The Men & Mice Blog

Greg Fazekas

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The Future of DNS Management. The DNS Management of the Future.

Posted by Greg Fazekas on 5/25/18 9:50 AM

 

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Streamlining network management (bringing together on-premise DNS, DHCP, and IPAM with multi-vendor cloud DNS and IPAM, compatibly) is more important than ever. Cloud-based systems and the rapid expansion of digitally connected IoT are driving infrastructure growth. It’s especially important for companies to have full visibility, authority and control across public, private, and hybrid networks.

The foundational technologies of DNS operations have stayed largely the same. DNS management, however, has changed and adapted - and keeps changing and adapting--  to meet the new challenges of business services and growth.

Centralizing the decentralization of DNS

As enterprise IT moves to the cloud, it creates the necessity to have effective DNS and IPAM in the cloud as well. Importantly, it’s also necessary to have cohesive communication and oversight between both on and offsite environments to maintain uptime, smooth network functionality and prevent vulnerabilities.

But making the switch to hybrid and migrating to the cloud can have its challenges, especially for those who already made significant investments in on-prem hardware and software, have numerous established DNS zones or who have large networks that they would need to bulk migrate. Further, navigating legal compliances across multiple geographic zones and ensuring data security at every connection point adds to the hurdles that companies face in maintaining, scaling, and updating their networks.

Men & Mice knows a thing or two about these changing infrastructure needs and has been focused on creating solutions that simplify complex environments for nearly 30 years. Our software not only helps companies effectively manage existing DNS and IPAM needs, but adapts to meet future needs as networks scale. Our overlay network management solution, the Men & Mice Suite, provides customers with unprecedented stability, performance and scalability.

Future of DNS and IPAM in the Cloud: A modular overlay solution

Flexibility and scalability require a multi-platform solution where the same automation can drive DNS deployment no matter if it’s with AWS, Azure, NS1, Dyn, Akamai or something else. It also needs to effectively managing complex networks by eliminating visibility gaps between traditionally different deployments in public cloud and on-premise private configurations.

Our xDNS Redundancy streamlines DNS management across multiple service provider platforms, helping to mitigate DDoS attacks and other forms of DNS failure by providing centralized management of critical DNS services.

Men & Mice Suite offers consolidated views in a unified console, secure monitoring and integrated management of all network spaces across platforms and on-premises, in the cloud, or in hybrid or multi-cloud environments. Additionally, authorized administrators are allowed to make changes directly through the Men & Mice Suite, with its robust access control, ensuring they can only change entries that belong to them.

Men & Mice has been at the forefront of network management for almost as long as there were networks to manage. We’ve been creating DNS, DHCP, and IPAM solutions for decades for on-premise networks and have evolved our software solutions to cater to the growing needs of network administrators tasked with managing cloud-based DNS and IPAM.

See you at Cisco Live!

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We love the theme of this year’s Cisco Live: IT that informs, connects, predicts and enables.It embodies the principles of the Men & Mice Suite. We'll be in Orlando, Florida from 10-14 June, to showcase the next generation of DNS and IPAM solutions for those overseeing the staggering number of IPs that comprise today’s DNS infrastructures. Visit us at booth 1113 to learn more.

Topics: Monitoring, Redundant DNS, External DNS, hybrid network

Topics: Redundant DNS, DNS redundancy, External DNS, hybrid cloud, hybrid network

Everything’s changed in DNS. Nothing’s different in DNS.

Posted by Greg Fazekas on 5/10/18 7:56 AM

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The history of DNS (Domain Name System) starts with the earliest of early networked systems: ARPANET. DNS has often been characterized as the “phone book” for the internet — that analogy was, of course, invented  in an era where phonebooks were a thing.

It may be more fitting to liken it to a phone company switchboard. Even in the earliest days of ARPANET, however, the required communication was to send an email to Stanford Research Institute at Stanford University, where the hosts.txt file was maintained, to get a new Hostname into the list. Then, all Internet hosts updated the hosts.txt file twice a week via FTP file transfer. Twice a week... by FTP!

