BlueCat Networks Adonis DNS Management Server 2.0

BlueCat Networks upgrades its Adonis DNS Management Server with faster queries, improved security and a more organized interface.

February 27, 2004

3 Min Read
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Speedier Queries

After downloading the necessary update files and a new Java Runtime Engine to our client, we upgraded the client via a "one-button" install and easily imported our old version 1.2.8 config data. Although we couldn't test the new server code, we've gone through this exercise with Adonis code patches and have yet to experience a problem.

Once you've upgraded the client, SSL is used to securely push the server software to all Adonis appliances in your environment. The push upgrades the appliances simultaneously, rebooting the servers sequentially to avoid any mishap. We're disappointed that there's still no Macintosh client, but you can run it on Linux, Solaris or Windows.

BlueCat says the upgraded hardware will process 20,000 queries per second, compared with the previous version's 8,000 queries per second. In last year's test, we produced 2,000 to 6,000 queries per second on the 1.2.8 box, for a maximum of 518.4 million queries per day. Most shops will never reach this ceiling.

BlueCat Networks Adonis DNS Management Server 2.0

click to enlarge

Taking a cue from ApplianSys' DNSBox300, Adonis offers an optional 1-GB flash drive in place of a 40-GB disk. We like solid-state components--fewer moving parts.The revamped interface provides a more organized view of your zones. Servers are on the left of the screen, with zone data by group indented by tree for each server. Everything related to a particular zone is in the right pane and accessible through a tabbed interface, improving the previous version's laundry list of options.

Version 2.0's management tools let you preview the effects of enabling or disabling zones, showing all impacted dependencies. The tools also let you create live configurations, which serve only DNS data for prepared zones. Shops that experience a lot change, such as testing and hosting environments, will appreciate the expanded features.



ADONIS DNS MANAGEMENT SERVER 2.0, starts at $9,995. BlueCat Networks, (866) 895-6931, (905) 882-5691.

BlueCat has made automated error-checking, one of our favorite Adonis features, even better. As you enter data, the user interface flags errors, like duplicate record names and invalid CNAME records, so you can fix fat-finger typos on the fly.

Keeping It Safe

Security has been improved, thanks to jailed BIND. The name-server daemon (already limited by running under nonroot privileges) executes on the Adonis server inside a jailed environment, reducing accessible resources and preventing bad guys from gaining root access in event of a compromised daemon.

Version 2.0 also supports standard BIND 9 views, letting you configure a single-name server to return a different response based on who performs the query. This, in turn, lets you serve multiple versions of the same zone data from one Adonis.

Bottom line: Adonis' upgrade keeps the product at the top of the league. Existing customers will like the improvements, and we still recommend this platform as our DNS appliance of choice for any shop that can justify the $9,995 price tag.Joe Hernick is an IT director with a Fortune 500 firm; he has 12 years of consulting and project-management experience in data and telecom. Dean Ellerton is the director of technology for a private New England boarding school. Write to them at [email protected].

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