President of DNS Made Easy Steven Job shares his expert opinion on how the DNSME team is harnessing the power of Big Data analytics and pairing them with real-time DNS management.
Back in the stone age
In the past, query analytics didn’t start until an attack or outage had already begun. Administrators would start to receive reports and alerts that their systems were under a higher load, or worse, were completely down. Then begins the frantic rush to turn on tcpdump to see what the abnormal traffic is. Many times, the spike in traffic gets missed by the time the administrator finally reaches the machine. Then even more time gets taken up by log requests and sifting through large amounts of data to find the source of the spike. All of this searching sucks up most of the time you could be using to mitigate the issue.
The alternative? Always on real-time analytics. These tools allow administrators to quickly find the data and events they need, even if they happened a few minutes prior to them getting access to their domains.
How much are you losing?
Recall the last attack you or a friend may have suffered. Could it have been prevented or lessened if you had been able to see the early signs of an attack by looking at your query traffic in real time?
You might remember back in 2012, DNS Made Easy made history when it fended off a 200 gbps DDoS attack (the largest recorded attack of its time). Our network was able to survive the attack with no appreciable effects to end users, because we had built our network to withstand attacks many times greater than known attacks at the time.
What’s the right solution for me?
Now tracking your data in real time can be costly, as in purchasing bandwidth and infrastructure many times larger than the capacities you actually need. And it is often the case that not everyone can afford to house and maintain all the infrastructure required to keep your site online, on the off chance that you do face a record breaking attack.
If this is the route you want, the best way to combat the costs is to outsource the crucial software and infrastructure services to third party companies that specialize in this industry. Take advantage of battle-tested hardware, and if you find the right one, you can get guaranteed money back and more in the event of an attack or outage.
The answer is real-time analytics
DNS has always been the foundation of all online organizations’ infrastructure. But what’s the point of investing in your DNS infrastructure if you can’t monitor and record your query traffic? The answer is real-time query analytics. Now, when you pair your outsourced network with the power of intelligent reporting and analysis, you’re revolutionizing network management.
Real Time Statistics in DNS Made Easy (RTS) makes it simple, after just a few minutes you can see the real-time query traffic for all of your domains. You can even filter the query data by any of the dozens of locations within our network. We have 16 geographically unique points of presence around the world, comprised of over 1,000 name servers, all of which monitor and report on your traffic.
To help you troubleshoot, you can filter your view by:
- Resource record
- Time frame
Now you can see all those backlogs and reports at your convenience in real time, already organized into an actionable report so you can make critical decisions in a matter of seconds. This kind of unique solution is only capable with the newer “big data” technologies of the day such as Cassandra and Scala. Older relational databases would never be able to keep up with the load that would be necessary to properly store and group over 30 billion queries per day.
Since RTS was launched, clients have come back to us and shared the different uses they’ve found for RTS like preventing and diagnosing attacks. Some have even claimed that RTS has saved their organization money, because real-time analytics give clients unprecedented levels of network visibility that shift the goal from reacting to an attack, to preventing one from happening in the first place. You can monitor any abnormalities or spikes in query traffic as they are happening, from dozens of locations all at once.
This is a lot of information, let alone power, that can save your business thousands in IT costs and hours in gathering this data. From mitigation costs, to reimbursing clients for any loss of services, to loss of revenue for the time it took to bring your site back online. This all can add up to millions that could have potentially been saved with RTS.
RTS is creating a new breed of services and DNS admins that are blowing the offerings of traditional DNS services right out of the water. Solutions like RTS can actively monitor and predict network issues so early on, they’re able to fix it before their users even notice.
To learn more about RTS and Anycast DNS, go to www.dnsmadeeasy.com and see how you can take control of your DNS performance.