Cleaning up VM disks - a reminder

26 April 2012 by Steve Fenton

Cloud security is always high on the agenda for OnApp and our customers. In the last few days you may have seen some media articles about ‘dirty disks’ in the cloud. Here’s a simple explanation, and a reminder for OnApp customers of how to update your cloud if required.

The issue in brief

A security firm, Context IS, examined a number of different cloud providers. They identified an issue where fragments of VM data could be accessed by another VM, after the first one had been deleted, because disk space wasn’t wiped before it was allocated to another user. Among the firms they tested were Rackspace and VPS.NET. Both providers have confirmed that they have updated their clouds to address the issue.

How to update your cloud

We've had an update available for some time now - the ‘LV Wipe’ add-on for OnApp Cloud, which is available on our downloads page. The add-on ensures that VM disks are zeroed out after a VM is deleted, or when a virtual disk is removed from a VM.

Important notes

Please be aware that this add-on could have an impact on SAN performance and needs to be installed correctly to maintain proper operation of your cloud. Customers with a full/paid license should contact support for help, if required. 

While we're on the subject of security, it's probably a good time to remind OnApp customers about our Cloud Lockdown and Access Guide, which explains the recommended procedures for securing your OnApp Cloud. For the latest version, contact support, your integrations specialist or your account manager. Thanks!