Looking to meet carriers' evolving security scalability, service and control needs, Infoblox today unveiled NIOS 8.0 for DNS, DHCP and IP Address Management (DDI).
The latest iteration of the Infoblox Inc. software -- available today -- complements carriers' growing adoption of NFV and cloud, Dilip Pillaipakam, vice president and general manager of Service Provider Business, tells the New IP Agency. More than 200 operators worldwide use Infoblox solutions for DNS, ICP or DNS management, with DNS management taking the top spot, he says.
"As the carriers move their existing network services to a virtualized infrastructure on their private clouds -- whether the Verizon cloud platform or the AT&T cloud platform -- when they build out their infrastructure, they obviously have thousands of virtual machines that are constantly going up and going down to support their services," Pillaipakkam says.
"They need a highly automated way to provision those virtual machines, in terms of assigning IP addresses, DNS to those virtual machines, doing cleanup when they go down, reallocating them -- doing that in highly automated fashion, especially in OpenStack which most carriers are adopting, is proving to be a very important problem to solve," he adds. "They need visibility across all these different networks and they need highly automated provisioning of IP and DNS and since many of them intend to use OpenStack and OpenStack doesn't have very dynamic DNS, that's where Infoblox comes in."
The combination of complex networks, organizational silos and the changing security landscape -- both more opportunities and threats -- demands increased automation, says Infoblox VP Prakash Nagpal in an interview. Removing manual processes rids CSPs of inefficiencies and errors and accelerates updates, patches and other rote but vital tasks, he says.
"Most carriers, especially the large ones, tend to have both VMware and OpenStack in their environment, so they are not completely moved from one to the other. There are multiple environments, so they need visibility across all these domains. They need to be able to automate their OpenStack stack, but also their VMware stack in the same way," says Nagpal. "It doesn't matter if your DNS are being hosted on OpenStack or VMware or physical implementations, you need the same security built in. Security needs to be built in, not bolted on. Security needs to be part and parcel of each of these systems."
Scalability is just as much a part of security as it is part of organizations' ability to meet unexpected or projected rush periods such as the holiday shopping season or after a natural disaster, when regions of the country extensively rely on mobile phones for social media updates and communication with loved ones. Elastic scale, which was available in a prior version of Infoblox' offering, constantly monitors VNF activity and, if it exceeds a certain customizable pre-set threshold it can spin up additional instances of DNS to manage the extra capacity that's needed, Nagpal says.
"This can be fully automated and we have demonstrated it multiple times," he adds. "Based on who the subscriber is we can direct the traffic or spin up new instances on the network to account for new traffic on the network. No matter how many security measures they take -- and they are taking more -- something unexpected will always come up."
The newest version also includes discovery, analytics and reporting features designed to deliver enhanced control and security across networks. Device discovery includes wireless networks, advanced DNS analytics and predictive DDI analytics so administrators can more easily locate rogue devices, manage assets on their networks, and complete audits. In addition, CSPs and their customers can automatically provision and manage their DNS infrastructures in Microsoft Azure. This joins Infoblox' existing support for VMware, Amazon Web Services, OpenStack, BMC, Cisco, HP and IBM, among others, the vendor says.
To meet the changing purchasing needs of CSPs and enterprises, Infoblox -- which today also announced it was acquired by Vista Equity Partners and upon completion of the deal will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Vista – rolled out subscription-based pricing and license mobility. Customers now easily can transfer licenses from physical to virtual to cloud, according to the vendor.
— Alison Diana, Editor, The New IP Agency. Follow her on Twitter @alisoncdiana or @The_New_IP.