arkdns

When one of our clients was faced with potentially huge bills for using a dns filtering service to protect their infastructure and their clients, we partnered with them to build our own solution.

"Having a development company capable of creating a product which matches the features of the market leader is incredible. The development costs were below the cost of a two year licence with the market leader and we now have our own custom built solution with no licence fees."

ArkDNS is a cloud based DNS service which is able to filter domains and traffic based on category, automatically detect malicious websites and bots and force users to use SafeSearch on Google, Bing and Youtube.

You can also block automatic system updates on Android, Ios and windows devices if you need to reserve your bandwidth (useful as Company X provides connectivity to one of the largest music festivals in the UK)!

Isn't a DNS service an essential part of making the Internet work? What if it breaks?

The DNS service had to be bullet-proof and scalable. We use a global Anycast Network with regional load-balancers and auto-scaling groups of servers which can scale to handle up to a billion requests per minute! The service isn't tied to any one specific datacenter so if there are any issues with connectivity in a region, the user would be re-routed automatically to their next closest server.

What did you enjoy most about this project and what were the biggest challenges?

We loved getting to write in Python and C again, as well as using our usual web stack for the management and configuration site. The biggest challenge was the scalability and reliability needed for this service. We implemented our own version of Netflix's Chaos Monkey to randomly kill production servers to test the resiliance of the service.

Silverark were joy to work with. Alex, the lead developer, was extremely helpful & had a holistic approach to implementing our solution, foreseeing potential issues that we hadn’t even considered.
Triston, Company X