Technology, we love you!

The staff at NSA.CO.IL has been a part of the open source community since 1998. From Linux to PHP, to MySQL and as we grew up to PostgreSQL, and I won’t even mention the hundreds of amazing tools popping up all the time. We have grown to feel comfortable with those tools, because we took a part in their making simply by using them, commenting on them, reporting bugs, and telling others how great those tools are. And so, I would like to pay my respect to the tools and their makers, for without them, we would not be able to make a decent living.

Technologies commonly used by NSA Internet Technologies Ltd:

  • DirectAdmin – A friendly and flexible Unix /Web Control Panel with support for resellers
  • Zimbra – An extremely nice Mail Server
  • PostgreSQL – World’s most powerful open source database server
  • MySQL – World’s most popular database server
  • PHP – Scripting Language
  • SpamAssassin – Antispam Technology
  • DomainKeys – Antispam Technology
  • SPF / SenderID – Antispam Technology
  • Ubuntu Server – Linux OS, Versions 8.04 & 9.04, both 32bit and 64bit
  • PowerDNS – Advanced, High performance DNS Server
  • pfSense – The nicest open source firewall a person can find! :-)
  • Puppet – Central Control over lots of machines + Configuration Management
  • Xen – Operating System Virtualization Technology
  • VMWare ESX/Server – Operating System Virtualization Technology

Operating Systems

NSA uses the reliable and proven Linux operating system. Once thought a radical underground movement, Linux is now deep in the enterprise, and can be found in fortune 500 companies doing everything from mail handling, firewalls, data crunching, grid computing, and what not. The industry is recognizing that stability and reliability are important, and that reliance on proprietary systems is a path to failure.

We have once used RedHat systems but have since moved to Debian based distros because of our affinity for APT and its related tools. Over the years, APT has made our lives easier, as it helped us maintain and easily upgrade all of our boxes. I would like to thank the Debian community, and also the Ubuntu effort who has surprised us with their vision and accomplishments.

NEWS: We have recently installed 8 servers with Ubuntu Linux, Server Edition. The reason is that this distro seems to offer more recent versions of the popular applications, with faster updates. The standard LAMP combination offers Apache 2.x, PHP 5.x and MySQL Server 5.x which are the bleeding edge in web development.

To find out more about Debian Linux, please visit http://www.debian.org
To find out more about Ubuntu Linux, please visit http://www.ubuntu.com

Web Server Software

And where would the Internet be without the Apache web server? Sure there are alternatives now. Many sites have moved to Lighttpd, but respect comes where respect is due; We have been using Apache for years, and it has become for us a useful “swiss army knife”. I would like to thank the Apache Software Foundation, which by the way have other quite amazing projects going on (another one we use is SpamAssassin).

To find out more about Apache, please visit http://www.apache.org

Application Servers

We have led projects that were based on C++ and Java, but our Application Server of choice is PHP 5. Developed by the international open source community, PHP is now a prevalent technology on the web, used by the best and most dynamic sites on earth. Our knowledge of PHP allows us to do anything imaginable on the web today.

To find out more about php, please visit: http://www.php.net and http://www.zend.com

Database Servers

We offer the MySQL and PostgreSQL database servers. MySQL is the simpler database which is suitable for small to medium sites that do not require complex functionality. PostgreSQL is the more mature database which has a lot to offer to application developers who have come to expect views, functions, proper roles, and support for quite a few languages for stored procedures on the database side.

Our Database server of choice is definitely PostgreSQL, in our eyes the champion of database servers thanks to its great value that comes at no cost at all. We use PostgreSQL because of its compliance with the SQL standard, and a bit because of its similarity to Oracle. With recent developments (Version 8.1) major reliability and speed enhancements were added. Speed and robustness is important, due to the fact that hundreds and thousands of customers can browse your site at once. As the Internet is joined by more users every day, Modern sites are expected to handle an unprecedented number of visitors.

For a year now, we have been donating a server in our colocation facility for the good of the PostgreSQL community, as a token of our appreciation. The server name is horta.postgresql.org and it serves the international PostgreSQL community with increased bandwidth, as well as being a mirror for the Israeli community of PostgreSQL users.

To find out more about PostgreSQL, please visit http://www.postgresql.org
To find out more about MySQL, please visit http://www.mysql.com