Four non-negotiables for your customers’ DNS service

Your customers’ work environments have become highly distributed. Choosing the right DNS service is more critical than ever before.

By Lori Cornmesser, Worldwide Partner and Alliance Sales, Infoblox

Lori Cornmesser, vice president, worldwide partner and alliance sales, Infoblox

Even as businesses attempt to get back to work amid the global pandemic, things are far from usual, as a vast number of workers are still regularly working remotely. While many of your customers have firewalls and other endpoint security solutions guarding their corporate workplaces, teleworkers bypass many of these safeguards when accessing corporate resources from home. This presents a host of new challenges for your clients — and new opportunities for your MSP business.

The Cloud is the New Network Edge and DNS is the New Gateway

In a traditional corporate environment, the network edge is defined as one or more boundaries within a network that designates who controls the underlying network infrastructure equipment. For instance, an enterprise network typically comprises a corporate local area network (LAN), wireless local area network (WLAN), wide area network (WAN) and a private data center. Each of these boundaries is protected by a firewall and sometimes additional security layers such as proxy servers and anti-virus protection. With the explosion in cloud-based services (e.g., Microsoft Office 365, and teleworking, the network edge has expanded from the office to the cloud, circumventing traditional network edge security.

The first service that connects users’ devices to the cloud is Domain Name System (DNS), which together with Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP), and Internet Protocol (IP) Address Management, form DDI – the core services that enable any network to run.  Since these services are at the foundation of any network, it is vital that they support your customers’ larger IT strategy and goals.

Here are four critical areas where selecting a new DDI service provider can improve your customers’ security — and productivity — no matter where they’re working from:

1. Robust DDI integration across architectures. To get the most value out of a DNS investment, customers need to integrate it with two complementary technologies that form DDI, the nerve center of the core network. Combining DNS with Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) and IP address management (IPAM) enables customers to address the challenges of provisioning vast numbers of IP addresses across diverse physical, virtual infrastructure, and public and private cloud environments. Choose a reputable vendor that offers a DDI solution that can deploy on-premises or in hybrid environments to cover your customers wherever their employees work.

2. Provides control over asset discovery, management and visibility. With thousands of remote users connecting to networks, on top of pre-existing branch offices and IoT devices, customers need a way to easily and automatically identify which devices are connecting to their network – both to manage network traffic and ensure cybersecurity. Choose a solution that automates these processes as much as possible and gives teams an easy way to view and manage this data.

3. Integrates with existing security infrastructure. Companies have already invested huge amounts in protecting their network infrastructure from attack. Help them increase the return of that investment by choosing a DNS solution that can collect threat intelligence, share it across security tools, and help automate responses to known and suspected breaches.

4. Next-Generation Network Support. As remote work environments evolve, distributed cloud technologies such as multi-access edge computing (MEC), 5G new radio(NR) and 5G next-generation core (NGC) will become more prevalent. And they’ll also become points of failure for DNS providers that are lagging in their technology development. Make sure to select a DNS provider that has a roadmap in place to keep up with the distributed cloud technologies mentioned above.

DNS solutions play a much more significant role in users’ computing experience than many people realize, especially now that so many employees are working remotely. As their trusted IT solution provider, it’s vital to raise your customers’ awareness and help keep them productive — and protected — no matter where they’re working.