over using competing Linux distributions by removing the need for migrating to a new Linux version every few years, ensuring that enterprise servers are always up to date and on long-term support. "With CoreOS, we deliver the newest Linux versions to you automatically," says Alex Polvi, CEO of CoreOS.
CoreOS utilises a product called CoreUpdate that grants administrators full control over rolling updates; CoreUpdate includes the FastPatch feature which competes with other technologies such as kSplice (Oracle) and kpatch (Red Hat) which allow patching of a running Linux system. "It is different than kSplice and friends in that we update the entire OS and not just the kernel when we deploy an update," Polvi explains.
Image Source (http://coreos.com/assets/images/screenshots/Dashboard-HiDPI.png)
CoreOS is also heavily integrated with Docker virtualisation technology which has now reached its 1.0 release and grants the ability of host OSes to run multiple instances of applications in virtualised containers, adding an additional layer of consolidation above traditional hypervisor-based virtualisation.
Image Source (https://coreos.com/assets/images/media/Three-Tier-Webapp.png)
The release of OSaaS systems such as CoreOS Managed Linux and the recent paradigm shift towards application containerisation through companies such as Google facilitates the deployment and running of large-scale infrastructure to cloud environments, while keeping the key factors of scalability, automation and portability in the forefront of cloud-based operations.