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BIG-IP 10050s DNS (48 GB Memory, SSD, Global Traffic Manager, DNSSEC, Advanced Routing, Dual AC Power Supplies)

Hyperscale and Protect Your DNS While Optimizing Global App Delivery

Scaling and securing every environment helps protect your business from site outages and improves DNS and application performance. Securing DNS infrastructures from the latest distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks and protecting DNS query responses from cache-poisoning redirects will help keep your business online and viable. But to fully achieve these goals, you need efficient ways to monitor DNS infrastructure and application health and to scale on demand to meet exact requirements.

F5® BIG-IP® DNS (formerly BIG-IP® Global Traffic Manager™) distributes DNS and user application requests based on business policies, data center and cloud service conditions, user location, and application performance. The BIG-IP platform delivers F5’s high-performance DNS services with visibility, reporting, and analysis; hyperscales and secures DNS responses geographically to survive DDoS attacks; delivers a complete, real-time DNSSEC solution; and ensures high availability of global applications in all hybrid environments.

Key Benefits

Hyperscale DNS up to 100 million RPS with a fully loaded chassis
BIG-IP DNS hyperscales authoritative DNS up to 100 million query responses per second (RPS) and controls DNS traffic. It ensures that users are connected to the best site and delivers on-demand scaling for DNS and global apps.

Protect against DNS attacks and ensure availability
Ensure DNS and application availability and protection during DNS DDoS attacks or volume spikes. In addition, mitigate DNS threats by blocking access to malicious IP domains.

Improve global application performance
Send users to the site with the best application performance based on application, geolocation, business, and network conditions.

Deploy flexibly, scale as you grow, and manage your network efficiently
BIG-IP DNS delivers flexible global application management in virtual and cloud environments. The web-based UI provides easy DNS configuration with centralized menus; advanced logging, statistics, and reporting; and a single point of control for your DNS and global app delivery requirements.

F5 BIG-IP DNS Solutions

Unmatched DNS Performance

BIG‑IP DNS delivers hyperscale performance that can handle even the busiest sites. When sites have a volume spike in DNS queries due to legitimate requests or DDoS attacks, BIG-IP DNS manages requests with multicore processing and F5 DNS Express™, dramatically increasing authoritative DNS performance up to 50 million RPS to quickly respond to all queries.

This helps your organization provide the best quality of service (QoS) for your users while eliminating poor application performance. DNS Express improves standard DNS server functions by offloading DNS responses as an authoritative DNS server. BIG-IP DNS accepts zone transfers of DNS records from the primary DNS server and answers DNS queries authoritatively.

Benefits and features of multicore processing and DNS Express include:

• High-speed response and DDoS attack protection with in-memory DNS
• Authoritative DNS replication in multiple BIG-IP or DNS service deployments for faster responses
• Authoritative DNS and DNSSEC in virtual clouds for disaster recovery and fast,secure responses
• Scalable DNS performance for quality of app and service experience
• The ability to consolidate DNS servers and increase ROI

In cases of very high volumes for apps and services or a DNS DDoS attack, BIG-IP DNS hyperscales in Rapid Response Mode (RRM) up to 100 million RPS. It extends availability with unmatched performance and security—absorbing and responding to queries at up
to 200 percent of the normal limits. See page 13 for performance metrics and details.

DNS Caching and Resolving

DNS latency can be reduced by enabling a DNS cache on BIG-IP DNS and having it respond immediately to client requests. BIG-IP DNS can consolidate the cache and increase the cache hit rate. This reduces DNS latency up to 80 percent, with F5 DNS caching reducing the number of DNS queries for the same site. When used in hardware on the F5 VIPRION platform, DNS caching hyperscales for ultimate query response performance. In addition to caching, BIG-IP DNS allows the device to do its own DNS resolving without requiring the use of an upstream DNS resolver.

Caching profiles available to select for multiple caches include:

• Transparent cache
• BIG-IP DNS site between client and DNS internal/external
• Hot cache
• Caching resolver
• No cache response so that BIG-IP DNS sends out the request with the response coming back for resolving and caching
• Validating caching resolver

BIG-IP DNS supports all common DNS deployments that are either authoritative or local resolver DNS. Specific zone requests not cached are forwarded to name servers for faster DNS resolving, allowing users to receive expedient responses.

BIG-IP DNS reduces the average DNS response time and latency for mobile and desktop devices from an average of 300 milliseconds (ms) and 100 ms respectively to as little as 15 ms, depending on workloads.

