Welcome!

Security Authors: Paul Speciale, Kevin Jackson, Pat Romanski, Carmen Gonzalez, Rick Delgado

Related Topics: Cloud Expo, SOA & WOA, Virtualization, Web 2.0, Security, Big Data Journal, SDN Journal

Cloud Expo: Blog Feed Post

Cloud: Impact of DNS on Performance

Developers and operations must work together to mitigate the impact of hybrid architectures on application performance

One of the ramifications of relying on off-premise cloud infrastructure is that you're necessarily stuck with some of the idiosyncrasies that come with it. For example, it's not your network, and thus topologically-related identifiers such as host names and IP address are not within your purview. But you certainly aren't going to ask your customers to visit "host111-east-virginia-zone3-subnet5.cloudproivder.com". At least not if you want them visit, you won't.

Luckily, you control your own DNS destiny, so you'll just CNAME that crazy long host name provided by the provider to be something more catchy and inline with your branding, say, "coolappz.com".

While certainly more appealing to everyone (easy to remember, fits better on a bumper sticker and on branded swag) it does have a downside: double the latency.

You see, CNAME lookups require two distinct DNS queries to resolve - the first retrieves the ultra-ugly-long host name, the second resolves the ultra-ugly-long host name into an IP address that can actually be used by the browser to connect.

So that's double the lookup, double the roundtrips, double the latency.

Of course, no web page comprises just one host. That would be so 90s and this, this is the 21st century! This is Web 2.0, the age of integration and interconnection and inter-everything. And if the services upon which you rely to build that web app are using CNAMEs, too, well... I hope you like math cause you're going to be added up some roundtrips and latency for a while.

The point here is not to scare you off of hybrid architectures due to the potential impact on performance, but rather to remind you to keep the impact in the fore. It is important to remember the impact of topology, proximity, and the technology in general on the overall performance of your web applications.

A Google Developers article nails down where DNS latency comes from quite well:

There are two components to DNS latency:

  • - Latency between the client (user) and DNS resolving server. In most cases this is largely due to the usual round-trip time (RTT) constraints in networked systems: geographical distance between client and server machines; network congestion; packet loss and long retransmit delays (one second on average); overloaded servers, denial-of-service attacks and so on.
  • - Latency between resolving servers and other nameservers. This source of latency is caused primarily by the following factors:
    • - Cache misses. If a response cannot be served from a resolver's cache, but requires recursively querying other nameservers, the added network latency is considerable, especially if the authoritative servers are geographically remote.
    • - Underprovisioning. If DNS resolvers are overloaded, they must queue DNS resolution requests and responses, and may begin dropping and retransmitting packets.
    • - Malicious traffic. Even if a DNS service is overprovisioned, DoS traffic can place undue load on the servers. Similarly, Kaminsky-style attacks can involve flooding resolvers with queries that are guaranteed to bypass the cache and require outgoing requests for resolution.

-- Introduction: causes and mitigations of DNS latency

Interestingly, Google is arguing for public DNS services, even though this may in fact contribute to location-induced DNS latency, particularly for custom domains for which the authoritative zone is served by relatively few number of DNS servers, most of which are geographically located far from the majority of users. Intercontinental latency is still very much problematic.

Catchpoint, a web performance monitoring service, mentions this in its exhaustive list of the ways in which DNS impacts performance:

Exotic Domains: be careful with the exotic domain names, .ly, .tv… these domains have authoritative servers that are often far away from you end user ISPs. The records will have almost always 2 day TTL, however you never know when someone will be impacted because the query has to go to the authoritative servers and they fail. Example “.ly”, 2 authoritative servers are in Libya, 2 in the US, and 1 in the Netherlands.

So when we go connecting clouds and data centers, we need to be concerned with where and how domains are being disseminated, sharded, and resolved. We need to more carefully consider how we are referencing content and whether or not the performance boosts we get from some techniques (such as domain sharding) are being offset by the impact of double the latency from the need to resolve those extra hosts.

We need to examine that in the context of other contributing factors, such as TTL (time to live). If the time to live is long enough, then perhaps the initial hit from the extra lookup required to resolve a CNAME isn't going to matter over the life of the session. If we're looking at supporting a stateless API in which sessions don't really exist, then the second lookup may indeed be problematic, but only if the calls are generally spread out over a time interval that is greater than the TTL.

It's a balancing act, where understanding how application network services contribute to the performance of applications is critical to pushing the right buttons and twisting the right knobs will alleviate performance issues that can damage adoption and growth of the web applications that are key to business.

