Infoblox adds Anycast support to DNS appliances

Additional enhancements include improved IP address management, stronger security

Infoblox, a leading provider of domain name system appliances, now supports Anycast, a mirroring technique that has proven itself against some of the fiercest hacker attacks ever aimed at the Internet’s infrastructure.

Infoblox sells appliances that handle core network services, including DNS for naming, Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) for IP addressing and Remote Authentication Dial-In User Service (RADIUS) for authentication.

In addition to announcing Anycast support, Infoblox on Monday detailed several other enhancements to its software, including improved IP address management, stronger security and tighter integration with Alcatel/Lucent’s VitalQIP.

The vendor also announced a new high-end hardware appliance aimed at enterprise data centers and service providers.

Infoblox officials say they are the first DNS appliance manufacturer to support Anycast. However, other DNS software applications including Alcatel/Lucent’s VitalQIP and Nominum’s Authoritative Name Server support the mirroring technique.

Infoblox is upgrading the hardware and software capacity of its appliances to keep up with the increasing amount of traffic that customers are experiencing for DNS, DHCP and other core network services, officials say.

“Core network services are being stressed harder and becoming more interdependent,” says Richard Kagan, vice president of marketing for Infoblox. Kagan says such applications as mobility and VoIP and such new devices as IP phones and cameras are driving the need for higher-capacity appliances.

“We’re definitely finding that there is a lot more interest in customers . . . doubling up on systems to make high-availability pairs,” Kagan says. “Customers are using four, six, eight appliances to make sure they have resilience.”

With Anycast, DNS appliances can be mirrored in many distributed locations around the globe but retain a single IP address. Queries are routed to the closest available DNS appliance.

Anycast recently proved successful against a distributed denial-of-service attack lobbed at three of the 13 DNS root servers. DNS experts say it is one of the ways for corporate network managers to enhance the reliability of their DNS systems.

All Infoblox appliances now support Anycast, which is a simple way of improving network redundancy. The new software is available as a no-cost upgrade to current customers with support contracts.

For corporations that need really high-performance DNS services, the new Infoblox 2000 supports 75,000 DNS queries per second and can support a grid with hundreds of geographically distributed appliances. The appliance has a one-click disaster recovery feature as well as fully redundant disk, power and fans. It will be available in March for $47,995.

The other Infoblox appliances range in price from $4,995 for an entry-level appliance 550 to $14,995 for a 155X.

“The Infoblox 2000 is the highest-performing appliance on the market today,” Kagan says. “The way it’s positioned is that it is roughly three times the capacity and more than two times the performance of our next best appliance.”

Kagan says several retail and financial services firms are testing the Infoblox 2000 to operate very large grids with hundreds of appliances as well as for disaster-recovery sites.

Copyright © 2007 IDG Communications, Inc.

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