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New Infoblox Appliance Manages Flood Of DNS Queries On Networks

Network infrastructure services management vendor Infoblox is introducing a new appliance that handles domain name server (DNS) queries five times faster than legacy systems can. The Infoblox-4010 is designed to handle the explosion of DNS queries as more devices, including smartphones and tablet computers, seek access to corporate and service provider networks and more IP addresses are being created.

The 4010 can deliver as many as 200,000 DNS queries per second, and when a number of the appliances are arrayed in a grid formation--and managed by the Infoblox Trinzic Multi-Grid Manager--it can handle 3 billion DNS queries per second and 5 billion dynamic host control protocol (DHCP) queries per day. The grid layout in this example is 50 grids of 250 appliances, all linked together, the company says.

Demand for a faster appliance is driven by the proliferation of devices on a network that have their own IP addresses and the number of queries involved in performing some common network access transactions, says Kevin Dickson, Infoblox’s VP of product management. Someone checking his or her email involves eight DNS queries, finding a map involves seven, updating two mobile applications requires 16, visiting Facebook takes 24 queries, and starting an Apple iPhone for the first time involves 36 queries, he says. Downloading the various components of a Web page or application requires multiple DNS queries, which is why people see a Web page or app slowly building itself on the screen.

The 4010 appliance is designed to keep pace with demand for DNS queries from a variety of devices, particularly mobile devices that are owned personally by employees for work, Dickson says, citing industry figures of 110 million iPhones on the market and a forecast of 441 million tablet computers to be sold in the next five years. "These devices all use core network services, they need IP addresses, and they create traffic which generates DNS queries. The network, as it stands today, just isn’t ready for the numbers [of devices] that are coming online," he says.

The 4010 supports three main network protocols: DNS, DHCP and Internet Protocol Address Management (IPAM). Infoblox calls its technology "active DDI," which is derived from the first letter of each of those acronyms, Dickson says.

Legacy DNS and DHCP services run on industry-standard BIND software on generic servers. That solution requires significant capital expense and ongoing maintenance costs. It is also unreliable and has limited performance and scalability. Technology such as the Infoblox-4010 offers the automation, performance and scalability to consistently deliver increasingly critical network services, Dickson says. "These core network services, if they don’t work, the networks don’t operate properly and it’s as simple as planes don’t fly and cash machines don’t give money out," he says.

The Infoblox appliance handles DNS, DHCP and IPAM more effectively than existing solutions and those of some competitors, says Zeus Kerravala, principal analyst at ZK Research. It also supports the new IPv6 numbering system for IP addresses, which is the successor to IPv4 addresses. IPv4 addresses are quickly running out.

"Infoblox has better scalability, automation and real-time control versus BlueCat [Networks] and the other solution providers in this space. I thought the 4010 announcement evolves this market in a direction that is consistent with the current IT trends," such as the consumerization of IT, Keravalla says.

The Infoblox-4010 is available now at a starting price of $99,995 in the United States and $119,995 in the EMEA and Asia Pacific regions.

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