You're Not Off The Hook, Developers

So often it's the case that applications are written with a specific behavior in mind and it is left to devops to figure out how to mitigate these kinds of potential performance issues. But it is just as important for developers to understand how the application network services contribute to performance because sometimes, all it takes is for the application to be "tweaked' with respect to an update interval or use of a different host name to generate a significant improvement in performance. It is increasingly difficult for - and sometimes even impossible - for operations to make adjustments in the infrastructure, particularly in hybrid environments where infrastructure services are black-box and off-limits.

Thus, it is of growing importance that developers and operations work together to map the interaction of applications with application network services such that each group can make appropriate modifications and configuration changes that serve to improve the overall performance of the application, no matter where it might be deployed.

As more and more organizations adopt hybrid, distributed applications that span geographies in addition to environments, this level of cooperation and collaboration will be key to managing web application performance issues.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Lori MacVittie

Lori MacVittie is responsible for education and evangelism of application services available across F5’s entire product suite. Her role includes authorship of technical materials and participation in a number of community-based forums and industry standards organizations, among other efforts. MacVittie has extensive programming experience as an application architect, as well as network and systems development and administration expertise. Prior to joining F5, MacVittie was an award-winning Senior Technology Editor at Network Computing Magazine, where she conducted product research and evaluation focused on integration with application and network architectures, and authored articles on a variety of topics aimed at IT professionals. Her most recent area of focus included SOA-related products and architectures. She holds a B.S. in Information and Computing Science from the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay, and an M.S. in Computer Science from Nova Southeastern University.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Samsung VP Jacopo Lenzi, who headed the company's recent SmartThings acquisition under the auspices of Samsung's Open Innovaction Center (OIC), answered a few questions we had about the deal. This interview was in conjunction with our interview with SmartThings CEO Alex Hawkinson. IoT Journal: SmartThings was developed in an open, standards-agnostic platform, and will now be part of Samsung's Open Innovation Center. Can you elaborate on your commitment to keep the platform open? Jacopo Lenzi: Samsung recognizes that true, accelerated innovation cannot be driven from one source, but requires a...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Red Hat, the world's leading provider of open source solutions, will exhibit at Internet of @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Red Hat is the world's leading provider of open source software solutions, using a community-powered approach to reliable and high-performing cloud, Linux, middleware, storage and virtualization technologies. Red Hat also offers award-winning support, training, and consulting services. As the connective hub in a global network of enterprises, partners, a...
P2P RTC will impact the landscape of communications, shifting from traditional telephony style communications models to OTT (Over-The-Top) cloud assisted & PaaS (Platform as a Service) communication services. The P2P shift will impact many areas of our lives, from mobile communication, human interactive web services, RTC and telephony infrastructure, user federation, security and privacy implications, business costs, and scalability. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Robin Raymond, Chief Architect at Hookflash Inc., will walk through the shifting landscape of traditional telephone a...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Matrix.org has been named “Silver Sponsor” of Internet of @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Matrix is an ambitious new open standard for open, distributed, real-time communication over IP. It defines a new approach for interoperable Instant Messaging and VoIP based on pragmatic HTTP APIs and WebRTC, and provides open source reference implementations to showcase and bootstrap the new standard. Our focus is on simplicity, security, and supporting the fullest feature set.
BSQUARE is a global leader of embedded software solutions. We enable smart connected systems at the device level and beyond that millions use every day and provide actionable data solutions for the growing Internet of Things (IoT) market. We empower our world-class customers with our products, services and solutions to achieve innovation and success. For more information, visit www.bsquare.com.
How do APIs and IoT relate? The answer is not as simple as merely adding an API on top of a dumb device, but rather about understanding the architectural patterns for implementing an IoT fabric. There are typically two or three trends: Exposing the device to a management framework Exposing that management framework to a business centric logic • Exposing that business layer and data to end users. This last trend is the IoT stack, which involves a new shift in the separation of what stuff happens, where data lives and where the interface lies. For instance, it’s a mix of architectural style...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SOA Software, an API management leader, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. SOA Software is a leading provider of API Management and SOA Governance products that equip business to deliver APIs and SOA together to drive their company to meet its business strategy quickly and effectively. SOA Software’s technology helps businesses to accelerate their digital channels with APIs, drive partner adoption, monetize their assets, and achieve a...
From a software development perspective IoT is about programming "things," about connecting them with each other or integrating them with existing applications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Yakov Fain, co-founder of Farata Systems and SuranceBay, will show you how small IoT-enabled devices from multiple manufacturers can be integrated into the workflow of an enterprise application. This is a practical demo of building a framework and components in HTML/Java/Mobile technologies to serve as a platform that can integrate new devices as they become available on the market.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Utimaco will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Utimaco is a leading manufacturer of hardware based security solutions that provide the root of trust to keep cryptographic keys safe, secure critical digital infrastructures and protect high value data assets. Only Utimaco delivers a general-purpose hardware security module (HSM) as a customizable platform to easily integrate into existing software solutions, embed business logic and build s...
Connected devices are changing the way we go about our everyday life, from wearables to driverless cars, to smart grids and entire industries revolutionizing business opportunities through smart objects, capable of two-way communication. But what happens when objects are given an IP-address, and we rely on that connection, sometimes with our lives? How do we secure those vast data infrastructures and safe-keep the privacy of sensitive information? This session will outline how each and every connected device can uphold a core root of trust via a unique cryptographic signature – a “bir...
Internet of @ThingsExpo Silicon Valley announced on Thursday its first 12 all-star speakers and sessions for its upcoming event, which will take place November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in California. @ThingsExpo, the first and largest IoT event in the world, debuted at the Javits Center in New York City in June 10-12, 2014 with over 6,000 delegates attending the conference. Among the first 12 announced world class speakers, IBM will present two highly popular IoT sessions, which will take place November 4-6, 2014 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, Calif...
Almost everyone sees the potential of Internet of Things but how can businesses truly unlock that potential. The key will be in the ability to discover business insight in the midst of an ocean of Big Data generated from billions of embedded devices via Systems of Discover. Businesses will also need to ensure that they can sustain that insight by leveraging the cloud for global reach, scale and elasticity.
WebRTC defines no default signaling protocol, causing fragmentation between WebRTC silos. SIP and XMPP provide possibilities, but come with considerable complexity and are not designed for use in a web environment. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Matthew Hodgson, technical co-founder of the Matrix.org, will discuss how Matrix is a new non-profit Open Source Project that defines both a new HTTP-based standard for VoIP & IM signaling and provides reference implementations.

