GvE: Can you tell a bit about Verisign in general and yourself?
BK: Verisign is a provider of Internet infrastructure services, headquartered in Reston, VA, just over 20 miles from Washington, DC. As the global leader in domain names, Verisign powers the invisible navigation that takes people to where they want to go on the Internet. For more than 15 years, Verisign has operated the infrastructure for a portfolio of top-level domains that today includes .com, .net, .tv, .edu, .gov, .jobs, .name and .cc, as well as two of the world’s 13 Internet root servers (A & J-root DNS servers). Verisign’s product suite also includes Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) Protection Services, iDefense Security Intelligence Services and Managed DNS. These services help companies identify potential cyber threats and mitigate them before they impact the business’s network availability and overall Internet presence.
As senior vice president and CTO of Verisign, I work with the company’s technology and business leaders to advance the company’s long-term technology vision through applied research, university collaboration, industry leadership and patent strategy. I was previously the founding scientist of RSA Laboratories, where my contributions included the development of the Public-Key Cryptography Standards (PKCS), now widely deployed in internet security.
GvE: Does Verisign Inc use FreeBSD internally?
BK: Verisign began deploying FreeBSD approximately 3 years ago. It is used to support Internet operations on a global scale.
GvE: Does Verisign contribute to FreeBSD?
BK: Yes. In 2012, Verisign became a bronze level donor to the FreeBSD Foundation. Verisign has contributed both code and concepts to the FreeBSD project, in the areas of sysinstall/bsdinstall, the VFS subsystem, device drivers, and kernel code.
GvE: Why did Verisign decide to set up a new conference? Was there a special reason for this?
BK: Verisign had been looking to contribute back to the BSD community in various ways. After attending MeetBSD 2012, Verisign felt that hosting a BSD conference was an appropriate way to show our support and to give back to the community. The Internet enables so many more people all over the world to connect and collaborate, but meeting in person at conferences still adds depth and breadth to those interactions. By bringing together members of the BSD community for a series of roundtable discussions, educational sessions, and best practice conversations, we are hoping to help advance the goals of the FreeBSD Project and community worldwide.
GvE: Can you tell us a bit more about vBSDcon 2013?
BK: Verisign’s Technology Services Group is hosting a BSD-related conference for BSD developers, engineers, and administrators on October 25 – 27, 2013 at the Dulles Hyatt in Dulles, VA. The conference will slightly resemble an unconference concept with a single track and nine or 10 speakers. In other words, we are planning a series of plenary speakers along with lightning talks and birds-of-a-feather discussions in one track over the weekend.
The weekend will start with a welcome dinner on Friday evening sponsored by Verisign. Saturday and Sunday are the main conference days. A mid-conference social event is being planned for Saturday evening following a 20-year anniversary theme for FreeBSD. The BSD Certification Group will administer the BSDA exam on Saturday following the completion of conference activities and before the mid-conference social.
The vBSDcon website, hosted at http://www.vbsdcon.com/, is currently in development and will be functional by the end of July 2013. The website will provide detailed information on the conference schedule, participating speakers, presentation abstracts, the registration process, and sponsorship packages. A link will be provided for registrants to register for the BSDA exam at the BSD Certification Group’s website.
GvE: Which speakers have you lined up for the conference?
BK: We have an excellent group of presenters scheduled to appear at vBSDcon, including David Chisnall (FreeBSD Core Team), Luigi Rizzo (netmap developer), Baptiste Daroussin (PkgNG developer), Devin Teske (bsdconfig developer), Henning Brauer (OpenBSD developer), Reyk Floeter (OpenBSD developer), Scott Long (Netflix), Kris Moore (PC-BSD director/developer), and John Hixson (FreeNAS).
GvE: Thank you so much, Burt (and Verisign), for taking the time out to answer these questions, for organising this conference and for promoting FreeBSD.
If you have any other questions you’d like to have answered, drop me a line or leave a comment and I’ll get in touch with Verisign for the answer(s).