Dialog is the worldwide leader in providing web-based information services to organizations seeking competitive advantages in such fields as business, science, engineering, finance and law. It offers organizations the ability to precisely retrieve data from more than 1.4 billion unique records of key information, accessible via the Internet or direct access via enterprise intranets. Headquartered in Cary, North Carolina, USA, Dialog is a business of the Thomson Corporation, the global leader in providing integrated information solutions to business and professional customers.
Managing heterogeneous DNS
The network services team at Dialog ensure the availability and peak performance of the network for operations in Cary, Egan, Burlington and Sunnyvale in the US, Bern in Switzerland and London in the UK.
“External DNS administration was very fragmented with each site using unique DNS solutions. Because we had to work with multiple systems, it was all very awkward to manage. What we wanted was some way to administer it all from a central location,” explained Roger Goy, Network Manager at Dialog.
Dialog already had an existing DNS master powered by NameSurfer Suite from Nixu but wanted dedicated DNS slaves in each location. Initially they considered putting BIND on UNIX based systems, the appeal of the appliance format quickly won Dialog over.
In a class of its own
Dialog installed DNSBOX100 slaves in Cary, Burlington and Sunnyvale in the US, one to sit alongside the master in Bern and two in London. Unlike dual use devices which carry the expense of a master but end up being deployed as slaves, the lower cost DNSBOX100 enabled Dialog to build a more cost effective DNS solution.
“With an existing master solution in place, we were just interested in slaves. This is the only dedicated slave appliance we could find, so in comparison with any other DNS appliances, it seemed to offer better value and to have more functionality specific to managing a slave,” commented Goy.
All the slaves are managed centrally from Bern by the existing DNS master. As a slave DNSBOX100 has interoperability with all types of DNS master as well as being an ideal companion to the ApplianSys DNSBOX300 master, itself a NameSurfer powered appliance.
Designed from the ground up as a dedicated slave the DNSBOX100 incorporates specific features for monitoring and managing slave zones as well as additions such as HA load-balanced clustering for redundancy. It features a web-based DNS administration interface that makes the management of slave zones very simple, allowing you to delete zones, force updates, display zone files and offers support for slave, stub or forward zones, as well as global forwarding options. The GUI allows deep interrogation of the status of the slave, with features such as graphical indicators of zone freshness, querying the on-box cache and SNMP traps. Syslog output can be directed to a remote syslog server.
“With the web interface on DNSBOX we can now manage multiple sites much more effectively and even junior staff can conduct routine DNS administration,” said Goy. ApplianSys continue to refine their appliances to ensure greater ease of use, reliability and security but are never complacent when it comes to supporting customers, as Roger Goy testifies: “ApplianSys have been very helpful and respond quickly to enquiries. They helped us recently resolve an issue in Sunnyvale, which went really well, and the update is being rolled out to the other sites. We have a number of devices from various equipment manufacturers but the support we get from ApplianSys is very good compared to the others.”
Efficient and secure network management
With the ApplianSys solution in place Dialog have a highly cost effective and secure system that can be managed from one global interface. It is easy to manage with each site running the same DNS solution saving time, money and enabling consistent management practices.
The DNSBOX100 saves network staff time and releases experienced staff from repetitive DNS administration duties.“DNSBOX takes away all the work involved in managing a BIND slave on a Unix box, has allowed us to manage multiple slaves distributed around the globe from one browser interface and has the added important benefits of much greater security and reliability built in,” said Goy.
Furthermore by ensuring the underlying IPinfrastructure supporting their business is reliable, robust and secure, Dialog can deliver uninterrupted access to its business critical information services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. DNSBOX helps supports Dialogs business strategy of providing the best on-line information service experience possible for its users.