Achieving efficient network performance

David Williamson, CEO of EfficientIP, discusses how the company’s innovations are helping organisations manage network performance, complexity and security

Jacqui Griffiths
By Jacqui Griffiths on 13 December 2018
Achieving efficient network performance

This article was originally published in the Autumn 2018 issue of The Record.

Tell us about EfficientIP. What inspired its creation?

EfficientIP was founded in 2004 by Jean-Yves Bisiaux and Sylvain Galliano, who are experts in the Domain Name System (DNS), Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) and IP address management (IPAM) market – or DDI for short. DDI is a foundation of the network upon which access to almost any IT service rests.

They saw that organising DDI is a pressing need for companies in every industry, but many organisations only have basic measures in place. For example, our clients are medium-plus and large companies that can have between 10,000 and five million IPs – and some major telco companies have more than 20 million. Those companies might be opening and closing locations and stores around the world, and they need an IP plan to allocate and organise IP addresses for all their devices according to criteria such as types of device, different branches or geographies. A company is only as agile as its DDI services.

EfficientIP entered directly into this dynamic market, offering disruptive innovations for helping organisations drive business efficiency through secure and reliable core network foundations.

What key forces are driving change in network infrastructure?

Both technical and business drivers are driving change. IT is moving incredibly fast, and cloud operations and virtualisation are having a huge influence. Everything from servers to switch routers, applications and devices need to be identified and organised for efficient network management. Orchestration and automation are essential in providing simple and accurate ways to perform tasks like opening a new service, adding a new user or recognising a new application.

Business drivers are also bringing change. In the past, business units would put requests to the IT department and wait for them to address their needs and expectations. Today, thanks to the technical drivers we’ve discussed, business units can go to any organisation that provides a service in the cloud. This puts the IT department into competition with the outside world, emphasising their obligation to provide high quality service at low cost.

What challenges do these forces bring?

Complexity is a major challenge. Managing today’s network is not easy, and the growing volume of IP devices and interactions is making it more complex. As more IP devices are introduced through things like ­bring-your-own-device (BYOD) and the internet of things (IoT), the volume of IP addresses is increasing dramatically. And as the number of services and applications grows, we’re also seeing an increased volume of exchanges between devices and apps that need to be organised at the network level. Mobility adds more complexity, creating a fragmented network as device users seek to access apps from different locations such as coffee shops, public transport, home or work.

As these services and connectivity move increasingly fast, performance is another key challenge. Users expect fast, seamless connectivity, meaning companies need high-volume servers in place to maintain good user experience.

Protecting the network infrastructure is the third big challenge. DNS services are ­mission-critical to the network, and so are a primary target and particularly vulnerable to attack.  In fact, 77% of companies that took part in the survey informing our 2018 Global DNS Threat Report said they had suffered at least one DNS attack in the previous 12 months. It’s something that everybody is experiencing, and an increasingly high level of security is required to protect business continuity and data confidentiality.

How does EfficientIP help organisations succeed in an age of increasing complexity and security concerns?

You can only manage what you control, and EfficientIP helps organisations achieve that. We simplify network management and enhance operational efficiency thanks to global visibility, consistency control and smart automation. We bring holistic visibility to the IP network, with solutions that enable companies to discover all the IP devices accessing their network, compare that to their IP plan and identify any discrepancies.

We also enable high levels of performance for big companies dealing with high volumes. For example, EfficientIP’s DNS Blast is the fastest DNS cache appliance on the market, capable of handling more than 17 million requests per second, while other DNS services only handle up to a million. Our customers like the solution because in addition to creating value through high performance, it simplifies their configuration and removes the need to install clusters of servers.

To secure the network, EfficientIP has created special facilities for protecting the DNS to protect users, safeguard data and ensure business continuity. Studies have found, 91% of the time malware are using DNS to do things like gain access to sensitive information and exfiltrate data. Many large organisations are using our DNS protection facilities to effectively combat pretty much all types of threats.

How does your company support and work alongside Microsoft technologies?

We have developed tight integration with the Microsoft environment at multiple levels. Our IP Address Management solution (IPAM) integrates seamlessly with Microsoft DNS and DHCP servers, enabling unified and automated management. It ensures error-free configuration and faster deployments. 

We have also developed advanced integration with Microsoft cloud orchestrator to provide automated end-to-end management of provisioning and deprovisioning of virtual machines with associated IP addresses and DNS services. Intelligent, policy-driven deployments based on customised parameters enable alignment with the enterprise process and organisation. This dramatically shortens time-to-service, improves agility and reduces operating costs. Some organisations also want a combination of network services such as DNS and DHCP in hybrid environments. EfficientIP technologies enable fast deployment and management of DDI servers both on-premise and in the Azure cloud. 


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