National Association of Home Builders
Building for the future
The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) is a Washington, D.C. based trade association with a mission to enhance the climate for housing and the building industry. Chief among NAHB’s goals is providing and expanding opportunities for all consumers to have safe, decent and affordable housing. Founded in 1942, NAHB is a federation of more than 800 state and local
associations. About one-third of NAHB’s 225,000 members are home builders and/or remodelers. The remaining members are associates working in closely related fields within the housing industry, such as mortgage finance and building products and services.
Time delayed DNS administration
In addition to its core services, NAHB has a big online presence to support and provide up to date information to its members. To provide members specialized and targeted information, NAHB has been outsourcing DNS administration and hosting of a large number of domain names. Making changes to the DNS records was starting to get cumbersome because of the way the DNS change control was operated.
“On average we would make up to 6 changes a day to the DNS records and would send an email to the DNS administrators requesting any additions, updates or deletions. The main problem was our dependency on the suppliers’ schedule: nothing happened immediately and we would have to spend a lot of time and effort to confirm changes were applied”, explained John Yanekian, Director of Network Services at NAHB.
Propelled by the unnecessary workload generated by their existing solution, NAHB did not want to experiment with a new supplier of outsourced DNS administration solutions. Instead they decided that the best results would be achieved by gaining DNS independence from their hosting supplier and bringing the DNS management in-house.
Easy to use, quick to deliver
Following a recommendation from their IT solutions partner, NAHB selected DNSBOX from ApplianSys. They installed one DNSBOX300 master and two DNSBOX100 dedicated slaves.
DNSBOX is a hardened device, with a purpose-built appliance architecture and built in firewall. There is no network access to the operating system and all unnecessary applications and OS components have been removed. Remote administration on the units is via secure SSL encryption. DNSBOX has no hard disk, eliminating the most common cause of hardware failure. Instead it uses solid state CompactFlash for extra reliability and security. It comes pre-installed, with a simple web based administration interface which means there’s no need to install OS and DNS server software, to patch the software for security vulnerabilities or to acquire and build BIND.
Coming from specialists in the appliance format, DNSBOX has been built to deliver on the key ideals of a true appliance: ‘ease of use’, ‘built in security from the ground up’, ‘lower cost of ownership’ and ‘better reliability and performance’. These were things John Yanekian was looking for from NAHB’s new investment. “When I’m looking for a solution I want something that makes the job easier, DNSBOX does just that. It’s got a great web interface that gives me immediate access to what I want to do, and I don’t have to worry about installation, configuration or operating systems issues”, commented Yanekian.
Bringing DNS in house will pay for itself because we don’t have the ongoing costs of outsourcing it anymore. But for us the biggest return is the amount of time we now save. We were wasting time chasing and waiting for things to be completed but now it’s done immediately”, he added.
For ApplianSys, a strong product is only part of the solution. They believe it should always be backed up with a dedicated support team that is prepared to go the extra mile. John Yanekian knows all about ApplianSys’ passion for what they do: “ApplianSys have been very proactive. When we first got the DNSBOX they called us to make sure we were ok with the install and that we were getting the most out of it. One of their technical team even paid us an adhoc visit just to see how we were getting on long after the solution was in place – that was a real plus,” concluded Yanekian.