Monocultures have always turned out to be error-prone, risky and not
able to survive. ironDNS® contributes to diversity on multiple
levels. Diversity becomes the survival strategy.
More than 75% of all DNS queries are handled by a single software:
BIND by ISC. This software is used by many registries, registrars and
also DNS service providers. It is currently being overhauled for
version 10 and is considered technically mature and very stable.
However, no software, no matter how well-tried, is completely
flawless. This holds true for ironDNS® as well, of course.
If one software exhibits a malfunction, this is normally not the case
for a different implementation though. The Internet standards
procedure, for example, prescribes that for an IETF specification
there have to be at least two genetically independent implementations.
Handling diversity: a child's play
Malfunctions are the most common route of attack for Internet
criminals and the biggest threat to a stable Internet.
Open-Source versus Closed-Source
The central principle of open-source software is that not only the
executable program, but also the source code is made public.
BIND as well as other DNS software follow this principle.
The advantage is obvious: Malfunctions are noticed and also remedied
by many developers. The disadvantage: Criminals are also able to spot
weak points and abuse them for malicious attacks, instead of informing
the authors of the software.
ironDNS®, on the other hand, is not open-source, but
so-called closed-source software. The in-house developers alone know
the source code. And this will not change in the future.
Program errors cannot be determined by third parties.
Another reason for the use of ironDNS® as an ideal complement for
existing open-source infrastructures.
Colourful diversity is not only nice but also useful
Diversity of the operating system and the hardware
This is not the end of diversity yet. Even within ironDNS®,
operation is ensured in diverse ways. Two operating systems are used:
An open-source Linux variant on the one hand, a proprietary Unix
widely used in cluster-based high-availability systems on the other
On the hardware level, Intel Xeon and Itanium processors ares used.