Secure Applications

DNS denial-of-service attacks, cache poisoning, and DNS hijacking threaten the availability and security of your applications. BIG-IP DNS protects against DNS attacks and enables you to create polices that provide an added layer of protection for your applications and data.

DNS attack protection features include:

  • Hardened device—BIG-IP DNS is ICSA Labs Certified as a network firewall and resists common teardrop, ICMP, or daemon attacks.
  • DNS attack protection—BIG-IP DNS offers built-in protocol validation in software to automatically drop high-volume UDP, DNS query, NXDOMAIN floods, and malformed packets. You can also use BIG-IP DNS in hardware to mitigate these high-volume attacks.
  • DNS load balancing—The BIG-IP platform can be used to front-end static DNS servers. If the DNS request is for a name controlled by the BIG-IP platform, F5 DNS services will answer the request.
  • Security control—F5 iRules for DNS can help you create policies that block requests from rogue sites.
  • Packet filtering—BIG-IP DNS uses packet filtering to limit or deny websites’ access based on source, destination, or port.

DNS firewall

DNS DDoS, cache poisoning of LDNS, and other unwanted DNS attacks and volume spikes can cause DNS outage and lost productivity. These attacks and traffic spikes increase volume dramatically and can take down DNS servers.

BIG-IP DNS, with security, scale, performance, and control functionality, provides DNS firewall benefits. It shields DNS from attacks such as reflection or amplification DDoS attacks and other undesired DNS queries and responses that reduce DNS performance. In addition, you can mitigate complex DNS security threats by blocking access to malicious IP domains with Response Policy Zones. With BIG-IP DNS, you can install a third-party domain filtering service such as SURBL or Spamhaus and prevent client infection or intercept infected responses to known sources of malware and viruses. F5 DNS firewall services reduce the costs of infection resolution and increase user productivity.

Lower your risk of malware and virus communication and mitigate DNS threats by blocking access to malicious IP domains with a domain reputation service such as SURBL or Spamhaus.

F5 DNS firewall services include:

  • Protocol inspection and validation
  • DNS record type ACL*
  • High-performance authoritative DNS, which scales responses exponentially
  • Authoritative DNS hyperscaling up to 200 percent to absorb DDoS attacks
  • Reducing latency and hyperscaling DNS caching
  • DNS load balancing
  • Stateful inspection (never accepts unsolicited responses)
  • ICSA Labs certification (can be deployed in the DMZ)
  • The ability to scale across devices using IP Anycast
  • Secure responses (DNSSEC)
  • DNSSEC response rate limits
  • Complete DNS control using DNS iRules
  • DDoS threshold alerting*
  • Threat mitigation by blocking access to malicious IP domains
  • DNS logging and reporting
  • Hardened F5 DNS code (not BIND protocol)

*Requires provisioning BIG-IP Advanced Firewall Manager™ to access functionality.

BIG-IP DNS keeps apps available with firewall services protecting DNS infrastructure from highvolume attacks and malformed packets.

Complete DNSSEC signing

With BIG-IP DNSSEC support, you can digitally sign and encrypt your DNS query responses. This enables the resolver to determine the authenticity of the response, preventing DNS hijacking and cache poisoning. In addition, receive all the benefits of global server load balancing while also securing your DNS query responses. Alternatively, if a zone has already been signed, BIG-IP DNS manages static DNSSEC responses for higher performance.

Centralized DNSSEC key management

Many IT organizations have or want to standardize on FIPS-compliant devices and secure DNSSEC keys. You can use BIG-IP DNS with FIPS cards that provide 140-2 support for securing your keys. In addition, BIG-IP DNS integrates and uses hardware security modules (HSMs) from Thales for implementation, centralized management, and secure handling of DNSSEC keys, reducing OpEx and delivering consolidation and FIPS compliance.

Top-level domain support for DNSSEC

For DNS administrators who want to delegate to other secure sub-domains, BIG-IP DNS allows easy management of DNSSEC as a top-level domain, becoming a parent zone.

DNS SEC validation

In most networks, DNS resolvers offload DNSSEC record requests and crypto calculations to validate that the DNS response being received is correctly signed. DNSSEC responses coming into the network require high CPU loads on DNS resolving servers.

With BIG-IP DNSSEC validation, administrators can easily offload and validate DNSSEC on the client side using BIG-IP DNS for resolving. This results in superior DNS performance and a dramatic increase in the site response to users.

Globally Available Applications

BIG‑IP DNS offers global application availability and sophisticated health monitoring that support a wide variety of application types, giving organizations the flexibility to adapt quickly and stay competitive.

