Put open source to work
July 16–17, 2018: Training & Tutorials
July 18–19, 2018: Conference
Portland, OR

DigitalOcean’s approach to Spectre and Meltdown (sponsored by DigitalOcean)

Thomas Spiegelman (DigitalOcean), Lauren McCarthy (DigitalOcean)
11:50am12:30pm Wednesday, July 18, 2018
Location: E143/144
Average rating: ****.
(4.00, 1 rating)

What you'll learn

  • Learn what Spectre and Meltdown mean to users and what the thought process for a cloud provider like DigitalOcean looks like for major vulnerabilities like this


News of the security vulnerabilities Spectre and Meltdown gripped headlines earlier this year, and for good reason: the bugs affected an estimated three billion chips in use. The impact to cloud providers was substantial, and DigitalOcean was no exception.

Tom Spiegelman and Lauren McCarthy share DigitalOcean’s approach to tackling the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities—dubbed "Smeltdown”—covering what the company chose to move forward with and why. This was one of the biggest challenges the company has dealt with in terms of complexity and scale. One of the key issues was timeliness: while the big cloud companies received advanced notice, DigitalOcean didn’t have that luxury. But it couldn’t use that as an excuse: it just meant working smarter and harder. Tom and Lauren discuss the hardships faced and how the chosen solution left the company with a more secure cloud infrastructure and ready move forward to work toward new offerings so that developers and their teams can focus on what matters: building software that changes the world.

This session is sponsored by DigitalOcean.

Photo of Thomas Spiegelman

Thomas Spiegelman


Tom Spiegelman is an infrastructure engineering manager at DigitalOcean. He has an awesome dog and a great team and is married to the amazing Chantal Spiegelman. He is passionate about all things tech, specifically infrastructure.

Photo of Lauren McCarthy

Lauren McCarthy


Lauren McCarthy is a technical program manager at DigitalOcean, where she helps teams with program delivery and project management practices for the organization. Lauren is a lover of snow, wine, and potato chips.