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Improving I&O Efficiency with DNS and DHCP Services in Containers

September 22, 2021 | Written by: Surinder Paul | , ,

Running applications, components and services in containers is particularly interesting with regards to the ease of deployment, the level of isolation and the topologies authorized through some modern architecture models. DNS and DHCP services, considered Core Network Services, are distributed by nature, are positioned very close to user devices and can benefit from these architecture patterns. EfficientIP services can run in containers and still be managed centrally from the SOLIDserver management plane, allowing dynamic topologies, automated scale in/out and edge deployments like VNF (Virtual Network Function), not only in 5G networks but also for any organization having the ability to deploy application components at the edge (e.g. smart grid, data collection, predictive maintenance…).

In addition to the packages we introduced a while ago for our DHCP and DNS services to ease overlay deployment on existing installed Linux systems, the solution is now fully integrated inside containers. This simplifies the deployment and version management of the services and is now well supported by most customers. There’s no need to update the underlying Linux system for all the dependencies, nor keep the complete operating system at a specific level depending on the products installed on it. As DHCP and DNS services are by nature edge services, having the ability to deploy them as containers offers a new way to manage the scalability and the proximity for the deployment.

Simplifying IT team work and Edge locations

The container option also embraces new network topologies where several points of presence are necessary, without requiring more additional computation power, avoiding necessity for an appliance on site, which is not always a good option. Sometimes, having a virtual machine is not even possible and sharing a container platform hosted on a specific solution or on a network equipment is the only way to propose edge services. But having the ability to use a fully centrally managed solution simplifies the work of IT teams and eases deployment of all these edge locations. Even if it is possible to rely on the local service proposed by a network equipment onsite, since most of these are providing DHCP service and DNS resolution, it jeopardizes the global visibility, does not allow advanced security protection and is complex to manage for a few dozen sites, let alone for thousands.

In addition to the packages that are still offered for installation on an existing Linux system, on a bare metal server or a VM, the DNS and DHCP services are now available ready-to-use in Linux containers. A single container is able to run one or multiple services depending on its runtime configuration. You can then start either a single DNS instance, or a DNS and DHCP instance. You can also enable DHCPv6 inside this container. The container is autonomous and embeds all the required pieces of software and operating system parts to join the DDI control plane. Once deployed, it will be centrally managed, ideally inside a SmartArchitecture. It can be deployed on a single Linux host using Docker for testing purposes or on a fully orchestrated topology like Kubernetes or Nomad. The networking part would need to be adapted in order for the client traffic to be sent to the appropriate node running the service, bearing in mind that DNS and DHCP are running on fixed ports. Very easily, a small virtual network function manager can be adapted to automatically update a load balancer’s rules in the context of automatic scale in and out.

Easing Deployment for Kubernetes

By allowing direct integration of core network services like DNS and DHCP inside a containerized solution brings a software and system abstraction level that eases deployments on multiple sites, as well as on multiple hosting environments like OpenShift, Rancher or Kubernetes.

Using the SmartArchitecture for DNS and DHCP services allows easy addition or suppression of nodes inside any topology, even the most complex ones. Adding a recursive DNS server in a farm does not require a lot of configuration, but when you have to configure each service individually it can be cumbersome and complex to automate, and the version control system which is required is not always already in place in many organizations. A SmartArchitecture contains all the configuration and parameters that are required for the chosen topology of the service, and any new node will automatically be configured according to its role inside it. SmartArchitecture mixed with containers is the perfect combination, easing scaling operation without having to take care of the configuration, just add the node at its position.

If you are looking for another way to include edge DNS and DHCP services with a strong and integrated DDI solution, EfficientIP service containers will probably help your I&O teams to use their precious time for tasks other than trying to automate and manually configure solutions not edge oriented.

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