In a bid to transform itself from a business software vendor to a cloud computing solutions company, Oracle has acquired Dyn, a global DNS provider.
If the name sounds familiar, it might be because you heard it last month, when a major DDoS attack took down Dyn’s servers and rendered several major sites, including GitHub, Twitter, Reddit and Airbnb, inaccessible.
How did that happen? Let’s first look at what Dyn does: It provides services relating to Domain Name System (DNS), which is used to resolve human-readable web addresses, like “thenextweb.com”, against IP addresses.
In other words, it’s what your browser looks up to figure out which servers to connect to when you want to visit a specific site. When it was hit by unknown attackers who reportedly exploited insecure Internet of Things devices to bombard Dyn’s servers, access to major sites that rely on the company’s DNS service became unavailable. Somehow, this didn’t scare Oracle away.
While other companies like Amazon and Google offer DNS services as well, Dyn has made a name for itself in monitoring the performance of sites and apps across the global Web. As Wired notes, that information can help in optimizing large companies’ networks and ensuring smooth traffic in spite of issues like local outages.
It’ll be interesting to see if the purchase helps Oracle bring the fight to cloud service providers like Amazon. Until then, let’s hope Dyn doesn’t get attacked on a massive scale like last time.