Four places where DNS automation is vital

BY Rebekah Taylor

DNS automation: The vital, final puzzle piece

Automation has crept into almost every facet of IT—so what makes DNS automation in particular so vital?

Previously, DNS was overlooked as just a cog in the larger machine. But many IT organizations now recognize the critical role that it plays, whether in day-to-day tasks or complex business solutions.

Automating DNS is an essential part of this automation paradigm shift. The final piece of the puzzle. Without it, scores of other IT activities require many manual steps.

In this post, we’ll touch on the overall benefits of DNS automation and explore four specific places where automation is vital.

Let's take a closer look.

Self-service

According to one leader in IT service management, 83% of IT organizations implement or leverage self-service tools for their end users. DNS can play an essential role in many areas of self-service. 

The result is more time and brainpower for everyone to focus on more important tasks.

For example, the simple task of adding a server or printer to a network requires an IP address. Think about the benefits of automating this simple task:

  • No long wait times for the requestor.
  • Admins don't have to manually provision.
  • Reduces the chances of a fat-finger error.

The result is more time and brainpower for everyone to focus on more important tasks.

Zero-touch automation

In the Terminator movie series, was a collective of artificial intelligence machines that saw no place for humans in its plans. Well, that’s basically what we mean when we’re talking about zero-touch automation—except the killing all humans part.

When IT wants something to happen on the back end without the need for human intervention, that’s zero-touch automation. Sometimes, by the time humans do intervene, it can be too late.

High availability is a simple example of zero-touch automation and a fundamental best practice in any DNS server environment. For example, it can perform health checks on IP address management (IPAM) activities. Signs of potential issues can trigger a workflow to automatically failover to a secondary address manager. Meanwhile, it automatically creates logs on the primary IPAM to begin troubleshooting and informs key admins.

You can extend your zero-touch automation reach even further with intent-based networking. BlueCat's platform integrates with Cisco ACI and Cisco DNA Center intent-based networking tools to eliminate manual steps. This can ease your management of networks and complex DNS, DHCP, and IPAM (DDI) environments.

Cloud

Your cloud strategy might be like the Wild West: A multi-cloud collection of disparate groups and locations with no consistent laws, if there are any at all. Speed—or lack thereof—is one of the main reasons for these issues.

Users break the rules because they expect instant provisioning of cloud resources and they get tired of waiting.

Automating the delivery and management of cloud DNS removes IT’s role in manually provisioning DNS services and creates an audit trail. Additionally, it maintains a central point of visibility from the cloud to the data center. Automating de-allocation can help clear up cloud bloat and save money by removing unused computing power. 

Change control

Change control means a standard approach to implementing and tracking changes. Solutions such as ServiceNow and Remedy are playing more of a role in change management. Many companies integrate DNS workflows with these solutions to keep tabs on their DNS and IPAM activities.

For example, take a web form to request adding a printer to the network. (Which then adds an IP address and DNS record.) It can leverage these solutions to maintain an audit trail of changes that occur during the back-end workflow. As a result, compliance and troubleshooting are easier.

Furthermore, companies are now implementing these solutions for ticketing on the front end. Automated change control systems can make calls to the back end. This eliminates the manual work for admins to have to create something upon ticket approval.

Learn more about how BlueCat integrates with ServiceNow and other vendors for change control and other DNS management features.

DNS automation provides a single source of truth

Automation can give you a single source of truth for your DNS information. Rather than it being in multiple places and forms, you get a comprehensive, high-level look at the overall health of your enterprise.

Implementing automation is a journey, not a one-and-done task.

Furthermore, it introduces consistency. The rules are enforced everywhere, rather than just having a few admins worry about them.

Automating DNS on the back end also allows admins to roll out self-service functionality directly to stakeholders. This improves everyone’s productivity. And it follows security best practices to limit access to core network services.

Implementing automation is a journey, not a one-and-done task. Some automation solutions may be ideal for immediate implementation out of the box. Others may take time to consider and customize. Automation solutions are constantly evolving.

Rebekah Taylor

Rebekah Taylor is a freelance writer and editor who has been translating technical speak into prose for more than 18 years. Before BlueCat, she spent eight years doing communication work as a contractor for the U.S. Coast Guard in Washington, D.C., and was previously a journalist, reporting stories for a daily county newspaper and defense industry publication. Her first job in the early 2000’s was at a small Palo Alto start-up called VMware. She holds degrees from Cornell University and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.

View more articles by Rebekah Taylor