Dyn is discontinuing it's secondary DNS services along with some other basic DNS services. This move will leave some of its customers looking for other options. First, some history.
When Dyn DNS was acquired by Oracle in 2016, there were a lot of opinions in the user community. Dyn had highly technical roots in the highly technical community. It was known as a great provider of free DNS services that benefited technical users, who would then go on to recommend their (excellent infrastructure) to the organizations where these users worked. It is a tried and true freemium-type model that still works today (albeit with some tweaks) to help grow new companies. But we aren’t here to debate the merits of different go-to-market strategies, we are here to talk about what happens when companies mature.
With few notable exceptions (i.e. Google) free services typically disappear as organizations become mature, well-known and have a large base of good customers. In effect, the focus often isn’t on growth and free services, but on ROI and ROE. This happens whether they grow organically or they are acquired.
So what are we saying? We are saying to all the haters of the Oracle acquisition of Dyn, that this is simply life and if you don’t think that is fair, well David Bowie has a few words for you:
Dyn had already eliminated its most popular free services before the acquisition, and more recently, Oracle has begun to move away from commodity services. Oracle seems to be focusing on moving its high-value accounts to their cloud services. By focusing on the managed service, they are migrating people with higher margins and who are also most likely to consider their other infrastructure services. As a result, as described in this Reddit post, Oracle is no longer offering zone services, including domain registration and secondary DNS.
It is true that there are alternatives to Dyn secondary DNS elsewhere available for a very low cost. However, many of them are either not suitable for enterprise needs, or come with significant costs as businesses outgrow them. For example, using the RIPE Atlas project, we looked at the routing of traffic from some DNS services (we will not name who – sorry) to discover that in a couple cases one-third of their North American traffic was sent to Europe and half of their European traffic was sent to North America. The result of poor routing is poor performance. These are the kinds of things you did not see from Dyn/Oracle and other quality commercial suppliers, including CIRA of course!
Other free services are designed to get you into their ecosystems and/or contribute data to their systems. This is an issue for many organizations as DNS data can be very valuable and sensitive. As you can image, the infrastructure required to run the .CA domain registry is pretty resilient, and as a non-profit, CIRA doesn't share or monetize your DNS data.
The impact of Dyn shutting down its secondary DNS is now forcing many IT managers to seek alternatives. The good news is that Oracle gave a good long timeline for moving into their cloud and/or finding an alternative for the deprecated services and we can give them great props for that.
So what does it mean for CIRA? Well, CIRA doesn’t operate a standalone dynamic DNS service so we aren’t able to jump in there. We also do not offer a fully managed DNS service to help those not willing to move into the Oracle world. We continue to highly recommend you look into what your domain name registrar is offering because many of them have made great leaps forward in the quality of their DNS, including several that resell CIRA’s Anycast DNS infrastructure as part of their managed services.
If you are one of the enlightened (or medium-to-large sized) organizations that know how important authoritative DNS redundancy is, then you already have a secondary DNS service that leverages a different supplier, with different clouds, offering different software and hardware stacks and is global.
If this comes off as a sales pitch, it is because that is what it is. CIRA has built out a global and beautifully architected DNS service that we are pretty proud of. It is used by over 10 percent of the world’s country code top level domains and by hundreds of large Canadian organizations.
So, we’re going to come out and say it, if you're impacted by the shutdown of the Dyn/Oracle secondary DNS service or if you are reading this and want to become more enlightened about how DNS works, then take a few minutes to check out CIRA’s D-Zone Anycast DNS service.