Customer Success Story
DNS Made Easy Sees 100% Uptime for 10 Years
Steven Job founded DNS Made Easy at a time when DNS was anything but easy. Fast forward and DNS Made Easy delivers the fastest, most reliable DNS to individuals, small businesses, and big-name customers. The DNS provider answers 800 billion queries every day and resolves a query in less than 30 milliseconds. The company is so confident in its service excellence that it offers customers a 500-percent back uptime guarantee.
DNS queries per day with less than 30 millisecond response time
back uptime service level agreement to all customers
Successfully thwarted a 500 Gbps DDoS attack without any impact to customers
Focused on business innovation with an operationally simple global network
DNS Made Easy was recently the target of a hacking group claiming to be “Fancy Bear,” which had launched a successful distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack against the New Zealand Stock Exchange a few weeks earlier. The attack was targeted directly at the provider’s network, and it was huge.
“They claimed to be the same Fancy Bear group that has been in the news and tried to shut us down unless we paid in bitcoin,” Job says. “We don’t negotiate with any hacking organizations.”
A DDoS attack is a war of escalation. “We saw spurts of attacks a couple of times a week lasting 10 to 15 minutes, with the longest being four or five hours,” he says. “If you don’t have an outage, they ramp up the attack.”
Even as the attacks continued, Job wasn’t worried. “We knew we had enough capacity to handle our DNS traffic, and we could use the MX Series routers to handle the attack in real time,” he says.
Then came the biggest surge. “It was a 400 to 500 gig attack worldwide,” Job says. “We were faced with 100+ Gbps in numerous POPs simultaneously, and the MX Series routers in each facility blocked the attack traffic with no performance impact.
Designing a global network to deliver fast, reliable DNS queries is quite different than designing for, say, Web hosting. “Most Web companies focus on cheap bandwidth,” Job says. “We optimize for unmatched uptime and performance. We need large ports to handle massive DDoS attacks.”
As DDoS attacks grow, DNS Made Easy scales its network capacity to continue delivering services flawlessly. “It all comes down to the network,” Job says. “As DDoS attacks were moving to 100 gig, we revamped our Juniper routers.”
DNS Made Easy and Constellix (its cloud-optimized routing service) use the high-scale Juniper Networks MX10008 and MX480 Universal Routing for its fully meshed core network, and the compact MX240 and MX204 Universal Routing Platform for ultra-high 100GbE density at the edge. It also uses Juniper’s EX4300 Ethernet Switch, a scalable fixed-configuration switch, to connect its name servers at its points of presence (POPs). The network spans 20 of the largest Internet exchange peering points around the world.
“We have 3000 BGP peers,” Job says. “MX Series routers allow us to connect to as many networks and peering points as possible; this helps eliminate performance problems and route hijacking.”
Having a fast, reliable network foundation for both DNS Made Easy and Constellix is critical, and the consistency of a network running the Junos operating system simplifies engineering and operations.
“We have used other routers in the past, but Juniper has maintained the ability do line-rate performance on the same platform. We’re confident when we put in a Juniper router that we will have the capacity, and it’s been proven time and time again.”
“Using Juniper keeps it simple because the different Juniper products are standard,” Job says. “Junos OS has a common configuration across platforms, which makes it easier to maintain version control.”
Job remains a fan of signature Junos OS capabilities like the ability to roll back configuration changes. “Junos OS was the first to have commit/confirm,” he says. “It was huge back then, because if you broke something in the configuration, you could just roll it back. Those kinds of core capabilities have been part of Junos OS for 20 years, and they’re crucial for a company like us with small staff.”
Operational efficiency empowers the DNS Made Easy team to stay focused on development and innovation, not routine network maintenance tasks. “We have many thousands of name servers and 35 routers around the world, and a very small support team,” Job says. “We have many more developers than network administrators.”
Published December 2020