New Feature of OpenDNS Enables Web Sites to Load Successfully, While Offline for the Rest of the Internet

OpenDNS, announced SmartCache, a new DNS record handling technology invented by OpenDNS that allows users of its service to access Web sites when they are inaccessible everywhere else on the Internet. SmartCache is the latest in a series of major innovations to the Domain Name System (DNS) made by OpenDNS, and introduces one of the most significant reasons yet to switch to the service. For businesses, schools, libraries and other organizations for which uninterrupted access to the Internet is of supreme importance, SmartCache will fast become a vital part of their network set-up.

“DNS is the great Achilles heel of the Internet, and authoritative DNS outages are particularly troublesome because they represent single points of failure in most Web infrastructures,” said Daniel Golding, Vice President and Research Director of analyst firm Tier-1 Research, a division of the 451 Group. “The ability to extend DNS’s normal caching functionality to cover outages is a creative way of resolving a troublesome DNS issue.”

SmartCache uses the intelligence of the OpenDNS network at large, now providing DNS service to millions of people around the world, to locate the last known correct address for a Web site when its authoritative nameserver is offline or otherwise failing. A common occurrence, authoritative DNS nameserver outages often take major Web sites offline for hours or even days at a time, making them inaccessible on the Internet. One recent example of such an outage resulted in popular Web site inaccessible for several hours.

SmartCache changes that and renders authoritative DNS outages irrelevant for OpenDNS users. Now people accessing the Internet on networks running OpenDNS will be able to load Web sites while they are experiencing authoritative nameserver outages — when the rest of the Internet cannot.

The new feature follows a series of DNS innovations that OpenDNS has introduced since the service launched in 2006. Most recently, OpenDNS used its position as a DNS provider to block the domains the Conficker virus uses from resolving, and alert customers when their network has attempted to connect to a known Conficker domain. Thousands of network administrators around the world have used the service and alert information to protect their networks from the virus.

SmartCache is available initially in beta version to all OpenDNS users, who are advised to simply log in to their OpenDNS account and opt-in to the feature. OpenDNS, which counts more than 20,000 schools and school districts as customers, has provided 100 percent uptime over the three years the service has been publicly available.

“Since we launched our service, OpenDNS has been firmly committed to making the DNS better for Internet users around the world. SmartCache is simple and intelligent, and represents one of our most significant DNS innovations yet,” said OpenDNS Founder David Ulevitch. “Being able to access Web sites that are inaccessible for the rest of the Internet is a major reason to switch your DNS to OpenDNS today.”

About The Author

Jamie is a co-founder and senior editor at Technigrated, covering all facets of the tech industry. In addition to working at Technigrated, Jamie is a Founding Partner of NBR Design Studio, a graphic and web design and hosting firm headquartered in Bethany Beach, DE.

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