Open-source software is used by large and small enterprises alike. The allure of open source software is obvious - it is free. Developers and IT engineers can start using the software almost instantaneously and there’s no need for any higher authority in the organization to sign a check.
This has been the case with BIND. BIND, Berkeley Internet Name Domain, was originally designed at the University of Berkeley in the early 1980s. Given this distinguished heritage, BIND is widely used by many organizations. It is known for predictable and stable operations and provides robust table stakes DNS functionality.
Nonetheless, BIND being a product of its time has outlived its usefulness. Let’s take a look at three crucial IT modernization elements that Network Engineers need to embrace yet are not supported by BIND.
What’s missing in BIND?
1. Network Automation:
Network automation underpins transformation efforts by increasing efficiency and agility. According to Gartner, “organizations that automate more than 70% of their network change activities will reduce the number of outages by at least 50% and delivery services to business constituents 50% faster.” Automation provides the following benefits:
- Time and cost savings as well as reduction or even complete elimination of manual errors, which prevents outages;
- Provide a repeatable, consistent configuration
- Provide a means to version control and document changes to your DNS environment and;
- Frees you from performing mundane, repetitive tasks allowing you to focus on strategic IT initiatives that fuel growth.
APIs - application programming interfaces - power automation initiatives. APIs are the mechanism to program and automate your networks. NS1 provides a robust and comprehensive set of APIs for DNS, DHCP, and IP Address Management resulting in an 85% reduction in DNS maintenance by our customers.
In contrast, BIND does not have any APIs, which prevents enterprises from implementing any form of automation. Even simple operations such as modifying a DNS record has to be executed manually.
2. DevOps Integration:
The adoption of DevOps has been on the rise over the last few years. DevOps is a portmanteau of Development and Operations. It’s a set of processes, tools and above all, a culture that fosters collaboration between development and operations teams at every stage of the product lifecycle - from design through the development process to production operations. Rather than working in silos where development issues code to an operations team, these teams work together in a seamless fashion to deliver the following benefits:
- Faster delivery of features and adoption of continuous integration/continuous delivery processes;
- More stable environments with lower failure rates and faster recovery times from failures;
- Reduced reliance on Network Operations teams by Developers to complete routine tasks and;
- Improved communication and collaboration resulting in higher productivity and velocity for the business.
Continuous Integration/Continuous Development (CI/CD) is an important DevOps practice. It entails merging code into a common repository at a regular cadence, executing builds/tests and then releasing the code to production in an automated fashion. This drastically reduces the time taken to release new features, bug fixes and updates to customers. BIND does not integrate with any DevOps toolkits. NS1 integrates with a variety of powerful CI/CD toolkits such as Ansible and Terraform used widely by DevOps teams and also provides Roles Based Access Controls, which gives developers autonomy to make DNS updates on their own, rather than relying on a DNS team. One of NS1’s large, global gaming customers reduced their code deployment time by over 95% by integrating NS1 into their CI/CD pipeline. Deployment time went down from days to minutes.
3. Advanced Traffic Steering:
Intelligent traffic routing plays a vital role in ensuring the performance, availability, and reliability of applications and can help optimize network costs. While BIND is limited to round-robin traffic distribution, NS1 ingests real-time data from networks, load balancers, and monitoring tools and uses this data and more than a dozen variables to route traffic (on a region-by-region basis). Consider the following scenarios in which advanced traffic steering impacts business outcomes:
- Availability: Ensure application and network availability by routing traffic around congestion and away from non-functioning servers to ones that are running and operational
- Performance: Improve performance by steering traffic based on:
- Real-time network latency;
- Load shedding and;
- Cost of delivery: Lower costs by routing traffic to CDNs and servers that cost less
- IT Efficiency: Reduce the number of tickets and problems by using real-time data from networks, load balancers, and monitoring tools to allocate workloads across different servers
NS1’s patented point and click filter chain technology empowers network engineers to shape traffic based on load, capacity, cost of resources (CDNs), location, weights, and availability. For instance, our customers who use multiple CDNs that are deployed worldwide save over $2M per year by routing traffic among them based on real-time performance and cost.
Accelerate Innovation with NS1
DNS is the bedrock of your network. As you undertake digital transformation initiatives to deliver new capabilities and stay ahead of the competition, you need a modern solution. NS1 allows you to scale network services in seconds, put an end to manual tasks and speed up deployments by over 90%. NS1 is here to help you on this journey to migrate from open-source DNS to a next-generation application networking stack. Please let us know how we can help and we will promptly reach out to you.