These global availability and health monitoring features include:
Global load balancing—BIG-IP DNS provides comprehensive, high-performance application management for hybrid environments.
Dynamic ratio load balancing—BIG-IP DNS routes users to the best resource based on site and network metrics (for example, based on the number of hops between the client and the local DNS).
Wide area persistence—To ensure user connections persist across apps and data centers, BIG-IP DNS synchronizes data, propagates local DNS, and maintains
session integrity.
Geographic load balancing—BIG-IP DNS includes an IP database identifying location at the continent, country, and state/province level to connect users to the closest app or service for the best performance.
Custom topology mapping—With BIG-IP DNS, organizations can set up custom topology maps. By defining and saving custom region groupings, you can configure topology based on intranet app traffic policies that match your internal infrastructure.
Infrastructure monitoring—BIG-IP DNS checks entire infrastructure health, eliminating single points of failure and routing app traffic away from poorly performing sites.

BIG‑IP DNS ensures users are always connected to the best site.
(1) User queries local DNS to resolve domain, and local DNS queries BIG‑IP DNS.
(2) BIG‑IP DNS uses metrics collected for each site and identifies the best server.
(3) BIG‑IP DNS responds to local DNS with IP address.
(4) User is connected to site.

Application health monitoring

BIG-IP DNS improves the application experience by intelligently monitoring the availability of resources. It expands application resilience by flexibly selecting and using the best available BIG-IP solutions for health monitoring. BIG-IP DNS reduces application downtime and enables easy availability with multiple settings in application monitoring.

Today’s sophisticated applications require intelligent health checks to determine availability. Instead of relying on a single health check, BIG‑IP DNS aggregates multiple monitors so that you can check the application state at multiple levels. This results in the highest availability, improves reliability, and eliminates false positives to reduce management overhead.

BIG‑IP DNS provides pre-defined, out-of-the-box health monitoring support for more than 18 different applications, including SAP, Oracle, LDAP, and mySQL. BIG‑IP DNS performs targeted monitoring of these applications to accurately determine their health, reduce downtime, and improve the user experience.

Disaster recovery/business continuity planning

In addition to performing comprehensive site availability checks, you can define the conditions for shifting all traffic to a backup data center, failing over an entire site, or controlling only the affected applications.

Simple Management

Managing a distributed, multiple-site network from a single point is an enormous challenge. BIG-IP DNS provides tools that give you a global view of your infrastructure with the means to manage the network and add polices to ensure the highest availability for your businesscritical applications. Features include:

Reduce DNS delivery deployment time with centralized and easy-to-find configuration and management sequences.

  • Web-based user interface—Manage global infrastructure from a centralized UI using:
    • Streamlined and centralized DNS and GSLB menus for fast configuration.
    • Efficient list and object management for complete visibility of global resources.
    • Unique naming of objects to reduce administration and build business policies.
    • Enhanced management of distributed applications as part of one collective group.
    • Context-sensitive help for information on objects, commands, and configuration examples.
  • Powerful command-line interface—The TMSH command-line interface delivers integrated search, context-sensitive help, and batch-mode transactions.
  • Automated setup and synchronization—Autosync automates and secures multiple BIG-IP DNS devices, eliminating difficult hierarchical management common to DNS.
  • Improves scale and analysis with unlimited N+1 devices—In a failover situation, when BIG-IP DNS services are part of a Device Service Cluster (DSC) group, the BIG-IP solution performs at its peak capacity—across all appliances or virtual editions synced with DNS and GSLB services. BIG-IP DNS provides highly scalable apps and services, performing smart analysis on all incoming traffic to better understand patterns and anomalies.
  • Scalable and optimized GSLB configurations—Incremental Sync delivers high performance for large deployments. With more devices synced, configuration changes transpire rapidly. For large deployments with GSLB configurations and rapid user changes, you can protect changes by manually saving when most convenient.
  • Configuration retrieval—AutoDiscovery enables retrieved configurations from distributed BIG-IP instances, removing repeat configurations across devices.
  • Data center and sync groups—Create logical groups of network equipment to ensure efficient use of monitoring and metrics collection for intelligently sharing with members in the logical group.
  • Distributed application management—You can define dependencies between application services and manage them as a group, building scalable traffic distribution policies and improving efficiency with granular control of objects.
  • iRules—Use the F5 iRules scripting language to customize the distribution of global traffic. BIG-IP DNS looks deep inside DNS traffic to customize app traffic to the desired data center, pool, or virtual server. This reduces latency, increases attack protection, and improves performance.
  • Customize traffic with QoS—Design traffic decisions and easily develop custom load balancing algorithms using quality of service metrics in iRules, such as round trip time, hops, hit ratio, packet rate, topology, and more.
  • DNS iRules—Manage DNS queries, responses, and actions for a fast, customized DNS infrastructure. For instance, configure DNS iRules with filtering for protection and reporting.
  • F5 ZoneRunner—ZoneRunner is an integrated DNS zone file management tool that simplifies and reduces the risk of misconfiguration. Built on the latest version of BIND, ZoneRunner provides:
    • Auto population of commonly used protocols.
    • Validation/error checking for zone file entries.
    • Zone importation from an external server or a file.
    • Automatic reverse lookups.
    • Easy creation, editing, and searching of all records.
    • Easy management of NAPTR records for LTE and 4G requirements.

