On October 21, 2016, a DDoS attack on Dyn, a major provider of DNS services, affected many major, high traffic sites including Spotify, Twitter, Netflix, Reddit, and The New York Times. While many companies were scrambling, Acuant services remained intact during this attack. This was not merely good fortune, but due to our investment in redundancy and continuous deployment.
At Acuant, our goal is always 100% uptime. In fact, our uptime has been 100% for the past 24 months. Holding ourselves accountable leads us to building redundancy into our architecture. Redundancy means that if one component fails, another can take over.
Some of the steps we have taken to provide high availability are:
- Our services are hosted at 10 different locations across USA and EU. If one location fails, data is automatically transferred to another location within the region.
- All the data is filtered by a Web Application Firewall which weeds out all malicious traffic.
- We use a highly available and scalable cloud Domain Name System (DNS).
- We use a global content delivery network (CDN) service that accelerates delivery of our APIs to our customers.
Investment is a key concept here. All these architectural choices cost us time and effort to deploy and maintain. These efforts are very important to us because we know how critical our uptime is for our customers.
Agility is crucial for a modern engineering organization to respond quickly to bugs, security vulnerabilities, or the next attack on Internet infrastructure. For this reason, our team and processes are set up to deploy new versions of our service on short notice. We regularly deploy several times a week, and sometimes multiple times a day.
When your identity provider is down, your business is down and financial losses may be incurred. Beyond revenue loss, your reputation suffers and in turn erodes your brand. Even though the recent DNS attack did not impact our customer base, we continue to be vigilant to ensure that our service remains available during future attacks. We achieve this through rigorous accountability paired with thoughtful technical investments and agile practices.