The LACTLD Anycast Cloud is a collaborative network that seeks to strengthen the DNS infrastructure and stability in Latin America and the Caribbean. Since its formalization at IGF 2016 in Guadalajara, the Cloud has been growing with the incorporation of new clients and participants. Thus, it has contributed to the Internet strengthening and development in the region.
What is Anycast?
Anycast is an addressing technology that allows optimal and efficient use of networks. In an Anycast Cloud, a series of nodes (servers) store copies of the same “database”, which is composed of the different Cloud clients zones (list of managed domains, for example, .sv, .do, .gt). In turn, these nodes, located in dispersed geographical locations, share and respond to the same IP address. Then, when this “database” receives a query, the routing systems first decide which of all the available nodes is the closest one to the query origination point and, then, direct the information to this geographic endpoint of the Cloud, thus speeding up the answers.
For example: If our network has nodes available in Santiago de Chile, São Paulo and San José de Costa Rica, and it receives a query from Santo Domingo, the routing systems first determine that the Costa Rican node is the closest one to the query origination point and, then, route the traffic there.
Which are the main benefits?
Thanks to its operating logic, the Anycast mechanism allows to obtain significant benefits for both the participants, who host the nodes, and the clients, who store their zones in the Cloud.
Firstly, due to its distributed nature, the network dynamically activates the answers to the users queries according to the availability of each of the nodes. Therefore, it leads to a better load management within the network. Secondly, by efficiently managing queries, it can significantly reduce response times. Consequently, clients gain greater availability to respond to the users queries, and participants also acquire operational speed and greater independence from the external network to provide their service.
The distributed and collaborative nature of the Anycast Cloud also allows strengthening the network robustness and resilience. If one of the nodes goes down or stops working due to some inconvenience, it will automatically be removed from the available routing options, and future traffic will continue to be directed to the remaining nodes of the Cloud. Thanks to this mechanism, clients —who store copies of their zone in all the nodes that integrate the network— have instant recovery instances in the case of a downfall or attack.
Additionally, the Cloud not only achieves an optimal load balancing, but also allows an efficient use of the participants infrastructure. It also grants geographic and topological diversity, and promotes local traffic exchanges.
LACTLD Anycast Cloud
LACTLD (Latin American and Caribbean ccTLDs Association) has pioneered the development of a regional and collaborative Anycast Cloud. The LACTLD Anycast Cloud is based upon best effort principles, it is a non-profit venture, and it does not seek to compete with existing commercial providers. This initiative has strengthened the infrastructure and stability of the Cloud's clients and participants as well as the entire regional network in terms of resilience, robustness, traffic load management, speed and availability.
Currently, the LACTLD Anycast Cloud has six nodes distributed throughout the region, and stores copies of the eight user zones. The management of the infrastructure is shared among LACTLD member organizations, which are responsible for configuring, maintaining and monitoring the Cloud.
LACTLD renews the invitation to all regional ccTLDs that would like to be part of this initiative, as clients or as nodes. Our Organization continues to work on cooperation strategies that promote the growth of the Cloud in order to contribute to the Internet stability and development in Latin America and the Caribbean.