Dyn's Internet Intelligence Provides Insight Into Internet Performance

The cloud isn't the only piece of infrastructure that needs to work for modern applications and Websites to thrive.

Dyn Internet Intelligence

The Internet is not about any single cloud or service provider. When performance and security issues arise, it's important for organizations to get a full picture of what is going on beyond the confines of a single data center or provider. That's where Dyn's new Internet Intelligence software-as-a-service offering comes into play, providing visibility for Internet issues.

"Dyn is an Internet performance company, and we're all about connecting content and users, making things go fast," Matt Larson, chief technology officer at Dyn, told eWEEK.

Dyn is well-known in the market for its Managed DNS offering, which is used by a number of large Internet properties, including Twitter. Larson said that Twitter has been working with Dyn since Twitter started.

"Even if you see a Twitter fail whale, we've done our job. We got you to their Website," Larson said. "Twitter has infrastructure all over the world, and they use our advanced DNS tools to get users to the closest Twitter infrastructure as fast as possible."

Dyn has 20 sites in its core network and makes use of multiple transit providers. Its new Internet Intelligence (II) product goes beyond that and makes use of a global network of 200 sites in a measurement monitoring network.

In the modern Internet, users have little tolerance for Website latency, which slows down performance and can have a negative impact on user experience. Dyn's network provides real-time visibility into Internet activity that gives its customers insight into things that are happening outside of a company's own network.

Dyn is measuring the entire Internet using various data sets, including global routing table data and the company's own sensor network, said Charlie Baker, Dyn's director of product management.

"Those 200 sensors do about 6 billion measurements a day for tracing latency around the world. That allows us to put together a global performance map," Baker told eWEEK.

With II, users also have insight into cloud performance from multiple vendors, including Amazon, Google, Rackspace, DigitalOcean and IBM SoftLayer. Plus, Dyn has real user monitoring data flowing in, as well as visibility into raw DNS traffic, he added.

"All the data sources are combined for our customers to answer the basic question of how users of a given network application or service connect to cloud and hosting instances," Baker said.

From a practical use-case perspective, Dyn's visibility can be explained in what it sees from recent cloud-related outages. On Sept. 20, Amazon's US-East 1 data center experienced a 5-hour service disruption that had ripple effects across the Web. Baker noted that the outage was an internal issue at Amazon.

"What our product does is it actually doesn't see anything in that case in particular, but if you go back a month when Netflix and Pinterest had trouble connecting to Amazon US-East, that's what we see," he said. "So Amazon's dashboard is green, showing they're up, but the customer support calls are ringing from Comcast and Verizon customers in Boston, and those users are complaining."

What Dyn does is isolate and identify providers and how they are connecting to services to help identify where issues are happening, according to Baker. When a user goes into the II product and plugs in any domain—for example, a publication that makes use of Amazon's cloud—the Dyn II service will tell the organization that the site is hosted in Amazon East, using a certain set of IP addresses. Clicking on the Dyn II dashboard, the user will see the Amazon East status as well as global monitoring for end users.

"We'll take our sensor network and point it at the customer's infrastructure specifically, and we'll measure latency and loss," Baker said. "So organizations don't have to deploy their own agents, we have an infrastructure and methodology in place for alerting and visibility."

Dyn's focus with II is looking at the metrics of availability, performance and reachability, though in the future security could enter the mix as well.

"I wouldn't say there is an obvious link to security, but there is an implied link, and we'll be talking a lot more about that in the coming months," Baker said.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eWEEK and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner is an Internet consultant, strategist, and contributor to several leading IT business web sites.