Infoblox loads DNS services onto Cisco routers

Enterprise IT executives looking to cut costs and consolidate infrastructure might be interested in news jointly announced Monday by Infoblox and Cisco, as the vendors team to offer Infoblox DNS, DHCP and other core network services via blades designed to slide into Cisco’s integrated services routers.

The technology partnership will enable network managers to put DNS, DHCP, IP address management and other core network services on blades in Cisco routers deployed at branch office locations, eliminating the need for a separate server to maintain those services. The product, developed under Cisco’s Application eXtension Platform (AXP), enables customers to push network services closer to the edge and consolidate infrastructure in remote offices. Industry watchers say the partnership reflects a trend among enterprise companies to reduce infrastructure while maintaining services.

“Remember the ‘Trapper Keeper?’ That’s what Cisco’s routers are becoming for enterprise branch office: a single place to keep all critical network applications and services,” says Phil Hochmuth, senior analyst at Yankee Group. “This is being enabled largely by the AXP, which allows organizations to cram as many services — even ones beyond Cisco’s own scope, such as Infoblox IP address management — onto a single platform.”

According to Infoblox, enterprise companies can spend between US$600 and $1,500 managing a server per branch office per month. Removing the need for a server at the branch to support core network services not only reduces that cost, but also ensures the branch will continue to have DNS, DHCP, NTP, FTTP, HTTP, TFTP and syslog proxy capabilities at the remote location — even if a connection to the data center is lost. Infoblox vNIOS Virtual Appliance software installs on a blade in Cisco’s widely deployed ISR router line — reportedly 4 million are installed today — which Infoblox Vice President of Marketing Rick Kagan says will reinforce the vendor’s message that DNS services can’t be ignored even in a difficult economy.

“The benefits of having DNS at the branch include cost reductions, getting rid of a server and no longer having to staff or pay to maintain one is immediate ROI, but also customers will experience performance gains,” he says. “The DNS server is among the more difficult to get out of the branch, and this technology makes it possible.”

Infoblox virtual software for the Cisco ISRs is priced at $995 on the Cisco-302 blade.

Cisco and Infoblox also plan to showcase the joint solution at several upcoming industry events, including at a live virtual meeting this week and at Cisco Networkers later this month in Barcelona, Spain.

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