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Major North American Wireless Operator

The flexibility, central control, and automated management of the Infoblox Grid architecture enable a wireless provider to meet customer demands for smartphone app performance by pushing content out to the network edge.

The Customer

The customer is a major North American wireless provider offering 3G and LTE mobile phone and data services to a very large retail and business customer base.

The Challenge

The operator was using BIND as its main DNS caching solution for the mobile network. This set of caching servers handled all cached DNS queries for the entire mobile subscriber base. As customers were added to the network, the latency for DNS queries increased significantly on the legacy BIND servers.

This was a major cause for concern since smartphone response time during web browsing, content sharing, and social media downloads is a critical factor affecting customer satisfaction—increasing customer churn and reducing average revenue per user (ARPU). Faced with explosive traffic growth as smartphone sales skyrocketed, the network team needed to reduce DNS latency to keep customers happy as DNS traffic levels increased.

To keep latency low, the operator decided to distribute video content endpoint servers to the network edge, placing content closer to customers by placing DNS servers alongside the content servers.

However, the day-to-day administration of additional remote BIND servers was becoming very costly and time consuming for the small operations group to manage. The operator needed a way to manage multiple DNS servers remotely from a central location.

The Infoblox Solution

Infoblox provided a centralized management approach for the operator’s highly distributed DNS architecture by using the Infoblox Grid™ to automate routine daily server administration tasks. The Infoblox Grid manages the entire population of Infoblox DNS server appliances from a single central management console and a single database that archives all DNS server conditions, configurations, and status information.

All DNS server upgrades and patches can be performed by updating the central Grid Master appliance, which then automatically updates all the other appliances in the Grid, eliminating the need to manually update each server individually.

The Grid also manages local and remote server failover in case of server failures, ensuring seamless disaster recovery and a high level of service integrity for users.

As the relationship with Infoblox developed, additional high-performance DNS caching platforms were deployed to handle the increasing DNS traffic load and accommodate growth projections. A new reporting engine was added, delivering accurate network-wide reports for troubleshooting, forecasting, and capacity planning purposes.

The Results

As a result of installing the Infoblox DNS system and the Infoblox Grid, the operator has experienced decreased operational support costs and has been able to scale and expand its network easily and efficiently. Subscriber count and traffic levels have continued to grow, without compromising DNS latency or user response time.

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