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Kris Beevers
Posted by
Kris Beevers on
June 21, 2021

A Wave of Open Source Innovation at NS1 Labs with Orb and NetBox

Last week we announced NS1 Labs, a more formal umbrella to explicitly invest in innovation in foundational networking and application infrastructure technologies. Learn more about Labs, as well as two new exciting investments in open source work.

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At NS1, we’ve never hesitated to pursue new opportunities for innovation at the foundations of the internet. When your technology sits in the stacks of the most innovative companies in the world, new insights and opportunities for even deeper innovation emerge constantly, and we’ve developed a strong reputation at NS1 for pursuing new ideas in foundational infrastructure in close partnership with our customers. That reputation is a huge point of pride for myself and the rest of the NS1 team.

Last week we announced NS1 Labs, a more formal umbrella at NS1 to explicitly invest in innovation in foundational networking and application infrastructure technologies. From NS1’s vantage point, we have a clear view of the next decade in application connectivity, and NS1 Labs is one of the ways we’ll invest to build that future.

In the next few years, applications will continue to drive innovation in foundational networking services. Audiences will become increasingly distributed and dynamic as devices, connectivity options, and mobility explode. And applications themselves will evolve to meet ever more stringent expectations from users, with global, highly dynamic footprints optimized to provide predictably fast and secure application experiences.

Along with NS1 Labs, we also announced two exciting investments in powerful open source technologies aligned with our vision for the future of application and audience connectivity: Orb, a new Dynamic Edge Observability platform developed at NS1, and NetBox, the incredibly popular open source infrastructure resource modeling software with an established, thriving global community.


Orb and its cousin pktvisor are tools we developed at NS1 specifically to solve that problem because no existing technology in the market could meet our needs for real time edge visibility, with dynamic policy, at scalable cost. pktvisor in particular was built to find the needles in the haystack of our gigantic stream of global DNS traffic - millions of queries per second - so we can respond to malicious activity like DDoS attacks on a second to second basis. And it is rock solid - pktvisor has formed the core of our edge observability strategy for more than 5 years. To get notified about new developments with Orb, sign up for email alerts here.

You can also learn more about Orb in my recent blog post: Orb - A New Paradigm for Dynamic Edge Observability.


As we’ve rapidly scaled our enterprise footprint over the last several years, especially with our Enterprise DDI products, one open source project - NetBox - has been mentioned by our customers with increasing frequency and now appears in many of their networks. NetBox was started by Jeremy Stretch while he was building networks at DigitalOcean, and the project turns 5 next week. It’s a fully open-sourced platform for modern network automation and infrastructure resource management, with feature rich, API addressable functionality for IP address management (IPAM), datacenter infrastructure management (DCIM), and more.

We’re excited to have Jeremy on board as Distinguished Engineer, and to invest in NetBox and its community in a way that aligns with its philosophy and values.

You can learn more about our investment in NetBox in my recent blog post: NetBox - Network Automation and Infrastructure Management Powerhouse.

Building the Better Future

I am incredibly proud of the 8 years of innovation at NS1, driven by our visionary engineers. NS1 Labs is an exciting new vehicle for us to accelerate the best new technologies and ideas that align to our mission to connect applications and audiences at the edge, and I’m thrilled for the work our team is doing with Orb, NetBox, and other open source projects in the community. We will always keep investing with our community, our customers, and our team to build the better future!

Learn More about NS1 Labs, Orb, and NetBox at INS1GHTS2021: Build the Better Future

View all the session replays from our one-day virtual event that gathered tech leaders across industries to solve some of the challenges in connecting the world's applications and audiences.

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