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Sage Case Study

Insourcing the DNS Internet Service

Project Type

Getting control over the DNS Internet
Implementing automated workflow processes

Key Benefits

Saved more than 75% of the budget allocated to DNS management

Overview & Challenges Faced

World leading supplier of business management software and services, Sage helps 6.2 million customers worldwide to manage their business processes. The company has 2,500 employees in France, spread over 20 separate facilities. Sage France wanted to regain global control over its DNS Internet service and to eliminate use of their then hosting service provider. The company had three main objectives: get global visibility and control over DNS activity, streamline workflow with a check and validate process for each operation made on DNS servers and maintain a high level of security for the DNS service.

Sage France had been using the services of a hosting service provider to manage their DNS servers. The service delivered a robust, secure and stable service. However, the method had several drawbacks. Sage teams had little autonomy and were «overly» dependent on the hosting service. For example, at the creation of DNS records (RR), Sage intervention was limited to A-type recordings. For other operations, the network team had to make a request through the user interface of the host who would execute the requested actions. This restricted access to DNS service prolonged response time, either in the creation of zones and RR or when solving problems. This issue and others like it led Sage to reconsider their DNS service management system.

Solutions & Outcome

They opted for an EfficientIP DNS management solution that not only meets their requirements, but also allows them to keep at minimum the same levels of performance (DNS queries per second) and provide better service continuity and security than those offered by the host. Two SOLIDServer DNS appliances were installed on Vmware. Virtualization is a key point of Sage corporate policy for critical applications, as evidenced by the 200 virtual servers utilized in their primary site. Any DNS management solution had to fit in this model and EfficientIP did the job.

EfficientIP gave an answer to Sage workflow issue by offering a system that automates user queries processing. With SOLIDserver, Sage administrators have been able to create in just a few minutes their own request forms and adapt them to process needs. Now, when users want to create a DNS zone, they send a request form to the administrator. Once validated, the zone is automatically created in the DNS server, without users’ intervention. Otherwise, it is either rejected or returned to the users who must justify their request. This system, plus DNS dynamic updates, allows Sage to have a real control over its DNS service and monitor operations on the servers by a fluid and automated process. In addition, a detailed history offers a real traceability of DNS interventions for better reporting. Thanks to SOLIDserver ease of use, Sage’s network teams were able to migrate 400 zones in just 48 hours and can now delegate initially complex operations to non-experts.

EfficientIP DNS management solution brought Sage the following key benefits:

  • Global Control over DNS Internet service: Sage network team can now manage the whole DNS service and easily delegate administrative tasks to technicians of all levels of expertise.
  • Significant cost reduction: The current budget allocated to the business management of the DNS service is less than a quarter of what it was for outsourcing.
  • High availability, performance and security: EfficientIP solution gives Sage a high level of performance and ensures continuity and security of the DNS Internet service.

Advice To Others

As far as giving any tips to others considering implementing DDI or for doing things differently, Paul said; “The implementation went far smoother and was a lot easier than I expected and I cannot think of how it could have gone any easier. In terms of the migration exercise, there would probably be nothing we would do differently. However, from a management perspective, we would probably like to spend more time working through real-life scenarios before making the system live.” When considering if he was happy with the solution, Paul said, “Yes. There have been some teething problems, as to be expected when changing systems, but these have either been overcome or workarounds suggested following quick e-mail or telephone conversations.”

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