UPDATED 14:55 EDT / FEBRUARY 17 2021

CLOUD

Google debuts Cloud Domains to help enterprises manage their domain names

Google LLC today introduced the preview release of Cloud Domains, a service that will enable Google Cloud customers to maintain their domain names through the same console they use to manage infrastructure-as-a-service resources.

The service could potentially also help enterprises improve their cybersecurity posture in the process. 

Setting up a domain name typically involves using at least two different services. Administrators must purchase the domain from a registrar, then log into their company’s DNS server in another tab and link the newly purchased URL to the target website. A DNS server is a kind of switchboard responsible for ensuring that when a user enters a URL into their browser, the browser will load web pages from the right servers.

Cloud Domains makes it possible to carry out the entire process via the Google Cloud console. Customers have the option to purchase new domains from the search giant’s own Google Domains registration service. To set up their DNS server, they can use Google’s managed Cloud DNS platform.

Google has thrown in a number of additional conveniences, most notably the ability to set up DNSSEC security features with one click. DNSSEC is a technology that helps ensure integrity of web content going through DNS servers. It was created to reduce the risk posed by threats such as so-called cache poisoning attacks, which use vulnerable DNS servers to hijack legitimate URLs and redirect users to malicious websites.

On top of making it possible to register and set up domains, Cloud Domains provides features to ease their day-to-day management. For enterprises, the most important feature will likely be the integration the service provides with Google’s Cloud IAM user access control tool. 

Cloud IAM makes it possible to create highly granular rules for controlling who can change a domain name’s settings and view information about its configuration. The tool’s capabilities could enable Google Cloud’s enterprise customers to secure sensitive domains, like those of their corporate websites, more extensively than they could previously. Many domain name providers offer security tools but they’re not always as comprehensive as those available from the major public cloud. 

Centralization is another benefit. For existing Google Cloud customers who already rely on Cloud IAM to protect their environments, the tool can be a more convenient means of managing access to domains than a third-party registrar’s external security controls. 

For the most tech-savvy users, Cloud Domains provides an application programming interface alongside the graphical management console. The API makes it possible to link domain names to external information technology tools and automate administration tasks.

Google is not new to the domain name business. The company introduced its Google Domains domain name registration service in 2015 and operates one of the world’s largest public DNS services, processing more than a trillion web requests daily as of 2018.

Amazon Web Services Inc. and Microsoft Corp., Google’s top cloud rivals, also offer domain management capabilities in their respective platforms.

Image: Google

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