Top Media and Entertainment Distributor
“There is a book published by O’Reilly Media called The DNS and BIND Book. If you were to take all the best practices in that book, and roll them into some software in a magic box—that’s what Infoblox is.” —Director of systems, storage, and common infrastructure, top media and entertainment distributor
This customer is one of the largest media and entertainment distribution companies in the world. The company fosters a close working partnership between its engineering and corporate IT groups so that the entire company can utilize the same Domain Name System (DNS) and Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) services.
The IT team manages public and private IP address spaces with millions of available addresses and about 400,000 active at any given time. About six years before the writing of this story, according to the company’s director of systems, storage, and common infrastructure, the IT organization moved away from multiple home-grown solutions built on commodity servers to a more standards-based Infoblox infrastructure to alleviate management difficulties with the legacy system.
DHCP was being handled strictly by routers, and there was no monitoring or reporting back into the central infrastructure. IP address management (IPAM) was handled manually, using dozens of spreadsheets. The only integration between DNS and DHCP came from light-weight PERL scripts. Different teams were managing duplicate domains, resulting in duplication of data. And on top of it all, many of the components of the system were older versions.
It was obvious that things had to improve, and the IT team evaluated several vendors—including the vendor of the legacy equipment. The legacy vendor lost out quickly, as an upgrade would require the development team to write code and would require the purchase of a lot of other licenses. The team narrowed the choice down to three established vendors of enterprise-grade products—one of which was Infoblox—and created a requirements matrix to rate them.
The Infoblox Solution
Ultimately, they selected Infoblox. Even though one of the other vendors was pretty strong, the director says, Infoblox was the clear choice. The decision was based largely on the features the vendors offered at the time, and where they were headed in the future. One of the deciding factors was that as people were moving around inside the company, their expertise was going with them, so the new solution had to be easy to use without requiring specialized skills. “Not only did Infoblox fit that need,” says the director, “it fit it exceedingly well. We wouldn’t have to hire a lot of different programmers to make the solution work.”
The IT team also felt that Infoblox’s vision for the future was right. The current solution met many of the company’s requirements, and the few it didn’t meet could be achieved with some light customization. Since then, the director points out, subsequent product releases have integrated the features that were missing, so that even light customization isn’t needed.
In addition to the Infoblox Grid and DNS/DHCP/IPAM (DDI) solution, the company is using Infoblox NetMRI network automation and management solution.
One of the primary advantages has been the ability to input data once and have it automatically distributed to all of the end devices—or to push it out selectively in cases where a server only needs specific zone files. The resiliency of the Infoblox Grid is another big plus. It gives the company high availability for the overall solution. And of course the DNS/DHCP core services are crucial, since they keep business-critical processes functioning.
To express how satisfied he is with the Infoblox solution, the director says, “There is a book published by O’Reilly Media called The DNS and BIND Book. It is highly respected. And if you were to take all the best practices in that book, and roll them into some software in a magic box—that’s what Infoblox is.” (It’s probably more expertise than magic, given that Cricket Liu, Infoblox’s chief infrastructure officer, is one of the coauthors of The DNS and BIND Book.)