Hosted DNS service includes IP address management

For some companies, a hosted domain name system service (DNS) is the only way to ensure uninterrupted Internet service across more than one country. However, organizations still may struggle with overseeing internal and external DNS management on separate platforms.

Toronto’s Blue Cat Networks Inc. believes it has created a solution. Its Proteus Cloud Services, to start in August, is a hosted DNS service from Internet infrastructure provider Afilias Ltd. that integrates with Blue Cat’s Proteus IP address management software.

“While you’re managing your internal DNS, you can manage this hosted service” from one interface, said Luc Roy, Blue Cat’s vice-president of marketing.

“It’s so simple it seems basic,” said John Kane, Afilias’ vice-president of corporate services. “DNS for some people is difficult to manage, but we’ve made it simple.”

Afilias is a domain name registry that runs the back end for .info, .org, .in (for India) and 13 other top-level domains, said Kane. Overall, he said, it supports nearly 10 per cent of the Internet naming system.

What users will see is a straight-forward password-controlled interface that the creators say makes it easy to add domain names.

Subscribers will get a starter kit that includes the software version of the Proteus address management appliance and Blue Cat’s Adonis DNS/DHCP services appliance in a VMware format. As a result, customers don’t have to buy the hardware versions of the appliances.

Pricing has not been announced, nor has the launch date.

The benefits to customers, Kane said, include better DNS, streamlined management, one vendor (Blue Cat) and single invoice and pricing.

Jayanth Angl, lead analyst at London, Ont.-based Info-Tech Research, hadn’t been briefed on the solution, but said it would be a logical fit.

Although Afilias is headquartered in Dublin, bringing the two companies together wasn’t hard, said Kane. When long-distance talks began, Afilias realized that Blue Cat’s headquarters is in the building beside Afilias’ Toronto office, which houses some of its technical team.

“It brought a lot of great ideas of how to integrate a relatively complex product into a single interface,” he said.

Separately, Blue Cat announced software upgrades to Proteus and a new Adonis hardware appliance.

Proteus v. 3.1 has a new interface with eight widgets that lead straight to some of the most used tasks. It lets administrators design limited access dashboards for those handling IP address management.

“From the widgets you can do 90 per cent of what you’re tasked to, depending on your degree of knowledge, instead of having to go through the [full] product,” Roy said.

More widgets will be added with upcoming upgrades.

Also included in v.3.1 is Proteus Blueprint, which helps users migrate their DNS and DCHP infrastructure into the Proteus platform. It does data conversion and migration for older systems and is particularly useful for those still using spreadsheets to manage their DNS. 

Blueprint is free for evaluation or to Blue Cat customer care members.

For service providers who aren’t impressed with the top-of-the line Adonis 1750R’s ability to handle 50,000 DSN queries a second, Blue Cat offers the 1750RH, which goes up to 110,000 queries. The rack-mounted 1U unit can do that because it has a quad-core processor.

Adonis’ software has been upgraded to version 6.1 with disk partitioning, which allows two releases of the software to sit in memory. It allows administrators to put a new version on one partition while keeping older version on another.

For those who need to meet regulated security standards, Adonis now supports the U.S. defence department government STIG (security technical implement guide) standard.

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Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@]

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