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Dyn deal: Native Oracle DNS signals cloud intentions

Oracle DNS capabilities will likely soon be native following the acquisition of prominent provider Dyn, which will be critical in a market where most workloads are internet-facing.

Oracle's latest acquisition of DNS leader Dyn aims to further appeal to customers with web-facing workloads, and reaffirms its desire to be a prominent player in the public cloud market.

Oracle has agreed to acquire Dyn, one of the largest domain name system (DNS) providers in the US, with more than 3,500 enterprise customers on a network that makes over 40 billion traffic optimizations daily. The move is an important step not only for Oracle DNS, but to round out the vendor's infrastructure-as-a-service and platform-as-a-service offerings, especially since the vast majority of production applications run on public clouds are web-facing.

Falkonry Inc., a Santa Clara, Calif., startup that provides artificial intelligence for operational intelligence, used Amazon Web Services for DNS when it was primarily on Google Cloud Platform because Google didn't have any similar capability at the time. It's in a similar situation now because despite Falkonry's move to Oracle Cloud, it uses Google Cloud DNS. Adding Dyn to Oracle Cloud is a much needed move, said Nikunj Mehta, founder and CEO.

"For us DNS has always been about doing it in one place rather than many different places, and having some programmatic ability to set up our DNS is important because we do spin up environments to support the needs of many of our customers," he said.

Another interesting aspect is Dyn's ability to have some DNS destinations in the cloud and others in remote locations, Mehta said. Depending on how it's executed, the integration can support hybrid computing and Oracle's mission to make its cloud capabilities on premises and in the public cloud, he added.

Oracle has said it aims to be a major cloud provider and to operate at scale, so owning and operating a DNS service of this size allows it to serve all aspects of an application that touches the internet, said Carl Brooks, an analyst at 451 Research.

"Oracle just bought a very large chunk of the internet," Brooks said. "Now it can sit on top of one of the front gates to a huge amount of web traffic."

It shows how smart and opportunistic Oracle is.
Holger Muellervice president and principal analyst, Constellation Research

Oracle cloud customers may already use Dyn, as they would need some sort of DNS provider to essentially act as a load balancer for massaging internet traffic. Market leader Amazon built a DNS services called Route 53 that ties into a range of other services, including Elastic Load Balancer and CloudFront.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the timing is interesting. Dyn came into mainstream consciousness for the first time in late October after a series of DDOS attacks against it shut down much of the internet in parts of the U.S. for several hours. DNS services are "bread and butter" offerings in cloud, so the bad PR from those attacks may have given Oracle a discount on a service it needed anyway, said Holger Mueller, vice president and principal analyst at Constellation Research.

"It shows how smart and opportunistic Oracle is," Mueller said. "They needed something, so you either build it yourself or acquire it and the DDOS attack may have made a difference."

Oracle DNS a potential prospecting tool

Depending on the terms of the deal, it could also serve as a good prospecting tool for Oracle to attract new customers and integrate with its identity graphing, he added.

Then again, how Dyn responded to the attacks speaks to its capabilities, Brooks said.

"They were able to compete with them on a scale nobody's seen before," he said. "It was like the first nuclear bomb test," he said. "Nobody's ever seen something of that scale and Dyn was able to respond in 23 hours to something that would have blown nearly any website on the planet off the map."

Oracle has been criticized for its reticence to fully embrace public cloud. And while it still lags far behind the competition, it's made many high-profile moves to dispel the notion that it's not serious about this market.

"They've been doing it seriously for two years, but it takes that long to ramp up services at scale," Brooks said. "This is a more public culmination that they're completely committed to this strategy."

Trevor Jones is a news writer with TechTarget's Data Center and Virtualization Media Group. Contact him at [email protected].

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