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Nominum CEO: Commercial vs. Open Source - Let Customers Choose

"In the last decade, DNS query load, the nature of attacks on the DNS, the complexity of DNS traffic and, most importantly, the role of the DNS has changed astronomically. In light of this change, many network operators have demanded specialized security and other functions beyond what is contained in open source solutions."
Tom Tovar, CEO, Nominum
A recent ZDNet article and some of the subsequent commentary may have confused the industry about Nominum's position on open source. I'd like to clarify that position.

Nominum has always believed in a constructive and useful role for open source software and tools, and indeed relies on some of them (Linux, Apache, Perl, Python, etc.) as part of our day to day business. Some of these solutions are the de facto standard for their particular function. Nominum has also contributed to open source DNS development, such as BIND 9. We also still host the 2nd most popular and one of the oldest mirrors for BIND, helping all users and other mirrors get new releases and patches of that platform. BIND, under the leadership of Paul Vixie at the ISC, has served the Internet community for over 20 years.

Nonetheless, many of the world's largest networks, including 100 of the world's largest Internet service providers, have chosen Nominum's commercial DNS software for their critical networks. The reason for this is simple. Operators of these networks have found that Nominum's software provides higher performance, better security, and a more robust, manageable and resilient platform than alternatives. Our solutions also require fewer upgrades and fewer patches than alternatives to stay secure; a benefit that reduces operational costs. Today, Nominum serves nearly half of wireline broadband subscribers worldwide, a feat accomplished by replacing alternative DNS solutions. Our strong belief in our offerings is influenced by real world experiences of saving the largest networks that relied on alternative solutions in crises.

Our commercial DNS products were architected after the age-of-trust on the Internet was over. So, we built-in every security mechanism we could imagine and have added more in successive releases. We will continue to do so, leveraging the best ideas and innovations to protect users and networks. And, we believe that our emphasis on a trusted Internet experience and the specialization of our solutions has allowed our DNS software to remain more secure with fewer updates than other solutions, a fact that is appreciated by our customers.

In the last decade, DNS query load, the nature of attacks on the DNS, the complexity of DNS traffic and, most importantly, the role of the DNS has changed astronomically. In light of this change, many network operators have demanded specialized security and other functions beyond what is contained in open source solutions. These same networks have begun to look to the DNS as more than a basic query-response function and started to require policy-based functions in the DNS itself to improve the Internet. In today's Internet, the DNS is embraced as an effective technology to improve the user experience and provide protections, not just by keeping the Internet alive but by actually getting involved in the active protection and usefulness of it.

SKYE™ combines all of the benefits of cloud-based services with Nominum’s expertise in large scale broadband network design and operations.We recognize that while most of the largest service providers run Nominum software, there are other carriers, cable operators and enterprises for whom the purchase of our DNS software is a challenge or who require a hosted solution for DNS and associated applications. These networks are starting to demand added protection and policy-based controls from the DNS and are increasingly turning to Nominum to provide the solution. That's why we launched SKYE, a cloud- based service, which allows these networks to take advantage of our technology rather easily.

BIND and other open source DNS products will continue to be used for the foreseeable future in certain networks. BIND's continued development at the ISC under the leadership of Paul Vixie makes a key contribution to the Internet. However, we also believe that as the Internet continues to grow and evolve, more networks will turn to Nominum. With our launch of SKYE, all network owners now have the added choice of hosted, commercial, carrier-grade DNS solutions for their networks and users. That is our latest important contribution to the industry and the market.

Written by Tom C. Tovar, Chief Executive Officer of Nominum, Inc.

About Nominum

Nominum

Nominum is the innovation leader in DNS software and Internet Activity Applications. The company's Vantio™ CacheServe software powers the Internet for the world's largest CSPs in 40 countries. Vantio™ ThreatAvert software arms CSP's with the power to stop the spread of inside threats such as botnets and DNS-based DDoS amplification attacks that could impact network availability and reputation. Nominum's N2 applications enable CSP's marketing and customer care teams to leverage subscribers' Internet Activity to better engage, build brand loyalty, improve marketing ROI, and open up new business models. Nominum is a global organization headquartered in Redwood City, CA. (Learn More)

Related topics: Access Providers, DNS, Security

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