Case Study

The Challenge

Cochrane is a global, independent network of researchers, professionals, patients, carers, and people interested in health. Its contributors—currently 37,000 from more than 130 countries—work together to produce credible, accessible health information that is free from commercial sponsorship and other conflicts of interest. Many of the contributors are world leaders in their fields—medicine, health policy, research methodology, or consumer advocacy—and Cochrane groups are situated in some of the world’s most respected academic and medical institutions.

Each Cochrane group is a mini-organization in itself, with its own funding, website, and workload. Contributors affiliate themselves to a group, or in some cases several groups, based on their interests, expertise, and/or geographical location. The Cochrane Central Executive Team (CET) manages all the information from the regional global centres, with the aim of carrying out the organization’s vision of improving health decision-making by providing high quality, relevant and up-to-date synthesized research evidence.

To disseminate that information, Cochrane relies on its main website at Cochrane.org and also more than 130 subdomain websites representing all the different groups as a means to quickly engage and inform their audience. All these websites are managed by the CET web team who are responsible for ensuring that every website remains accessible, with all domain name queries driven to the right place and an effortless user experience.

With a mission to provide accessible, credible information to support informed decision-making, it is vital that the information on all the Cochrane websites worldwide is up to date. However, as all webmasters know, very often when updates are made links are lost and access to websites can become an issue. This is where a DNS service is needed.

Javier Mayoral, Systems Administrator at Cochrane CET, explains: “The service we were getting from our existing DNS service was much too slow. We had to send off a change request via an email and then the changes would take up to a few weeks at a time. This is unacceptable when changes need to be made quickly to ensure domain queries are routed correctly and our audience is not frustrated by being unable to find one of our website.”

The Solution

Mayoral and his team wasted no time conducting a search for DNS providers who could meet their needs. To hear Mayoral tell it, the selection process was simple and straightforward, “We chose Neustar UltraDNS because its ability to perform DNS replications is very fast and reliable and its user-friendly web interface means we can perform changes ourselves.”

Neustar UltraDNS services are built on a directory services platform, comprised of patented, proprietary solutions and best-of-breed carrier-class database technologies. By utilizing database replication and advanced routing, rather than native BIND implementations, UltraDNS offers the kind of reliability, security and performance Cochrane sought out. And with a dedicated query resolver platform, UltraDNS is less vulnerable to DNS hijacking, spoofing, and viruses.

The Results

With Neustar UltraDNS, Cochrane has been able to take control of its DNS change requirements, slashing response times and ensuring maximum server uptime. Now the team is empowered to log in and make the changes they need, when they need to make them.

“We used to suffer from slow responses for change requests and it just wasn’t acceptable because when you need new DNS entries or to update a DNS record, it is always urgent to ensure website availability. With UltraDNS we feel future-proof and I would not hesitate to recommend it as a DNS service,” Mayoral concluded.

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