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Infoblox Reinforces Virtual Networks For BYOD Era

Infoblox, a vendor of network infrastructure services, is introducing the Infoblox-4010 appliance that handles the rapidly growing demand for domain name server (DNS) and dynamic host configuration protocol (DHCP) requests on enterprise and service provider networks. Such network queries are growing in large part due to the proliferation of portable devices like tablets and smartphones that employees are using on the corporate network. The 4010 also provides automated management of such queries on virtual networks.

One 4010 appliance can deliver as many as 200,000 DNS queries per second, the company said. When the appliances are networked together into grids, performance increases even more. A network of 50 grids of 250 appliances each, managed by the Infoblox Trinzic Multi-Grid Manager, can handle 3 billion DNS queries per second and 5 billion DHCP requests per day.

The Infoblox-4010 is designed to offer improved performance and scalability to handle mounting network traffic in which some of the simplest transaction requires multiple DNS queries, Dickson said. For example, checking e-mail involves eight DNS queries; updating two mobile applications requires 16; visiting Facebook, 24; and starting an Apple iPhone for the first time, 36.

[It's getting harder to hold back the mass of employees who want to bring their own devices to work. Learn seven ways to Survive The BYOD Revolution.]

Virtualization adds another layer of complexity, he added. A virtualization platform, such as from VMware, easily handles the provisioning and deletion of virtual machines on physical servers, but doesn't manage the load balancers adjacent to the servers that need to know when a change is made.

"How do you know when you need to bring up new load balancers? So that's where automation comes into play. Real time visibility and control [provides] the ability to know what's going on," Dickson said.

Infoblox automates the process of managing DNS and DHCP queries with what it calls "active DDI" technology. DDI is a combination of the first letters of the acronyms for DNS, DHCP, and Internet protocol address management (IPAM).

"You don't want to have three groups of people doing separate things. Active DDI replaces automation for repetitive tasks," he said.

The combination of DNS, DHCP, and IPAM management in one appliance earns praise from industry analyst Zeus Kerravala, principal analyst at ZK Research.

"The next wave of IT will be driven by consumerization, which could potentially quadruple the number of end points that an IT department needs to manage. Coupling this trend with IPv6 creates a troubling situation for IT. The historical methods of managing IP addresses, DNS, and DHCP will not scale," Kerravala said.

IPv6 is the successor to IPv4 for assigning new IP addresses, initiated because the number of available IPv4 addresses is nearly exhausted.

Legacy networks handle DNS and DHCP queries using industry standard Berkeley Internet name domain (BIND) software that runs on generic servers. That solution can be costly from capital and operating expense perspectives, is unreliable, and has limited performance and scalability compared to the Infoblox appliance, Dickson said.

Infoblox is pricing the 4010 at $99,995 in the U.S. market and at $119,995 overseas.