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Friday, 05 October 2012 16:57

Nominum's new ecosystem helps operators develop apps to exploit DNS

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Nominum, a company whose software underpins domain name systems (DNS) for hundreds of ISPs worldwide, has developed a software platform and associated ecosystem to enable network operators to easily develop and deploy a wide range of applications to leverage the DNS.

Nominum claims that its software currently processes over one trillion DNS queries per day at over 140 network operators worldwide.

Carl Braden, Nominum's senior executive sales director APAC Region, told iTWire "By doing things at the DNS level solutions are highly scalable. It is consistent and covers a huge range of devices - there aren't many that don't use the DNS.

Nominum has launched the system as the N2 Platform and the Ideal Ecosystem under which it intends to foster a community of application developers, both within network operators and independent third parties. Telstra has been using a version of the system for the past 18 months to block access to child sexual abuse web sites.

"The Internet content blocking we are doing for Telstra runs across their ADSL, cable and mobile networks," Braden said. "The DNS gives a common platform that you can implement these policies on. That application has been running seamlessly for a year and a half using an encrypted black list from Interpol."

In other applications, he said that US cable operators were using the technology to monitor their customers' access to over the top IPTV services via the broadband service provided in conjunction with the cable service.

"The operators want to know at what level of IPTV usage customers will downgrade their cable service or switch it off altogether. There is a direct correlation and they are using DNS analysis of the over the top traffic to generate reports for the marketing guys so they can try and keep those customers."

He added: "Also mobile network operators need to be aware of customers using application like Skype and Apple Messenger over the top instead of voce and SMS."

The system is being used by cable operators to optimise their content delivery networks. Nominum claims that Cablevision Argentina has achieved improvements in excess of 50 percent while at the same time improving response times for users.

According to Braden, the N2 platform provides a single point of integration with other systems such as billing and subscriber management, so that there is no need for individual applications built on it to be integrated.

"The N2 platform uses existing infrastructure and it is already integrated, so once you have integrated to a billing or subscriber activation system, every new application can leverage that integration, unlike with bespoke applications."

According to Nominum's chairman, Dr Paul Mockapetris - who is credited with inventing the DNS - making effective use of DNS data has previously been challenging. "The tools for collecting, synthesising, anonymising, and analysing it weren't adequate. The N2 Platform simplifies the process of collecting large amounts of data in real-time and makes it easier to develop new applications and integrate with other network operator systems."

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