Neustar, Inc. and OpenDNS today announced the implementation of a Neustar-sponsored initiative that will provide near-real time updating of the Domain Name System (DNS) across the Internet, utilizing Neustar databases to form the DNS Real-time Directory. This provides a centralized cloud-based system that allows Neustar customers and participating providers to publish DNS modifications in real time to participating ISPs and recursive service providers, creating a better experience for Internet users around the world.
Neustar, a provider of managed authoritative DNS services (through its UltraDNS service line), and OpenDNS, a leading recursive DNS service provider, identified the need for a better process for updating the DNS, which is critical to the performance and security of the Internet. Under the current process, enterprises and domain owners, who maintain the authoritative DNS records, are constrained by a 'waiting period' known as DNS Time to Live (TTL) before the recursive DNS records cached within the ISPs' infrastructures are updated. The often sluggish pace of these DNS updates plagues customers of both companies on a daily basis.
Since the inception of the Internet, documented online outages have exposed a glaring need for a fundamental change to this approach. In recent months, large service providers — as well as entire countries — have been completely unavailable to Internet users for periods of time due to errors in ISPs' DNS memory or cache. While the fixes were identified and made immediately, the corrections were subject to inherent caching rules, and therefore could not be propagated until the TTL expired.
"We were pleased to work with Neustar on this initiative," said David Ulevitch, founder and chief technical officer of OpenDNS. "Collaborating with Neustar means OpenDNS is now not only one of the largest recursive DNS services on the planet, but also the most up-to-date. Neustar provides a world-class authoritative DNS service. OpenDNS provides a world-class recursive DNS service. We look forward to other service providers adopting the DNS Real-time Directory as the standard for real-time updates."
The DNS Real-time Directory makes disaster recovery easier, faster and more flexible, as it facilitates instant updates to DNS entries and IP addressing in the wake of an outage. By speeding up the time it normally takes to acknowledge updates to the Internet's infrastructure, the DNS Real-time Directory represents a significant step forward in the way web-savvy organizations manage change.
"For decades, the Internet community has known that while DNS caching provides enhanced network performance and stability, it also introduces complexities and vulnerabilities into the Domain Name System," said Sean Leach, senior director of technology at Neustar. "With Neustar's DNS Real-time Directory, DNS changes and corrections can be propagated immediately throughout the Internet using a centralized, cloud-based directory infrastructure for the first time ever."
"Delays in Domain Name System updates have long frustrated service provider and enterprise IT decision makers alike," added Dan Golding, vice president and research director at Tier 1 Research. "DNS delays result in thousands of 'Internet brownouts' every year as organizations change their email services, bring up new web sites, or move locations. This new, collaborative real-time DNS update system is an incredibly useful addition to the evolving Domain Name System."
Over the coming weeks, additional providers and subscribers will be added to drive adoption of the DNS Real-time Directory; interested participants are invited to contact Neustar at firstname.lastname@example.org. Neustar also will create software clients that integrate with all popular recursive DNS server software including ISC BIND, Unbound and PowerDNS; the Neustar software clients will be released under an open source license.
For more information on the DNS Real-time initiative and innovation, visit www.ultradns.com/dnsrealtime.
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