bitly and Verisign

One of our investors brought his teenage daughter by the office the other day. She was puzzled.

“Bitly has an office?” she asked her father. “I thought it was, you know, just part of the Internet.”

We took that as a great compliment — over the last three years, bitly links really have become a ubiquitous part of the web.  A recent Microsoft Research report even claims that short links can account for as much as 1% of the new URLs created on any given day. 

With that kind of scale comes a great responsibility in terms of technical reliability and redundancy. Which is why we’re pleased to announce a new agreement with Verisign, which operates two of the Internet’s root nameservers and much of the web’s DNS infrastructure. If there’s a single company that qualifies as the steward of the Internet, it’s Verisign.

Verisign and bitly already work in tandem nearly every time a short URL is clicked. On any given day, bitly translates hundreds of millions of short URLs into standard web addresses; last month alone, we handled 8 billion such redirects. Verisign takes those long URLs and translates them into IP addresses, resolving over a trillion monthly DNS queries, including every URL hosted on a .com, .net or .gov domain. 

These two steps constitute the core infrastructure of the social web, and bitly’s relationship with Verisign aims to make them completely reliable and blazingly fast. 

Beginning this fall, bitly’s primary data center will be hosted on Verisign’s global infrastructure. That’s saying a lot, since Verisign’s infrastructure has maintained the .com namespace for more than a decade with zero percent downtime.  

Verisign’s architecture has been integral to the growth and stability of the Internet at large, and we could not be more excited to work with them. Scientists at both companies are already poring over volumes of DNS resolution data — data that will help us answer fundamental (and fundamentally awesome) questions like: “what actually are the most popular websites on the Internet?” and “just how big is the Internet, anyhow?” 

Stay tuned, as we’ll be sharing our findings here.