October 23rd, 2012 by Brian Boyko, Technology Humorist and Blog Overlord
According to ArsTechnica, Sandia National Laboratories has linked together 300,000 virtual machines together to test the effects of network disruption. Essentially a self-contained network in and of itself, the project, called “Megadroid,” uses the Android operating system. Previous similar projects included “MegaTux” and “MegaWin” which used Linux and Windows, respectively.
The difference between this and the other project is that the Android operating system is built for devices, and the MegaDroid project includes creating interfaces to the sensors in the VMs. So MegaDroid gets simulated GPS data, text, or any other type of data you could get from a phone or tablet.
This is coming none too soon, as well, as we start to rely more often on mobile devices for accessing our network infrastructures. As more mobile devices are used to access enterprise data centers, they present new opportunities, but also present the possibility of exploits. Research programs such as this are therefore at the front line of network security defense.
Of course, the last line of network security is actually at the network – and the responsibility of system administrators and service providers to be able to monitor and manage their data. Detecting anomolies in your network will help you understand if your network is being disrupted, how it is being disrupted, and what to do to fix the problem.