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David Coffey
Posted by
David Coffey on
April 6, 2023

Charting the path forward for NS1 and IBM

NS1 is now an IBM company. Everything customers love about it - reliability, rock-solid operations, and innovative features - will continue to thrive under IBM’s leadership.

It’s official: NS1 is now an IBM company.

Since IBM’s intent to acquire NS1 was first announced at the end of February, we’ve been actively reaching out to our customers and listening to what you have to say. As always, we appreciate the constructive responses from executive sponsors, hands-on-keyboard DNS administrators, business partners, and more. You’re the reason we’re in this business, and our goal remains the same: to drive your network forward with DNS that does more.

Now that the transaction is complete, I’d like to provide some further details about what the path forward looks like. It’s still early, and I expect that as we delve deeper into the integration process there will be updates. Yet the broad outlines of IBM’s plan for NS1 are clear, and address many of the questions we’ve been hearing from our customers.

IBM’s strategic vision for NS1

IBM acquired NS1 as a strategic component of its IT and Network Automation business unit. Thus, NS1 will join the IBM Software team as part of the larger network automation portfolio, which also includes solutions like IBM Cloud Pak for Network Automation for zero-touch network automation; IBM Edge Application Manager for managing devices and applications at the edge; and IBM SevOne Network Performance Management for comprehensive network performance management.

With the acquisition, IBM is adding core networking services, including NS1’s Managed DNS capabilities, to its growing portfolio of network automation software.

NS1 brings critical capabilities to this effort:

  • NS1’s global network of PoPs provides massive scale, lightning-fast performance, and proven reliability to IBM’s development effort. This infrastructure will play a key role in establishing the reach of IBM’s network orchestration offering.

  • NS1’s filter chains and advanced traffic steering functionality deliver proven value to enterprise customers. IBM is looking to build on this foundation by expanding the scope of our traffic steering technology and applying it to new use cases.

  • NS1’s foundational work on zero-trust, intent-driven traffic steering will also play a key part in building a network orchestration layer with robust security capabilities. IBM’s longer-term vision will also leverage these capabilities for network segmentation, particularly in the telecommunications sector.

All this to say, the very things our customers love about NS1 - its reliability, rock-solid operational model, and innovative feature set - will continue to thrive under IBM’s leadership. IBM is excited to tap NS1’s core strengths in continuing support of our customers.

Future expansions of NS1’s DNS service could include new functional areas - multi-cloud, zero-trust, AI-driven automation. We believe that there’s significant customer value that DNS can unlock in these areas.

As many of our customers know, we recently completed a significant transition of back-end systems. The goal of this effort was to lay the foundation for additional efficiency, reliability, and scale while increasing the pace of feature delivery. In this context, the infusion of IBM resources comes at the ideal time, supercharging our capabilities to lead our product in exciting new ways that can deliver concrete value to customers.

What to expect

Customer success and support

We plan to continue executing on our core product vision and focus (as ever) on delivering value for our customers through a reliable, high-performing, network with robust security. Our customer success team will remain focused on supporting day-to-day challenges as well as addressing strategic needs.

Sales and contracts

Our sales and contracting motions will likely be the first area where NS1 customers will see some incremental changes. As we integrate ourselves into IBM’s business processes, you should be able to purchase NS1 from a wider variety of partners and sales channels. If you’re already an IBM customer, we plan to make it easy to fold NS1 into contracting vehicles you may have in place. We’ll remain in close contact with our customers and keep everyone apprised as the business-side changes come into focus.

10th Anniversary celebration and the Customer Advisory Board

This June will mark the 10th anniversary of NS1. We’re gearing up to celebrate this milestone with our customers in grand style, celebrating NS1’s impact on the industry. IBM’s upcoming Think conference will offer an additional opportunity for customers to hear directly from IBM executives about their strategic vision.

We’re planning a series of events and fun activities to highlight the achievements of the amazing network teams who have partnered with us over the years. We also plan to use this occasion to revive our Customer Advisory Board, creating a forum for dialogue that advances our commitment to customer-focused innovation.

A personal note

I’m excited about the opportunities that lay ahead for NS1 and its customers. The sheer scale of IBM’s resource base, technical expertise, and most importantly their commitment to groundbreaking innovation will inject new energy into everything NS1 has been trying to accomplish. With IBM’s help, we’ll continue to push the boundaries of what DNS can accomplish and help drive immense value for our customers in the process.

You may have noticed that we recently changed NS1’s marketing tag line to “DNS that does more”. This idea is a perfect encapsulation of how IBM will bring NS1 into its larger IT and network automation vision. We all know that DNS forms the foundation of every network. IBM is going to leverage that foundational layer to deliver the multi-cloud, zero trust, automation-driven future our customers strive for.

With your continued support and collaboration, I’m looking forward to the journey ahead.

Statements regarding IBM and NS1’s future direction and intent are subject to change or withdrawal without notice and represent goals and objectives only.