Internet infrastructure firm Nominum has launched a set of cloud-based services designed to bring carrier-grade Domain Name System software to a wider audience.
In an announcement on Tuesday, the company unveiled its Skye cloud-computing division, which it says will offer DNS services to enterprises and tier-two ISPs.
Jon Shalowitz, Skye general manager, said in most cases he would expect organisations to use the new services instead of existing infrastructure, rather than as an adjunct.
"The services would allow organisations to decommission much of their internally maintained DNS, which would provide them with cost savings as well as expertise," he said.
Under the Skye banner, Nominum is offering four cloud-based services: Skye Core hosted DNS caching; Skye Secure hosted authoritative DNS service; Skye Search DNS-based navigation assistance to redirect mistyped addresses; and Skye Trust threat-management.
"The DNS services essentially take the caching and authoritative services and the same Nominum software that our top ISP customers run and make those available in the cloud model," said Shalowitz.
According to Nominum, its technology is already used by 100 ISPs covering 170 million broadband households worldwide. Nominum's chairman and chief scientist, Paul Mockapetris, invented the DNS system in 1983 as a naming system to identify networked computers.
Shalowitz said Skye Core and Skye Secure would not be targeted at its tier-one customers because such organisations want to own the software. "They have some very smart internal staff running their DNS using Nominum software. They don't really need those core DNS services," he said.
"It's the tier-two ISPs and enterprises that don't run Nominum software yet that would look at this and decide that, rather than buy software and run it internally, they are going to use the cloud model because of the economics and the know-how they can access."
The Skye facilities will be hosted in five co-location datacentres in Europe, Asia and the US. A further five facilities are planned as part of a "seven-figure plus investment in datacentre space", according to Shalowitz.
"So if I'm a major bank, a retail store or an ecommerce site, rather than hosting that DNS information on my own, maybe in one datacentre, I'm going to call on a worldwide network of datacentres and create a much more highly available web presence that way. I'm going to store my authoritative DNS information much closer to the actual users who are requesting that information," he added.
Nominum's previous involvement in hosted DNS ended in October 2002 when it sold its DNS hosting customer base to UltraDNS.