Interesting fact: whatever platform you’re using, chances are you can find a hostsfile somewhere on your computer. This is a remnant of the early ARPANET days. Back then, a simple static text file controlled the entirety of the network.

The Making of a Network (a.k.a. “everything has changed”)

As the networks grew, the need to wait became cumbersome, if not unbearable. Business was increasingly conducted outside of bank hours, and computers were moving data faster for us. So, why not use computing to handle IP assignments as well?

In 1983, the standard for DNS was accepted by the ARPANET community. By 1984, at UC Berkeley, we saw the advent of "Open Source" Berkeley Unix Distribution (BSD) and ported TCP/IP to Unix, making Unix a networked OS (under a DARPA grant) resulting in the first version of the Berkeley Internet Name Domain (BIND). To this day BIND serves as the de facto DNS software of the internet.

Thereafter, the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) was founded, and with it came new formal processes that have shaped the backend of the internet as we know it today.

Fast Forward To Now (a.k.a. “nothing’s different”)

You may be thinking: that’s interesting and all, but what does that have to do with my DNS network?

Well:  DNS hasn’t changed much in the last 4 decades. Of course, the explosive growth of the internet has changed the ways we map, scale and secure our networks. But the fundamental operating principles of DNS haven’t changed since its inception-- it’s still the switchboard of the internet. Instead of humans making a request through email, however, systems can call on DNS services, any time of day, to assign a multitude of IP addresses at a time.

The introduction of IPv6 (which has yet to be fully realized), and the dawn of cloud computing and IoT (Internet of Things) brought  significantly increased device requests and IP traffic.However, all that has not changed what DNS does; rather only how it does it.

We’ve Seen It Change and Stay the Same

DNS has changed very little; but the way we utilize it changed immensely. We've seen it: since the 1990’s, Men & Mice has serviced enterprise companies with DNS, DHCP and IPAM solutions.

We proactively evolve our overlay network management solutions to meet the needs of enterprise customers, and now high growth IoT companies as well. (Note: the two are not mutually exclusive.)

We are working with perhaps the most fundamental building (scaling) block of the internet. Our expertise is focused on the importance of adaptation. Network infrastructures have become hybrid, or have moved to the cloud completely. Multitudes of DNS services and environments have come to market introducing greater choices, but also complexities for network managers.

Men & Mice and the future of DNS

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Men & Mice has evolved its DNS, DHCP and IPAM solutions to cater to these changing environments. We adapted to become more flexible, so that the networks of our clients can migrate across network vendors easier. We created a  unified network management console to manage, in one place, all of the diverse platforms that make up a company’s network.

We’ve introduced new services such as xDNS in 2017 to help companies manage all external DNS. Likewise, we added deeper functionality with Microsoft Azure and Azure DNS for Microsoft customers with large domain portfolios.

We’ve streamlined our sales and customer journey processes, to reflect the same ease of use customers experience in our software solutions. Get a Live Demo directly from our website, for example.

We continue to offer some of the most sought-after training courses for companies and individuals who wish to learn or sharpen their understanding of DNS, enabling them to significantly increase expertise levels across their teams.

Meet our team

Join us in Berlin on May 15th, for a special event with the Embassy of Iceland in Germany. We will discuss the “State of Network Management” and the new challenges of DNS, DHCP and IPAM.

Or, meet us at Managed Service Hosting Summit, Cisco Live, Microsoft Inspire,VMWorld and Microsoft Ignite in the coming months.

Interesting fact: Bob Metcalfe, who invented the standard of the ethernet, predicted in 1995 that the internet would collapse in a year. He  also envisioned an end to wireless technologies, and that computers would stay wired.To his credit, he did — as per his promise — eat his words, literally, after none of those things happened.

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Topics: TechEd, DDI, DNS