With TransUnion’s recent acquisition announcement, the direction of Neustar’s services and products are uncertain. As TransUnion’s focus for acquiring Neustar seems to be centered around their fraud and identity resolution, many companies who rely on UltraDNS for their domain may be wondering how this affects their DNS.
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Heather Oliver is a Technical Writer for Constellix and DNS Made Easy, subsidiaries of Tiggee LLC. She’s fascinated by technology and loves adding a little spark to complex topics. Want to connect? Find her on LinkedIn.
With all the options for DNS services on the market, it can be overwhelming to decide which one is the best fit for your organization. Most providers have similar core solutions, but how they work and any advanced features available vary wildly. In this blog series, we aim to help you get a full understanding of services offered by top DNS hosts in the industry, as well as how their services stack up against and pair with Constellix.
With TransUnion’s recent acquisition announcement, the direction of Neustar’s services and products are uncertain. As TransUnion’s focus for acquiring Neustar seems to be centered around their fraud and identity resolution, many companies who rely on UltraDNS for their domain may be wondering how this affects their DNS. As it stands, services are continuing as usual, at least for the short term. The DNS services and features in this product comparison are current at the moment but could be subject to change as the transition finalizes.
The focus of this resource is Neustar UltraDNS.
Neustar UltraDNS is an authoritative DNS provider for businesses. UltraDNS was founded in 1999 and acquired by Neustar in 2006.
UltraDNS offers cloud-based DNS solutions that run on Neustar’s non-open source network, which features 30 nodes in six continents. Here is a list of Ultra’s top DNS features.
Neustar also offers non-DNS security features such as UltraDDoS Protect, a built-in DDoS protection solution for cloud and on-prem networks; UltraBot Protect, a bot management service that detects malicious bots and prevents them from accessing your network; VPN Protect, a cloud-based VPN solution for organizations and work-from-home employees; and UltraWAF, which provides cloud-based protection from application-layer attacks for web applications.
Constellix is one of the few DNS providers that focuses solely on DNS, including mitigation and protection strategies on the DNS level. Now let’s take a look at Constellix’s top features and how they compare with UtlraDNS’s:
Neustar UltraDNS does not list its pricing. Customers must contact the company for more information and quotes. Constellix has a transparent, per-usage model (you only pay for what you configure) and includes free access to the query analytics feature. A pricing calculator is available online or you can request a custom quote for complex, outside-the-box needs and configurations.
Neustar UltraDNS provides a reliable and stable DNS service for customers overall, but the company has experienced several outages over the years.
Constellix, which runs on the same network as its sister company DNS Made Easy, hasn’t experienced a single outage since it first launched in 2013. DNS Made Easy has an 11+-year history of 100% uptime, the longest in the industry. In September of 2020, the network experienced a 500+ Gpbs DDoS attack, but the attack was mitigated with no disruption of service for users.
When it comes to DNS speed, UltraDNS trails behind Constellix. In the last 30 days, DNSPerf shows Constellix ranking at 8.26ms in North America in terms of raw performance, whereas UltraDNS comes in at 12.66ms—a 42% difference. Resolver simulation time produced similar results.
The difference in speed can be due to many things, but infrastructure plays a major role in DNS performance. While Neustar UltraDNS has a respectable 30 nodes, Constellix has more than 100 and maintains its own network of bare-metal servers that are strategically placed within data centers and to provide services at the edge. As mentioned earlier, UltradDNS runs in a virtual cloud environment.
Speed is a crucial factor for domains that want to be competitive in the online marketplace. As technology evolves, consumer demand for speed and accessibility also grows. Our digitized world expects immediacy when accessing web content. This is demonstrated by marketing metrics that show just a one-second delay in website load time can lead to a 7% reduction in conversions. Google has also started using site speed as a ranking factor for SEO.
UltraDNS provides a well-balanced DNS solution for companies. Limitations will largely depend on your organization’s unique needs, but here are a few points to consider. While running on a virtual cloud network can be convenient due to not needing additional hardware, it could potentially slow your DNS speeds down, as shown in the above speed comparison. Cloud outages are very common and can lead to significant losses for customers affected. UltraDNS does offer a 100% uptime guarantee, but history doesn’t reflect 100% uptime. Be sure to read the fine print about guarantees in the service-level agreement (SLA)—that goes for any provider. In regards to features, the lack of multi-CDN management and comprehensive reporting and analytics features could be a disadvantage for power users.
Constellix and UltraDNS aren’t natively supported through either platform, but secondary configurations can be achieved via Terraform. With a simple API call, your domain can take advantage of both platform’s feature sets and have ultimate redundancy, faster performance, and the highest possible query resolution accuracy.
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