Rackspace Reboots Cloud Servers to Apply Xen Security Patch
Inside a Rackspace data center. (Photo: Rackspace)

Rackspace Reboots Cloud Servers to Apply Xen Security Patch

Like AWS last week, Rackspace is quiet on the details, citing security concerns

Rackspace had a Xen hypervisor-based cloud reboot over the weekend. Last week, Amazon Web Services told customers it was rebooting a small portion of its EC2 fleet for the same reason.

The reboot is in order to patch a known issue that affects all Xen environments. All cloud providers who use Xen as foundation will undergo some patching over the next few days.

Given the security-sensitive nature of the problem, Rackspace is withholding some details, citing concerns about customer safety, which was Amazon's approach as well.

“Our engineers and developers continue to work closely with our vendors and partners to apply the solution to remediate this issue,” wrote the company. “While we believe in transparent communication, there are times when we must withhold certain details in order to protect you, our customers.”

The reboot will be necessary for all Standard, Performance 1 and Performance 2 cloud servers within Rackspace's Infrastructure-as-a-Service offering.

The reboot started on Sunday and will go on until Wednesday, much like AWS, as the company rolls through different regions one at a time. Maintenance for the next region doesn’t begin until the previous one is complete.

The company is urging customers to take proactive steps to ensure proper operations after the reboot. Customers should:

  • Verify all necessary services (Apache, IIS, MySQL, etc.) are configured to start on server boot
  • Ensure server images are up-to-date and file-level backups are enabled. Confirm that you have backups of all critical data
  • Confirm that any unsaved changes, such as firewall rules and application configurations, are saved

Rackspace will communicate with customers via email and a status page.

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