Spotlight

Quad9 is a free service that replaces your default ISP or enterprise Domain Name Server (DNS) configuration, when your computer performs any Internet transaction that uses the DNS (and most transactions do), Quad9 blocks lookups of malicious hostnames from an up-to-the-minute list of threats.

This blocking action protects your home or business network, mobile device, or IoT systems against a wide range of threats such as malware, phishing, spyware, and botnets. It can improve performance and greatly enhance privacy.

  • 100M Average Daily Blocks
  • 20+ Threats Intelligence Providers
  • 150 Resolver Clusters in 90 countries

The Challenge

Quad9 identified two main factors affecting the deployment of their services in Latin America:

Deploying Equipment

The region turned out to be a challenging place to deploy equipment at scale and in all the locations where Quad9 wanted their service to be present.

Peering Agreements

Larger carriers were challenging to work with directly for peering, as incumbents are often not as vigorously peered, which implied their traditional model of IX-only interconnection would be less effective in Latam than in other regions.

We needed a partner who had both the ability to deliver equipment and get the transit that we needed to get our anycast network well-connected with the end users in the region.

Teena Touch

The Breaking Point

The drive to move content closer to the end-user was the primary motivation for Quad9’s partnership with EdgeUno. Latin American users of the DNS service had been asking for better interconnectivity to their services, and their existing anycast network was not connected with enough of the largest network operators in the region.

We asked Quad9 what were the main factors they looked for in a solution:

  • Ability to deliver into the markets they were looking for, in this case, Latin America.
  • Hardware that was suitable for their deployments in the region.
  • Technical knowledge and ability to understand the complexities of an anycast network, including an offer of a significantly complex and flexible BGP communities architecture.
  • The desire to create long-term cooperation that can expand in the same way to many other Latin American and other destinations in an easily-replicated fashion.
Quad9’s Anycast Map

Making It Happen

Quad9 had existing operational platforms worldwide. As the systems were turned up with EdgeUno and activated on their anycast network, the team performed several phases of tests. The first step was to announce test prefixes and measure latency and path changes for test points using RIPE Atlas.

Next, some prefixes were announced with low volumes of DNS services, and the actual performance latency was measured. The final step was to announce the primary service prefixes and calculate what the latency looked like from a cross-sectional test set of worldwide endpoints for the third time.

The Quad9 team worked in conjunction with the technical team at EdgeUno, specifically during the turn-up and debugging of the hardware and following BGP configuration. “We’ve been impressed with the responsiveness and abilities of the team, and they helped us through the usual challenges of activating a complex network configuration in a new product region,” said Teena Touch, spokesperson for Quad9.

“EdgeUno has been exceptionally generous and patient in working with a small organization like Quad9 and allowing us to achieve our mission effectively. It would be impossible for us to bring our services at this scale to the Latin American market without the help and investment of EdgeUno, who has built a premiere hosting infrastructure into which we could deploy our services for end users.”-Teena Touch, Quad9.

How is Quad9 benefiting from the partnership with EdgeUno?

The Latin American users that moved to EdgeUno-supplied services improved their latency by an average of almost 100 milliseconds from their prior termination location. This shifted their public performance figures for Latin America noticeably.

The fact that EdgeUno offered multiple cities across the entire continent of South America with the same network team, the same BGP configuration model, and the same hardware offerings was exceptionally compelling as a match for Quad9’s needs.

Traffic from Latin America that used to terminate in their facilities in Miami, New York, or even Amsterdam is now ending up mostly in-country in the nation it originated. It is a huge latency and security benefit for Quad9 users.

The Outcome

Quad9 Performance

Quad9: 14.48 ms

Source: DNS Performance www.dnsperf.com

“Enabling Quad9 to deploy their platform across multiple locations in Latin America was a game-changer for them in servicing their users across the region with in-country infrastructure as opposed to long-haul delivery from outside the region. All of us at EdgeUno were delighted to work with Quad9 on this exciting project and see the dramatic improvements in service that our network-enabled for them. Following this successful deployment across Latin America, we’ve already expanded Quad9’s footprint with us to Istanbul in Turkey.” – Andy Bax, COO of EdgeUno.

Next Steps for Quad9

The team at Quad9 is very encouraged by this first round of deployments with EdgeUno. The new capacity is expected to build Quad9’s previously under-served user base in Latin America. One of the goals of this partnership is to drive user growth, which in turn will improve the security and privacy of those users and networks.

This could lead to expanding Quad9’s footprint with EdgeUno both in scale and with the additional cities EdgeUno will expand into. EdgeUno’s transit arrangements and BGP communities were the most compelling from a deployment perspective for the DNS provider.

“We’re very pleased to add EdgeUno’s network capacity to the Quad9 global footprint. EdgeUno is able to offer services in multiple cities spanning South America enabling us to serve users in this region with a huge reduction in latency. We see amazing uptake of our service with around 15 million blocks of malicious domains per day in these newly-activated sites.” – Jeri McNeil, Director of Facilities for Quad9.

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