A future-ready network needs to support edge computing

Mark E. Mikhail

January 9, 2020

If the last decade has taught us anything, there’s not much we can predict. At one point, we even thought 4.2 billion IP addresses would be enough. Sorry, IPv4.

What we do know for certain is that users will continue to want a better and faster experience. Pressure will continue to build on IT to deliver – or catch up. This requires a resilient and agile network that ideally doesn’t break the bank: a future-ready network.

Let me introduce you to the service point: BlueCat’s unique way of delivering DNS services.

Service points are a lightweight way to deliver DNS services anywhere and everywhere. They sit at the first hop of all DNS queries, providing faster real-time service delivery. Service points are managed, monitored, and automatically updated from the cloud with no operational overhead.

If you’re wondering how to prepare your organization for the next decade of technology, consider how the Domain Name System (DNS) is deployed on your network. It’s become more than the internet’s phone book.

Are you using a free DNS? Or are you confined by rigid boxes that keep your business in the past? Let’s talk about how service points are essential for any future your business will have, including Gartner’s SASE model or NetOps 2.0 framework.

Have the flexibility to deploy DNS services however you wish

With traditional DDI vendors, businesses are restricted to deploying a centralized DNS service at the network core. It doesn’t complement IT’s cloud-based initiatives or a move to the ITaaS model. More compute is moving to the edge. It’s transforming how end users access IT services. DNS needs to be deployed where the service is needed – at branch locations, in the cloud, and with DevOps teams.

The flexibility that service points offer means DNS isn’t limited to the network core. It can also be deployed in cloud. Service points offer the flexibility to deploy DNS services anywhere on the network – in the data center, branch or remote offices, and in the cloud. It puts the power back in the hands of the business to decide. By contrast, a traditional, centralized DNS increases network latency, negatively impacting everyone’s experience on the network.

Pay for what you use, instead of paying for what you might use

Every IT organization has to support the unpredictable business needs at a predictable cost. The way to do this with traditional DNS vendors is to purchase as many servers as you might need for the highest usage period, plus a buffer on top of that. The reality is that most businesses only use a fraction of their max capacity on a day-to-day basis, with seasonal peak periods. Buying, maintaining, and refreshing hardware just for those seasonal peaks ends up being a costly way to ensure your business is well equipped.

Since service points are deployed on virtual machines, businesses do not need to “invest” in hardware that’ll collect dust. DNS servers can easily be spun up as needed then decommissioned just as quick on virtual machines. Service points are designed for businesses to reap the benefits of the SaaS model.

Maximize your ROI on DNS

In a world where IT leaders need to demonstrate the value of their investments, every dollar counts. Many DNS vendors have a one-dimensional DNS solution. If you want additional features, an investment in more servers is required. The traditional solution is not very budget friendly.

In addition to providing DNS, service points are designed to deliver additional capabilities with ease. As mentioned before, they are deployed on virtual machines. It means when network teams want to use a feature, it simply needs to be turned on like “DNS settings”. Businesses can quickly configure and deploy features, saving them on expensive hardware and time to production.

A service point’s location as the first hop also allows for a variety of innovative capabilities. From collecting data for network analytics, applying security policies to internal and external traffic, facilitating internal traffic steering or direct internet access, and load balancing, all of this and more is possible because of a service point’s strategic location on the network. As a result, IT can maintain, automate, and secure DNS, and as a result, the network with one solution.

Stop maintaining physical hardware on a vendor’s schedule

Traditional DNS vendors set a rigorous schedule for hardware updates that their customers must adhere to. While updating physical servers isn’t necessarily the problem, it’s the price tag the upgrades come with. These updates tend to be expensive, mandatory every few years, and disruptive to IT operations.

Service points are built on virtual machines and cloud managed, which simplify the software update cycle. Updates happen in the background, on a continuous basis. The internal manpower required for maintenance is reduced because we take care of the updates. This helps IT run a leaner operation and eliminates expensive hardware updates.

Read to learn more? Check out this video on how service points automate and secure your network.

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Mark is a Senior Product Marketing Manager at BlueCat Networks.

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