Dyn scoops up cash to make the Internet a faster place -- kind of

Because I feel a need. A need for speed.

race cars fast speedy

A hefty funding round in difficult times for Dyn, the company that is focused on ensuring that the Internet works as fast as possible. Well, not quite the entire Internet, but they're focused on making sure that their customers get the best internet performance.

Dyn is a vendor in the Internet performance management (IPM) space. Like another company I covered recently, Teridion, Dyn is all about delivering visibility and control across customers' application and infrastructure. Teridion would argue with that contention, but more on that a little later.

Anyway, Dyn has a range of tools in this space and claims eight of the top 10 Internet service and retail companies as customers along with six of the top 10 entertainment companies. High profile customers include Pfizer, Visa, Netflix, and Twitter. Dyn's solutions fit into three buckets -- data, analytics and steering.

Firstly, Dyn gives organizations clear visibility over internal performance and external availability. It then offers analytics to deliver insights into what that performance means. Finally, it offers traffic steering that, according to the company, makes over 20 billion traffic steering decisions per day.

Dyn suggests that it is unique in that it relies on only the highest quality Internet performance data. While most IPM vendors rely on crowd-sourced or manually collected clearinghouse data, Dyn captures data from primary sources in real time, including hundreds of major cloud providers around the world, major ISPs in global markets, CDNs, and transit companies -- over 200 billion data points per day. As such it promises the cleanest, clearest and most definitive data of its type available.

The company is today announcing a $50 million series B funding round which is being led by Pamplona Capital Management. Alongside the funding announcement, Dyn is launching a new platform to aid in the operation of business applications and infrastructure in the cloud. This funding is on the back of 70 percent revenue growth over the last couple of years and indications that the company will pass the hallowed $100 million annual recurring revenue mark this year.

But that's not the end of things -- an IDC analyst has suggested that the space is going to be worth $10 billion next year. Of course, the only thing that an IDC estimate guarantees is that the actual figure will be far from what they say, but it's an indicator anyway. The space is large, and Dyn is chasing competitors such as Riverbed, F5 and Akamai.

“Over the last six months, we’ve shared numerous conversations with our customers, the analyst community and some of the world’s largest Fortune 500 companies,” said Jeremy Hitchcock, Dyn CEO and co-founder. “Their feedback has been consistent: Internet Performance Management is an area of significant concern. As enterprises plan for and manage a hybrid infrastructure, they lack the visibility and control over the cloud they need in order to guarantee the performance levels to which they are held accountable.

But wait, does Dyn actually solve the problems it surfaces?

Here is where things get interesting. I mean it's awesome that Dyn tells me that the performance of my website is substandard, but unless it really offers up solutions (or, even better, automatically makes the changes to find the solutions) it is somewhat suboptimal. And this is where competitor Teridion would disagree with Dyn's assertion that Dyn is the "Waze for the internet." Per Teridion's Elad Rave:

"We are Waze++. Letting people know about a problem is great (that is what Waze does, it let’s you know there is a problem, and suggests a solution), and steering it via DNS to another data center is good, if you have an alternative data center (and have invested the money for that). But what if that isn't the case -- even Waze does not force you to take the route they suggest. You can still decide to ignore it. We are not limited to this, and drawing the analogy, [Teridion] is Waze with a black box where we both inform and then steer the traffic along the optimal path."

That's a compelling argument -- information without action is less than half a solution, and while Dyn would counter that by saying they do offer traffic steering, that is less of a "we find the best route across the Internet" and more of a "we can mold to the infrastructure that you've already invested in."

Dyn certainly has a part to play in all of this and, fundamentally, Dyn plus Teridion is a compelling offering for organizations. But for my money, Dyn's not analogous to Waze for the Internet.

Copyright © 2016 IDG Communications, Inc.

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