Infoblox delivers nonstop DNS

Information technology managers struggling to maintain complex network identity infrastructures could get some relief from new appliances and software that Infoblox released this month. The products are designed to keep crucial Domain Name System (DNS) services running smoothly.

Network identity infrastructure services such as DNS and Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) store and deliver vital information about users, devices and policies to network devices and applications.

Because those software services run on general-purpose servers and are managed piecemeal on enterprise networks, tracking changes and software updates and making sure all the services are always available can be daunting. Servers running those services are also susceptible to denial-of-service and other cyberattacks.

To address the challenges, Infoblox has introduced two new hardware platforms: Infoblox-1000 and Infoblox-1200. The company also released an enhanced version of the Infoblox network identity operating system; the DNSone Version 3 network module, which provides integrated DNS and DHCP services; and the optional Keystone distributed virtual services module, which enables collections of distributed appliances to be linked together into secure grids.

Because the Infoblox operating system runs on an appliance, it is hardened and more secure than commercial operating systems that run on general-purpose servers, said Dan Mather, a senior systems engineer at a U.S. intelligence agency whose name he could not disclose for security reasons. The Infoblox operating system also simplifies the process of updating or making DNS changes across the agency's expanse of wide-area and local-area networks, Mather said. The agency has been using Infoblox products for three years.

"We had 12 DNS servers, and trying to keep them running was running us ragged," he said. With the latest enhancements, Mather's team members can make DNS changes on a group of appliances through one console. Previously, they had to apply updates to a master appliance and then to other appliances. Additionally, when they make DNS changes, the appliance automatically updates the DHCP services.

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