DNS in the Cloud: Where, When and Why

Cloud and the benefits of DNS. 

BY Darren McPhee

Chances are your organization is either working on a cloud strategy or has already implemented one.

No matter what industry trend data you reference, the percentage of companies adopting cloud as an essential part of their digital transformation strategy is huge, and growing rapidly. Corporate IT strategies are centered around cloud more than any other initiative. In fact, it is the #1 investment for most IT budgets now and will be for the next few years.

CIOs are looking to the cloud and its many services to improve and innovate their business. Workloads are being moved to the cloud to leverage the convenience of rapid scalability and an on-demand cost model. In fact, IDG predicts that by 2018, the typical IT department will have the majority of their apps and platforms (60%) residing in off-premise systems. Enterprises are leveraging cloud infrastructure to drive innovation, to speed up new product development and deployment, and to potentially gain entry to a new industry or market.

They are also looking at how cloud can evolve their data center, and DNS should be a critical part of this analysis. There are several scenarios where deploying cloud-based DNS services can benefit an organization:

Data Center Replacement

Moving on-premises infrastructure to the cloud is a popular initiative that most enterprises consider when looking at cloud implementation options. This is a prime example of using cloud for Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). Obvious benefits include resilience, flexibility, scalability, and disaster recovery. The cloud can also have cost benefits, particularly when running more unpredictable workloads that need to be ramped up or ramped down quickly, which tend to be over-provisioned in physical data center environment.

Data Center Expansion

Oftentimes data center expansion is implemented through a hybrid cloud strategy, or by simply adding additional compute in a virtual data center running in the cloud. In the latter scenario, it’s often about adding infrastructure in the cloud for workloads where additional jobs need to be run. In a hybrid cloud strategy, compute might be used only as an “overflow” mechanism when there is not enough compute or storage in existing data centers. In this scenario, DNS services running in the cloud can result in cost-savings as they don’t need to be running all the time, only on-demand. Users who need access to compute resources don’t need to know where resources come from (be it local or cloud). It’s really all about delivering the service to the business.

Cloud Based Applications

As enterprises shift data-intensive workloads to the cloud, Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) adoption is expected to be the fastest-growing sector of cloud platforms. When organizations begin to build applications on a public cloud service, app builders might create their own DNS service using either a cloud-based DNS service or an in-house open source-based solution. Inevitably, the app builders run into issues where they need to resolve internal hosts or access the enterprise’s broader DNS zones. Following this, they must the copy records that they need locally, and it’s only a matter of time before the application breaks.

It’s critically important to create a scalable way to allow platform-based applications to utilize the enterprise’s DNS without copying or creating security holes. In a situation where the different virtual private clouds cannot communicate with one another, a “beachhead” DNS implementation can be enabled to effectively communicate with the rest of the data center. Services can then be easily deployed via the beachhead to act as the conduit between the cloud platform service and the enterprise data center.

As companies continue to look at the cloud as a way to help enable innovation, they must also consider DNS to ensure consistency with the rest of the data center and the role it plays in creating the innovation that they want to achieve.

Darren McPhee

Darren McPhee is Director of Product Marketing at BlueCat. He joined the company in 2016 after 15 years in product management and marketing in the semiconductor industry.

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