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Microsoft Uses Linux To Publish Its Own Web Site

Microsoft has made a big deal out of asserting that Linux is not fit for the enterprise. But Microsoft itself is using Linux to help protect its servers against denial-of-service attacks.

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According to a post on the Netcraft Web site, Microsoft changed its DNS settings on Friday so that requests for www.microsoft.com no longer resolve to machines on Microsoft's own network, but instead are handled by the Akamai caching system, which runs Linux.

Akamai runs a service to help boost Web site performance by caching copies of Web sites on many servers in many locations. Akamai can help defend against denial-of-service attacks by spreading the attack among many servers. Just as a distributed denial-of-service attack enlists large numbers of systems to attack a single server, Akamai presents a distributed defense against denial-of-service attacks.

As of this writing, Netcraft reports that www.microsoft.com is still running on Linux, although microsoft.com is reported as running on Windows Server 2003.

A Microsoft spokeswoman said she'd look into the report and get back with a response. An Akamai spokeswoman declined to comment, except to confirm that Microsoft is a customer.

Microsoft using a Linux service is ironic, given that Microsoft has identified Linux as its biggest competitor. In a conference call with analysts last month, company CFO John Connors ranked Linux as the #2 risk faced by the company. The #1 risk was the general economic environment, Connors said. Nearly one in five small and mid-sized businesses are using Linux on the desktop.

In tomorrow's news: McDonald's executive found eating at Burger King.

This story courtesy of Internetweek.

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