New customers flock to N.H.'s Dyn after GoDaddy outage

New Hampshire customers of Web hosting behemoth GoDaddy may have been burned by its widespread service outage on Monday, but one Granite State company reaped some benefits from it


Published:

New Hampshire customers of Web hosting behemoth GoDaddy may have been burned by its widespread service outage on Monday, but one Granite State company reaped some benefits from it.

Dyn Inc., the Manchester-based provider of managed DNS and email delivery, saw a 300 percent jump in business for the day, a trend that continued into Tuesday, said Cory Von Wallenstein, Dyn's chief technology officer.

The phones were so busy ringing on Monday from customers looking to migrate their business that at 5 p.m., when Dyn's call answering service kicked in, the sudden silence in the office caused some initial confusion, he said. When it was realized and the answering service was turned off, the phones immediately started ringing again, he said.

DNS, or domain name system, is basically "a phone book for the Internet" -- the lookup service that translates a computer's recognizable domain name, like Twitter.com, into a website's IP address. In other words, "it's the foundation of everything on the Internet," he said. And if it has a problem, "then everything else stops working."

That's fundamentally what happened with GoDaddy, he said.

"Their DNS servers became unavailable, and when you tried to go to (the website of) any customer of GoDaddy's, because they bundle in DNS services, all of their customers were offline."

A Twitter user associated with Web "hacktivist" group Anonymous claimed responsibility for the outage, which lasted from about 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., but GoDaddy said in a statement on Tuesday that the service outage wasn't caused by external influences.

"It was not a 'hack' and it was not a denial of service attack (DDoS)," said GoDaddy, which hosts more than 5 million websites and manages 53 million domain names. "We have determined the service outage was due to a series of internal network events that corrupted router data tables."

So, the question is: could the same thing have happened to Dyn? Von Wallenstein said that the type of problem GoDaddy ran into is "something we've engineered around." He said that, from its founding in 1998 to 2006, the company offered a lower-grade service that taught it "the right way to architect a network when we built our enterprise-grade platform," which is the platform that it uses to power major Web properties like Twitter, CNBC and others.

But, he's careful to add, "nobody's ever invincible."

"We have to make sure we're being vigilant and making sure we discover those problems before other people do.

"While Dyn did find new customers because of the outage, "we never like for a situation like this to happen to anyone, even our competitors," said Adam Coughlin, Dyn's media and content coordinator, adding that the company "certainly didn't try to ambulance-chase."

Von Wallenstein said that a blog post on the Dyn DNS blog, entitled "How To Emergency Migrate Your Managed DNS When Outages Strike," was posted on Monday morning about an hour before GoDaddy went down and was "100 percent pure coincidence."

"That was pure serendipity, but I'll tell you -- that post was probably a core of the business we generated. I totally get that nobody's going to believe us, but that's the truth."

While the companies are competitors, Von Wallenstein said Dyn reached out to GoDaddy to offer support during the outage.

"At the end of the day, the stability of the Internet is on all our shoulders, and it's the responsibility of all of us tech folks to make sure it never goes down."

Edit ModuleShow Tags