The basic digital services DNS, DHCP and IP address management (DDI) are the basis for a functioning network. They, too, are now cloud-based. This not only makes sense, but also improves security. In the classic network architecture, all data is centralized via a data center. In recent years and decades this has not been a problem. But digitization is changing the world of work and with it the flow of data: IoT, work-from-home, SaaS solutions, distributed locations, and much more.
Cause the amount of data to be processed to skyrocket. However, if every single bit and byte has to run through the central data center, this quickly becomes a data transmission bottleneck. Latencies and jitter also have an effectnegatively impact application performance. When locations are located far from headquarters or latency-sensitive applications (such as virtual reality) need to be run, a poor user experience can quickly become a critical disruption to business processes.
However, if companies want to ensure the smooth use of all applications for all locations and employees, reliability must not be neglected. At the same time, the risk of increasing attack surfaces thanks to home office, IoT & Co. and the ever more sophisticated threats must be minimized. This does not require a completely new tool set. Because the basic network services DDI, which are necessary anyway, can be a key for a modern network – if you modernize them and thus create the foundation for a flexible network.
More and more companies are building their entire infrastructure in the cloud – without a traditional central data center. The cloud-first approach not only creates tremendous cost and operational efficiencies, but also ensures reliable data utilization for employees and SaaS users at the network edge. DDI is now also cloud-based to keep up with these developments. The benefit is that local DNS resolution and DHCP services ensure resilience no matter where the site is located. In this way, business operations can be continued with very little downtime if the WAN connection to the headquarters is interrupted.
By intelligently routing data traffic, central cloud-based DDI services also ensure that cloud applications such as Microsoft Office365, Salesforce, Adobe and others function ideally at the edge of the network: instead of connecting to the remote data center, the user connects directly to the nearest point of Presence (PoP) to resolve the request. In comparison to the traditional, central network node, not only is the bottleneck avoided, but the shortest geo-local route is also chosen for the data.
A concrete use case from also shows that cloud-based DDI makes sense in combination with SaaS. Like many other companies, it had previously relied on centralized DNS services. However, as part of the Microsoft Office365 roll-out, the company realized that a local DNS architecture with decentralized internet breakouts would be ideal. In this way, the processing times could be kept low in order to offer an optimal user experience. After extensive testing, the company opted for a virtualized and cloud-based platform that delivers the classic basic network services DNS, DHCP and IP address management (DDI).
At 20 locations, this platform now takes over the creation of a “road map” independently of the head office: The inquiries that go in the direction of the Internet are routed to the Internet – to the nearest point of presence. Alternatively, the internal inquiries are sent to the head office. The queries are cached so that they can be answered directly by the local system the next time. In particular, the implementation of a DDI system at a new location saves an enormous amount of time in this way and only costs about an hour and a half. Once the systems are installed, they are quickly forgotten because they work smoothly and offer an optimal user experience.
With cloud-based DDI, network security is also becoming much more present. With DNS, the “first line of defense” is already integrated in the basic network services. CISOs that implement security at the DNS level thus draw on the resources they already have and can thus effectively uncover their hitherto blind spots in the threat landscape and avert dangers. By using DNS security from the cloud as the basis of network security, companies solve several problems at once: The number of tools needed to defend against cyber threats is reduced. This is because indicators of compromise are intercepted at the DNS level and forwarded to automated threat prevention tools. This also greatly reduces the number of threats that need to be evaluated by Next Generation Firewalls.
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