Bluecat supports Domain Name Security Extensions

Bluecat Networks Inc. of Toronto has added some features to its Proteus and Adonis Domain Name System management products, including support for DNS Sec and Cisco’s Integrated Services Routers.

The Proteus hardware, which lets network administers manage Domain Name System (DNS) and Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) services, now supports NSEC 3, which is one standard of the Domain Name Security Extensions (DNSSEC).

Version 3 also has a new user interface.

“We were able to do things like simplify the action menus, redesign the layout of the overall application to make it easier to navigate and do things like page size remembering, so it knows where you’ve been if you click away from an area and want to go back,” said Branko Miskov, Bluecat’s director of product management.

The NSEC 3 is attractive to government users now that DNSSEC will be used for the .org and .gov generic top level domains. Although DNSSEC is not mandatory for the .com domain yet, some industry experts are pushing for this as a way to counter cache poisoning attacks and Web site spoofing.

“It is certainly important for them to support DNSSEC and NSEC, but right now I don’t think we’re seeing a lot of activity around that, at least among enterprise clients,” said Jayanth Angl, senior research analyst for the London, Ont.-based Info-Tech Research Group. “One of key elements that I picked up on was the data validation to allow the admins to validate a configuration before rolling that out, and that certainly is important when we’re talking about IP address management.”

More significant, Angl added, is Bluecat’s integration with Cisco Systems Inc.’s Application Extension Platform (AXP), which lets users install Bluecat’s IPAM, DNS and Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) technologies on the ISR routers without using separate devices.

“The significance of the Cisco integration working with the AXP platform from Cisco brings them into the space of the ISR router market, which is an incredibly prevalent branch office network device,” Angl said.

“For many enterprises, reducing the hardware footprint at some of these remote locations is important so this product that supports efforts to consolidate it is important also.”

At the recent Cisco Live conference, Bluecat demonstrated its Adonis technology on AXP.

“We Will be looking for beta candidates for this,” Miskov said. “The idea is to have a single system where you can manage a large distributed environment.”

Bluecat also demonstrated a network discovery service, which lets Proteus users running Cisco switches and routers to get data — including MAC addresses, host names and port information — about their IP devices on their networks.

Before, users could get Layer 3 information about routers, Miskov said.

“We have extended this to Layer 2 so we can go beyond the router and we can talk to switches,” Miskov said. “We can pull information from a switch (such as) the speed that the switch is running at, maybe the identifier for that switch, et cetera, and that, along with the router detail, all gets attached to an IP address within Proteus.”

The network discovery service is only available with Cisco switches right now, but Bluecat plans to include the technology for switches from other manufacturers, Miskov said.

Bluecat’s announcement comes a few months after the company announced virtual machine versions of Proteus and Adonis, so users can download files and create virtual instances of them.

“Bluecat has a solid solution but now we’re seeing them diversify how they deliver it,” Angl said.


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