DNSone opinions

Brad Knowles brad at stop.mail-abuse.org
Fri Jun 3 00:50:47 UTC 2005

At 4:43 PM -0400 2005-06-02, Frank Hopper wrote:

>  cricket liu is undoubtedly one of the smartest dns minds of our time.


>  taking that knowledge and applying it to code are two different tasks
>  entirely though -- ie. his time at men & mice - decent company, nice
>  software, hasn't really gone anywhere.

	Cricket wasn't directly involved in their software development 
(i.e., he wasn't writing the code himself nor was he directly 
managing the development of the code), but he had a long involvement 
with the company and provided a great deal of expertise and guidance 
which I believe was very important to the company and their products.

	I still believe that DNS Expert is the best DNS debugging tool 
that I've ever seen, both in terms of completeness of their testing 
and in the usability of the tool.  Their QuickDNS management system 
is also one of the best DNS management tools I've seen for small and 
medium-size businesses.

	However, for reasons I don't fully understand, they haven't been 
able to get the kind of market penetration that I believe is 
warranted for products of such depth and quality.

	Disclaimer: I've done some consulting for Men & Mice, including 
doing tutorials for their products, although I haven't done anything 
for them recently.

>                                           cricket joined infoBlox a
>  short while ago.

	I think it depends on what you call a "short while".  In my book, 
a "short while" is just a couple of months or so, and I think he's 
been there longer than that.

>                    he didn't build the core product and it's clearly
>  reflected in its poor interface and the fact that it doesn't really
>  address the DNS "pain points" (ie. identifying logical and syntax
>  errors, automated creation of reverse pointers, auto-propagation to
>  slave devices, support for views, etc. - just a few things the bluecat
>  box does.

	Again, I'm not convinced that writing the code himself (or having 
him directly supervise the writing of the code) is the best use of 
his talents.  I think I can say I know him reasonably well, but I 
can't say what kind of a programmer or GUI designer he is.

	With regards to other people in the industry that I know (and 
whose experience I value greatly), I would definitely not look 
towards them as programmers or development managers.  That's just not 
their skill set.

	I would much rather have good quality programmers and good 
quality GUI developers working on their parts of the system, and have 
people like Cricket try to make sure that all the deep technical 
issues are addressed, and not try to overload and bog down one group 
with the details and information needed by the other.

>             As well, a closer look from our financial analysis didn't
>  bode well for the corporation having gone through 6-7 known rounds of
>  financing. oh, and special side note: the last round they received did
>  not attract any "new" money - bad sign.  bluecat's financial health
>  came back stellar.

	Financials is not my area of expertise.  I can say that I heard 
the last round of financing that InfoBlox received was explicitly 
limited to previous investors and new investors were not allowed to 
participate, and they still raised much more money than they had 
intended.  But when you're talking about private companies, very few 
people will ever know what really happens behind closed doors.

>  nominum has a wonderful, powerhouse of an offering.  arguably overkill
>  for most corporations though.

	Yeah, it's an Enterprise or ISP level of product, and beyond the 
needs of most companies.  More importantly, they also provide a level 
of in-depth on-site consulting that I believe you're not going to 
find anywhere else, and while multinational megacorporations may 
want/need that, I'm sure that many smaller companies would do just 
fine with an appliance of the sort offered by InfoBlox.

	That said, I don't think you can beat the Nominum products with a 
stick.  In my experience, they're simply the very best in this 
business that are available from anyone, anywhere.  Of course, given 
my long familiarity with the company and some of the people working 
there, I am probably rather biased.

>  check out the bluecat when you get a chance.  ask them to demo the
>  product for you.  you might be pleasantly surprised.

	I'm not currently officially employed anywhere, so it would be 
hard for me to justify obtaining any demo hardware from either them 
or InfoBlox.  I mean, I have a network at home, but it's kind of hard 
for me to generate the kind of traffic or usage that would be 
required to really test out the respective products.

	However, I will certainly check out their website and I will talk 
to both companies about what may be able to be arranged.

	All that said, I'm sure that InfoBlox would appreciate any 
detailed constructive criticism that anyone can give them regarding 
their products.

Brad Knowles, <brad at stop.mail-abuse.org>

"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little
temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

     -- Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), reply of the Pennsylvania
     Assembly to the Governor, November 11, 1755

   SAGE member since 1995.  See <http://www.sage.org/> for more info.

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