SUNNYVALE, Calif., Oct. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Spansion Inc. (NYSE: CODE), a global leader in embedded systems, today added 96 new products to the Spansion® FM4 Family of flexible microcontrollers (MCUs). Based on the ARM® Cortex®-M4F core, the new MCUs boast a 200 MHz operating frequency and support a diverse set of on-chip peripherals for enhanced human machine interfaces (HMIs) and machine-to-machine (M2M) communications. The rich set of periphera...

SYS-CON Events announced today that Aria Systems, the recurring revenue expert, has been named "Bronze Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Aria Systems helps leading businesses connect their customers with the products and services they love. Industry leaders like Pitney Bowes, Experian, AAA NCNU, VMware, HootSuite and many others choose Aria to power their recurring revenue business and deliver exceptional experiences to their customers.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is going to require a new way of thinking and of developing software for speed, security and innovation. This requires IT leaders to balance business as usual while anticipating for the next market and technology trends. Cloud provides the right IT asset portfolio to help today’s IT leaders manage the old and prepare for the new. Today the cloud conversation is evolving from private and public to hybrid. This session will provide use cases and insights to reinforce the value of the network in helping organizations to maximize their company’s cloud experience.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is making everything it touches smarter – smart devices, smart cars and smart cities. And lucky us, we’re just beginning to reap the benefits as we work toward a networked society. However, this technology-driven innovation is impacting more than just individuals. The IoT has an environmental impact as well, which brings us to the theme of this month’s #IoTuesday Twitter chat. The ability to remove inefficiencies through connected objects is driving change throughout every sector, including waste management. BigBelly Solar, located just outside of Boston, is trans...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Matrix.org has been named “Silver Sponsor” of Internet of @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Matrix is an ambitious new open standard for open, distributed, real-time communication over IP. It defines a new approach for interoperable Instant Messaging and VoIP based on pragmatic HTTP APIs and WebRTC, and provides open source reference implementations to showcase and bootstrap the new standard. Our focus is on simplicity, security, and supporting the fullest feature set.
Predicted by Gartner to add $1.9 trillion to the global economy by 2020, the Internet of Everything (IoE) is based on the idea that devices, systems and services will connect in simple, transparent ways, enabling seamless interactions among devices across brands and sectors. As this vision unfolds, it is clear that no single company can accomplish the level of interoperability required to support the horizontal aspects of the IoE. The AllSeen Alliance, announced in December 2013, was formed with the goal to advance IoE adoption and innovation in the connected home, healthcare, education, aut...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Red Hat, the world's leading provider of open source solutions, will exhibit at Internet of @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Red Hat is the world's leading provider of open source software solutions, using a community-powered approach to reliable and high-performing cloud, Linux, middleware, storage and virtualization technologies. Red Hat also offers award-winning support, training, and consulting services. As the connective hub in a global network of enterprises, partners, a...