Innocents Caught in SCO-Linux Cross Fire

The battle between The SCO Group and the Linux and open-source communities is taking some innocent bystanders hostage.

The battle between The SCO Group and the Linux and open-source communities is apparently taking some innocent bystanders hostage.

Take Centershift, a small startup ASP, based in Salt Lake City, that provides services to specific real-estate markets such as self-storage and multi-family residential housing. While Centershift is completely independent of SCO, it does share significant infrastructure with SCO as both companies host portions of their operations from the same hosting facility in Lindon, Utah.

"As neighbors on the Internet and within the same hosting facility, Centershift has been made to suffer greatly as SCO has battled with the Linux, Unix and open-source communities. Each DDoS attack aimed at SCO over the past 4 months has crippled not only SCO, but Centershift as well," James Hafen, Centershifts chief technical officer and senior vice president, told eWEEK in an e-mail on Wednesday.

"Stepping aside from the issues of how, architecturally, this would have spilled over into Centershifts domain, it should be known that bystanders are being injured as this war rages on," Hafen added.

"As you might imagine, our life-blood is the Internet and in our attempt to perform OLTP over the Internet, outages have a horrific effect on our business. Further, Centershift is a struggling startup venture that is well capitalized, but not to the point that we can yet afford redundant physical presences in multiple hosting facilities, thus we have to rely on our hosting partner(s) to do an excellent job of monitoring, administrating and filtering," he said.

While Hafen said he did not want to take a political stance or state his opinion regarding the ongoing battle that SCO is waging, he wondered if all the parties involved realized the full consequences of their actions.

"SCO, fighting for royalties and revenue and legal rights to patents and licenses should also be cognizant of companies like Centershift, and be considerate enough to isolate themselves from businesses that do not wish to be unwilling participants in the battle," he said.

"The open-source and Linux/Unix communities, (and I am by no means generalizing here… realizing that there are probably a few select individuals responsible for the DDoS attacks), certainly feel noble in their quest to make SCO pay for their legal actions as of late.

"Please realize, however, your attacks are killing those of us who want no part of your quarrel. Centershift is certainly not alone, as there are multiple other companies that have portions of their business operations operating out of the hosting facility in Lindon, and I can only assume they are also negatively impacted," Hafen said.

Linux luminary Eric Raymond, who is the president of the Open Source Initiative (OSI), was sympathetic to Hafens situation, saying that he had publicly called for an end to all DoS attacks on SCO.

"I believe this message is supported by other open-source community leaders, and has been taken to heart by almost everybody in the open-source community. There is, unfortunately, little more we can do than this," Raymond told Hafen in an e-mail.

But others in the community were less sympathetic, saying that the DoS attacks were just as likely to have come from SCO itself. "Given SCOs behavior recently, its just as likely that theyre attacking themselves in their continued attempt to pump up their stock price," one member said, adding that if Centershifts hosting company could not provide it with the services it had contracted for, "then you have grounds to cancel your contract with them."

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Hafen responded by admitting that his company did indeed have issues with its hosting company and was taking action on that front.

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