In just over 20 years, Infoblox has grown to become the key player for DDI. It has by far the largest market share, market analyzes show. With the technology, it ensures secure and reliable DNS, DHCP and IP address management. The DDI concept for network and security management has evolved significantly in the meantime. The foundation is based on a strong focus on product innovation and the creation and maintenance of a good corporate culture. We have talked about it with CEO Jesper Andersen.
Andersen has been CEO of Infoblox for more than 7.5 years now. It was certainly not quiet years for the company. It came into the hands of the investment company Vista Equity Partners, for example, which took the company off the stock market with the takeover. Later, Warburg Pincus made a significant investment. “They invested in us mainly because of the growth potential they see. Today we have 1,800 employees worldwide. We serve more than 10,000 customers. More than 72 percent of Fortune 500 companies use Infoblox,” Andersen explains.
Definition of DDI approach
Infoblox’s rosy attitude is not to say that things come naturally. All too often, Andersen sees that Infoblox has not yet explained what DDI is in the first place. “Everyone knows what DNS is. Most people know what DHCP and IPAM are. But they do not necessarily create the connection through the term DDI,” Andersen said. The combined approach ensures that DNS and DHCP make the Internet run smoothly and securely, while IPAM is the management layer for IP addresses in the network.
Infoblox’s CEO points out that his company defined the term DDI about a decade ago. “I think if you’re a market leader in that area, you can define and develop the concept. DDI was originally associated with a kind of set of physical devices that we implement in your data center with a range of services. It’s not modern DDI. Of course, it can still be delivered on white goods, but today, as a service, it is also an option. We run the software and the customer rolls out the desired DNS and DHCP service thanks to containers. “
With this, Andersen enters another development that took place after he took office. The company was fully committed to a SaaS approach, resulting in the BloxOne platform. These include BloxOne DDI, or DDI as a service with a focus on the network part, and BloxOne Threat Defense, which is more focused on securing DNS.
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According to Andersen, it will offer one as a service option at the perfect time. He sees that DNS has grown from something that only avid IT people deal with, to something that is as necessary as electricity and water. “When you think of the companies’ enormous digital transformation, it also means that they are dependent on DNS and DHCP like never before. A modern company can not afford to experience a second downtime. “
As an example, Andersen mentions the enormous progress in the health care system. “Ten to fifteen years ago, the majority of medical records were still on paper. The doctors had these files with them. Now the files are all digital. If a DNS is lost in this situation, the doctor will not be able to access the medical file and the patient may die. “
Infoblox therefore notes that especially large companies with many technological advances realize that they really need to think about the DNS and DHCP infrastructure. “They need to design their system to have high availability. If one of the devices fails, they need to have hassle-free failover so that a DNS query is never missed. That’s what we call enterprise-grade DDI. That’s why they comes to Infoblox. Our reputation is that we are the best at it, “says Andersen.
For that position, it is necessary to offer companies freedom of choice. Infoblox serves companies from all kinds of sectors, which are often very large. They have different needs. For example, Infoblox meets companies in the public sector that do less with the public cloud than companies that focus a lot on innovation through the cloud and reducing the use of data centers. Infoblox offers organizations the flexibility to purchase DDI as they wish, based on their situation.
“You want to implement your network and security features wherever you want. In addition, you want to integrate with everything, be super flexible and minimize the footprint you use. We achieve all this with the BloxOne architecture. It is based on a modern control plan methodology solution, which is Kubernetes-based, it implements your DNS and DHCP servers in containers, which is ultimate flexibility, which means you can choose to run it on Infoblox hardware as well as on a white box router or a bare metal server, ”Andersen explains about the flexibility.
The CEO states that Infoblox itself has a preference for “a white box router or something like that”. This is because companies want to run many services on the devices. Infoblox offers just a few of these services. “A company wants to run its DNS and DHCP servers at the desired location. We then deliver the control plane. I like that architecture and it’s good for the customer. That’s how we differ from our competitors. Our niche competitors “DDI may be able to implement a virtual device with a fully monolithic footprint and a virtual machine on the box. But it’s a hefty footprint for the architecture type. It will not work in the long run.”
The technology has made many large companies trust Infoblox. One of the customer examples that Andersen proudly presents is Netflix. Andersen explains that the streaming service does not use data centers. All Netflix services run on AWS, including its own internal IT. “How would Netflix do DDI if they did not have the capability of a cloud-managed service? That shows why flexibility is important.”
Andersen also mentions a conservative bank in Europe as an example. Such a bank may interpret the GDPR as an obligation not to process and store data outside its own country. “Then you can buy our traditional DDI solution. You can choose between physical devices or virtual devices. “
Role in Zero Trust
Infoblox places great emphasis on network security with its technology. According to Andersen, network security can generally be much more secure. In his view, the Zero Trust concept in particular can mean a lot. “Many companies we talk to equate Zero Trust with the implementation of an identity solution. That’s a good first step. They implement solutions from Ping Identity and Okta to ensure that they have single sign-on for a portal that serves as the starting point for all business applications. But there is more in the direction of a client-based architecture. So you have your laptop on the corporate network and will not rely on anything other than the laptop. You need more client protection software for that. “
Infoblox plays a role in this with its niche focus on DNS security. Suppose an employee uses a laptop in the office, at home, and on the road. Infoblox runs the software to manage DNS traffic. Each DNS query goes to the BloxOne platform. The laptop sends the DNS query to the nearest DNS server in BloxOne Cloud. These are usually close to the user’s location. The DNS query is then handled and checked for malicious domain names. This method is part of the Zero Trust, Andersen explains.
Corporate culture contributes
Andersen also points out that during his period as CEO, he puts a lot of effort into creating and maintaining a good corporate culture. He admits it sounds like a buzzword that many companies are throwing around, but Infoblox sees it as part of the product’s success. In his view, the culture starts with ensuring that all employees understand the importance of DDI activities. “I attach great importance to this when we are looking for staff for a higher management position. In particular, we are talking about the criticality of DNS. Customers can not afford a second downtime. “
In addition to the importance of the message, Andersen believes that it is important to pay close attention to transparency and employee training. In this way, the company encourages its employees to develop. It can also be the next step to further challenge employees. It contributes to employee satisfaction, which in turn translates into the market.
Takes the next step
For Andersen, Infoblox’s market position is now strong. The company controls most of the market. Still, the ambition must remain high, otherwise there is a chance of being overtaken by the competition. In terms of technology, therefore, Infoblox hopes to grow into a larger single source of truth for network information. He also wants to grow further with revenue and customer base, especially in light of DNS’s and DHCP’s position to support further digitization. In the near future, we will see how those ambitions will be translated into practice.
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