DNS Digital Transformation Reduces Dell Outages to Zero

BY Jodi Schechter

What is DNS digital transformation? According to InfoWorld, it’s simply the application of digital technologies to fundamentally impact all aspects of business and society. With such a broad definition, it’s easy to dismiss the term as just another buzzword. Yet the concept has so embedded itself in the minds of CIOs that by the end of this year, according to the IDC, over 70% of the Global 500 will have dedicated digital transformation/innovation teams.

Dell is on board. And when Dell went through their digital transformation planning process, it became obvious that a comprehensive overhaul to their network was required.

Digital Transformation starts with DNS

Stephen Stack, the former Global Head of Networks at Dell, tells us how a smooth digital transformation process started with DNS.

“Business moves very quickly, and IT organizations need to match that speed to ensure market and product competitiveness,” Stack said. “IT needs to ensure it enables new business while driving better efficiency in existing business, but leading a digital transformation agenda sponsored by business executive.”

Prior to their digital transformation, Dell had faced issues with maintaining network quality standards; processes for change and governance were less than ideal. There was no clear architectural roadmap. It quickly became obvious that updating (and upgrading) Dell’s network would require the team to look beyond technology and address two major elements:

  1. Have a network strategy – modernize the network infrastructure from the ground up
  2. Create a comprehensive team strategy – focus on team development, training and certification

Modernizing an entire enterprise network isn’t an easy task. Migrations can be lengthy, complicated ordeals that leave room for time-consuming (and expensive) outages. However, one of the cornerstones of digital transformation is - wait for it - network transformation. With that comes the key player in network transformation: DNS.

“There is nothing more frustrating than a ‘network issue’ for the innocent by-stander employee whose very role depends on availability of google.com and other such resources to seek out the information they need to deliver and innovate,” Stack told BlueCat.

“Imagine if they could not access google.com/bing.com by name and had to type [108.177.10.103] or worse, [2404:6800:4004:80d::200e] to access google.com. Seems silly to even raise this as an issue, but if you take this example and multiply it by the total population of Dell, we will have a massive productivity issue. May as well go back to pen and paper.”

Shifting Mindsets

Stack also told BlueCat that, on the team strategy front, their entire global business network required massive behavioral change.

“To go from ad-hoc, individual-led change management practices to standards-based, collaborative and world class engineering behavioral methodologies required a full mindshift from NOC through to Architecture level and sponsorship from Executive leadership,” Stack said. “When you can recover 117 man days of network downtime from a business’s operations, you have purposely enabled productivity by giving employees the time and headspace they need to execute their roles. The impact was enormous.”

When these two strategies are in place, productivity and innovation are achieved. By going through a digital transformation process, Dell was able to achieve Operational Excellence – a key characteristic that defines Dell as a World Class enterprise.

“Before this, the ad-hoc placement of DDI services across our enterprise meant DNS, and DHCP outages were frequent, difficult to troubleshoot and caused poor performance for SaaS-based and other internal applications,” Stack said. “Moving to BlueCat reduced those outages to zero, and allowed us to get our users to Global Load Balanced regional SaaS entry points faster.”

No matter the type of company, a modern DNS solution can help transform a once complex and brittle network environment into a dynamic, reliable online platform.

Jodi Schechter

Growth by Content is what I do. I'm fuelled by conversations, coffee and sarcasm.

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