DNS health monitor

The DNS health monitor available in BIG-IP DNS and BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) monitors DNS server health and helps configure DNS based on reporting. The DNS health monitor detects whether the servers are operating at peak performance and helps in reconfiguring for optimal responses.

High-speed logging

You can easily manage DNS and global app logging for fast network visibility and planning. High-speed logging of DNS queries and responses, syslog, and global server load balancing decision logs improve information on data to enable fast network recognition with quick, deep search and display.

Enhanced DNS detailed statistics

BIG-IP DNS delivers advanced DNS statistics for administrators, with enhanced detailed data for profiles such as query type counts (A, CNAME, NS, RRSIG, AAAA, SRV, and “other” types) with requests, responses, and percentage counts. Stats are per profile and per device global count for fast visibility and capacity planning of DNS delivery infrastructure. DNS detail stats are viewable in DNS profile or in analytics reporting.

Advanced DNS reporting and analytics

F5 Analytics provides advanced DNS reporting and analysis of applications, virtual servers, query names, query types, client IPs, top requested names, and more for business intelligence, capacity planning, ROI reporting, troubleshooting, performance metrics, and tuning, enabling maximum optimization of the DNS and global app infrastructure.

Administrators can easily manage DNS using analytics with advanced reporting and analysis of actions for fast visibility of DNS delivery and infrastructure.

F5 Enterprise Manager

Enterprise Manager can help you significantly reduce the cost and complexity of managing multiple F5 devices. You gain a single-pane view of your entire application delivery infrastructure and the tools you need to reduce deployment times, eliminate redundant tasks, and efficiently scale your infrastructure to meet your business needs.

Network Integration

BIG-IP DNS is designed to fit into your current network and into your plans for the future. Integration features include:

  • SNMP management application support—BIG-IP DNS integrates its MIBs and an SNMP agent with DNS. This enables SNMP management applications to read statistical data about BIG-IP DNS performance.
  • Third-party integration—BIG-IP DNS communicates and integrates with a broad array of network devices. This includes support for various types of remote hosts, such as SNMP agents, third-party caches, servers, routers, and load balancers to diagnose the health of network endpoints.
  • IPv6/IPv4 support—Ease the transition to IPv6 by providing DNS gateway and translation services for hybrid IPv6 and IPv4 solutions, and manage IPv6 and IPv4 DNS servers. BIGIP LTM configured with NAT64 transforms IPv6 to IPv4 for those IPv4-only environments.
  • IP Anycast integration—DNS query volumes directed to one IP address, whether legitimate or during a DoS attack, are easily managed by distributing the load among multiple geographic BIG-IP DNS devices. Network managers realize these benefits:
    - Improved user performance and reliability
    - Reduced network latency for DNS transactions
    - Ability to scale DNS infrastructure to manage DNS request load to one IP address
    - Lower rates of dropped query packets, reducing DNS timeouts/retries
    - Increased revenue by servicing more users and protecting brand equity
  • Global server load balancing in virtual and cloud environments—Easily spin up virtual instances of BIG-IP DNS. Provide flexible DNS delivery and global application availability by routing users to applications in physical, virtual, and cloud environments.

BIG-IP DNS and IP Anycast integration distributes the DNS request load by directing single IP requests to multiple local devices.

DNS Query RPS Maximum Performance

BIG-IP DNS services deliver query response per second (RPS) with high performance scalability. The table below lists many BIG-IP platforms with DNS Express enabled for authoritative DNS query response with the maximum capabilities per platform.

BIG-IP DNS Virtual Edition is available in increments of 250,000 RPS. For 5050s and above, Rapid Response Mode (RRM—see page 2) delivers up to 200 percent of normal max query RPS when turned on. See F5 Sales or reseller for details.

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