Oracle has signed a deal to buy DNS services provider Dyn for an undisclosed amount probably in the nine-figure range.
The software giant said it plans to integrate Dyn’s services into its existing cloud computing platform. For the moment, existing Dyn customers are unaffected.
Dyn provides distributed DNS resolution services mainly to the enterprise market, where it has about 3,500 customers.
But it also provides redundant DNS to some TLD registries, notably Uniregistry.
Knowing how ruthlessly opportunistic Oracle can be when it comes to M&A, I have to wonder how much impact the recent denial of service attack against Dyn had on the timing of the deal being signed.
Dyn customers including Twitter and Netflix found themselves inaccessible for millions of North American internet users a couple of weeks ago.
Customers that may have been reconsidering their DNS options following the downtime may feel more reassured now that Dyn is about to become part of a much larger company.
While the acquisition price was not disclosed, it’s certainly going to be in the hundreds of millions.
Just six months ago, Dyn received $50 million in venture capital, following on from a $38 million round in 2012.
Almost 50 top-level domains were believed to be exposed to the massive distributed denial-of-service attack that hit Dyn on Friday, but the largest of the bunch said it managed to stay online throughout.
As has been widely reported in the mainstream and tech media over the last few days, DNS service provider Dyn got whacked by one of the biggest pieces of DDoS vandalism in the internet’s brief history.
Dyn customers including Netflix, Twitter, Spotify, PayPal and Reddit were reportedly largely inaccessible for many US-based internet users over the space of three waves of attack over about 12 hours.
It said that “10s of millions” of unique IP addresses were involved.
It has since emerged that many of the bots were actually installed on webcams secured with easily-guessable default passwords. XiongMai, a Chinese webcam manufacturer, has issued a recall.
In terms of the domain registry business, only about 50 TLDs use Dyn’s DynTLD service for DNS resolution, according to IANA records.
About half of these are tiny ccTLDs. They other half are Uniregistry’s portfolio of new gTLDs, including the like of .link, .car and .photo.
Uniregistry CEO Frank Schilling told DI that the Uniregistry TLDs did not go down as a result of the attack, pointing out that the company also uses its own in-house DNS.
“We like Dyn and think they have a great product but we did not go down because we also run our own DNS,” he said. “If we relied on them exclusively we would have gone down, but that is why we don’t do that.”
Managed DNS service provider Dyn has secured a $38 million investment from venture capital firm North Bridge.
The minority investment is Dyn’s first. It’s been bootstrapped since its founding 11 years ago, according to founder and CEO Jeremy Hitchcock.
As part of the deal, noted tech investor Jason Calacanis has joined Dyn’s board, along with Hitchcock, company co-founder Tom Daly and two North Bridge partners, Ric Fulop and Russ Pyle.
“I am not building an exit strategy. I am creating an economic engine,” Hitchcock said in an open letter to customers.
“Plus, we had experienced 70 percent growth year over year. We were doing a pretty good job of growing by ourselves but we want to be a step ahead,” he said.
Symantec has partnered with Dyn to offer a free DNS service to mobile Norton users.
As part of its new mobile strategy, expected to be announced later today, Symantec will provide free DNS resolution with a built-in filter that blocks potentially dangerous domains.
Dyn.com will provide the back-end, which will compete with the likes of OpenDNS and Google’s DNS service.
Non-technical users will be able to download a client application that configures their local DNS to work with the service, which drops one barrier to entry.
Symantec reportedly expects to earn revenue from advertising links – presumably by intercepting NXDOMAIN responses and providing sponsored error pages.
So the deal could be a bit of a money-spinner for Dyn; it’s certainly a further validation of its service.
But is it sexy? Hmm…
Dynamic Network Services has launched a marketing campaign aimed at convincing people that DNS is “sexy”.
The company, which provides managed DNS services as Dyn.com, evidently has its tongue in its cheek, but has plastered the “DNS is Sexy” slogan across its web site anyway.
It has even registered DNSisSexy.com to bounce users to its corporate pages.
There’s a list of ten reasons why this frankly bizarre proposition might be true, including:
7. Standard features like DNSSEC on our Dynect Platform defend you from would be cyber criminals that want to steal your important information online. Bye bye identity theft!
Feeling sexy yet? Me neither.
9. Recursive DNS like our free Internet Guide, can protect your family and friends from unwanted Web content with customized defense plans.
Feeling sexy now? No?
Still, Go Daddy managed to mainstream domain name registration by incorporating boobs quite heavily in its TV campaigns, and everybody is interested in the ongoing sex.com and .xxx sagas, so it’s not beyond the bounds of possibility that Dyn could do the same for managed DNS.
To be honest, I can’t quite visualise it.
Dyn is asking people to tweet their reasons why DNS is “sexy” including the hashtag #dnsissexy. I’ve done mine.