The best makes us better

Let's take a look at how balancing fast-paced innovation with a slow-changing market niche translates into developing new features.

Jun 10th, 2020

Men&Mice has a long tradition of working with customers to develop features that address real problems. One of our first products was QuickDNS, a DNS server for Macintosh, as none were available. Then came DNS Expert, because DNS became complex and businesses needed clarity and usable diagnostics. That grew into the Men&Mice Suite, a comprehensive DNS, DHCP, and IPAM solution for the modern global enterprise.

We've always balanced flexible and fast-paced innovation with a very traditional and slow-changing niche market. And, beyond a world-class product, that balancing act is perhaps our most significant asset.

Innovation vs. tradition

The fundamental driving force of technology is innovation. No matter which technology we observe, the rate of innovation is visible and often translated into (sometimes debated, but generally accepted) laws describing exponential (or close to it) rates of advancement. Here are just a few:

-    Moore's Law, of the increase of the number of transistors in integrated circuits

-    Dennard's scaling, of the decrease of power usage of transistors per area

-    Butter's Law of Photonics, of doubling the amount of data coming out of an optical fiber every 9 months

-    Keck's Law, of the growth of the number of bits per second sent through optical fibers

-    Edholm's Law, of the growth of bandwidth of telecommunications networks

(Given what we do, the last three are the most intriguing for us.)

Put it simply: innovation is the unstoppable force of technological evolution.

On the other hand, as we said many times before, certain technologies like DNS haven't fundamentally changed since their inception. Of course, they grew more complex and sophisticated, but the most substantial change is not the service itself but the ecosystems built on top of it. Dependence on DNS has made it possibly the most critical component of core network services. Put it simply, it's an immovable object that cannot be removed.

So what happens when the unstoppable force of innovation encounters an immovable object like DNS?

Innovation begets innovation begets transformation

Technological innovation also translates into business innovation. Increasing computing power gives companies the ability to make more decisions faster. Increasing bandwidth gives them the opportunity to scale globally while lowering operating costs.

Technology can, and should, support the business ambitions it unlocks. Businesses, and global enterprises in particular, demand new tools that can scale to (and with) their operational demands.

This puts vendors like Men&Mice in the position to satisfy those demands — and yet we're mostly alone among our competitors in our desire to work closely with prospects and customers and develop new features to address real-life challenges.

One recent example is integrating Akamai's new Fast DNS API to the Men&Mice Suite.

Bread and circuses and DNS management make global businesses happy and efficient

Well, maybe not the first two, but DNS management certainly.

Akamai Fast DNS is a popular cloud DNS service, and while basic integration — as allowed through their limited API — existed in the Men&Mice Suite, we've received requests from our customers for more.

Men&Mice customers value the visibility and easy automation of our solution but receive much more because we don't stop listening once the contract is signed and the invoice is paid. We recognize that for them to innovate, we have to as well.

To showcase this method of thinking about a product that has to innovate around a conservative piece of technology, we'll explore the development of our Akamai Fast DNS integration feature. We'll give you a behind-the-scenes insight on the blog into the development process, how it changed the Men&Mice Suite while still keeping its principles of unified API and UI, and of course, how it benefits all our customers.