VeriSign Plans Huge Infrastructure Upgrade

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VeriSign, Inc. (VRSN), which manages the domain name system, plans a $100 million infrastructure upgrade to manage explosive growth in Internet traffic. The initiative, named Project Titan, will include the construction of new data centers, upgrades to existing equipment, and leasing space in dozens of third-party facilities around the world. VeriSign said it intends to “expand and diversify the capacity of its global Internet infrastructure by ten times by the year 2010.”

Named Project Titan, the initiative’s aim is to allow VeriSign’s infrastructure to scale along with the explosive surge in traffic from e-commerce, social networking and Internet-enabled wireless devices. The upgrades are also designed to enhance the DNS system’s protection against cyber attacks similar to Tuesday’s denial of service attack against several root servers.

“With the emergence of consumer-driven services and the surge in web-ready wireless devices, the Internet we know today is radically different than the one we knew just five years ago,” said Stratton Sclavos, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of VeriSign. “We must make sure that VeriSign’s infrastructure is ready to support a new era of the Internet, the Any Era, where billions of users demand anywhere, anytime, any device access to communications, information and entertainment.”

Over the next three years, VeriSign will increase its daily Domain Name System (DNS) query capacity from 400 billion queries a day to over 4 trillion queries a day and will scale its resolution systems to increase their bandwidth from 20 gigabits per second (Gbps) to greater than 200 Gbps.

“VeriSign is building additional network operations centers in the United States and Europe to efficiently manage and provide increased redundancy for Internet traffic,” the company said in a press release. “These sites will expand VeriSign’s data center capacity and diversify its locations to improve Internet traffic management and counter region-specific cyber attacks and threats.”


VeriSign’s network of DNS Regional Internet Resolution Sites – which currently incldues 20 regional sites in countries such as Korea, China, Brazil, Kenya and Egypt – will expand to over 100 locations globally by 2010, including expansions in India, Germany, Chile and South Africa.

VeriSign manages an average of 24 billion Domain Name System (DNS) queries a day. VeriSign additionally operates the “A” and “J” root servers, which serve as the central directory to route Internet traffic to other top level domains. The company said it is developing next generation monitoring and response services that will help better manage .com and .net traffic and better protect the systems against cyber threats. The monitoring systems will rapidly diagnose Internet traffic anomalies, which often appear in advance of a cyber attack, enabling pre-emptive action to minimize impact. VeriSign will also implement new DNS security protocols to better protect Internet traffic.

“Fortifying and strengthening our Internet infrastructure is very technical in nature, but its impact is not,” said Ken Silva, Chief Security Officer of VeriSign. “We believe that the Project Titan initiative is an important part of keeping the Internet a trusted platform and tool that we all rely upon.”

About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor-in-chief of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.