DNS (Domain Name System) in Windows 2003 Server
The purpose of the tutorials in this section is to help you get you started with DNS’s terms and concepts. Mastering DNS is not easy. The secret of having a fast and secure Active Directory network, is planning then configuring your DNS Server. When it comes to troubleshooting connectivity, DNS is one of THE most difficult tasks in Windows 2003, so take the time to learn the principles behind Microsoft’s dynamic DNS.
The purpose of this page is to act as a mini site map and provide pointers to DNS topics of interest.
- New Features for DNS in Windows Server 2003
- DNS – Names & Namespace
- Types of DNS Zone
- Conditional Forwarding
- Installing DNS Server
- DNS Queries
- Resource Records
- DNS Naming Rules
- Basic DNS Server Troubleshooting
- Advanced DNS Troubleshooting
- Debug Logging for DNS in Windows Server 2003
- DNSLint – Utility
Introduction to DNS in Windows Server 2003
There are three scenarios in which your network needs DNS. Firstly, to find Active Directory resources such as Global Catalog Servers and also Domain Controllers that authenticate Logon or Kerberos requests. Secondly to locate pages on the internet, and thirdly, mundane task for example, connecting to a printer share.
DNS makes it possible for clients to access network resources using alphanumeric names rather than pure IP addresses. Unlike WINS, DNS is hierarchical, with advent of Windows 2000 DNS became dynamic DNS. In practical terms, it means that clients can update their own DNS Server records automatically, thus reducing the administrative load. The killer reason for implementing DNS is that Active Directory relies on DNS for finding Global Catalog, Kerberos and Logon Servers.
Before you install DNS on a production network you need to answer a whole series of questions. For example Will your DNS name match our email domain? Who will be in charge of DNS, you or must you rely on a Unix department?
One ‘Litmus Test’ for a difficult topic is the number of specialist terms a component uses. My rule is the more unusual words and acronyms, the more difficult the subject is to master. DNS passes this ‘ difficulty ‘ test with flying colours. For instance you need to understand, Namespace, Authoritative, Recursive, and Incremental to name just a few of the DNS keywords. As you learn about DNS Server watch out for ways to increase your computing vocabulary.
SolarWinds’ Network Performance Monitor will help you discover what’s happening on your network. This utility will also guide you through troubleshooting; the dashboard will indicate whether the root cause is a broken link, faulty equipment or resource overload.
Perhaps the NPM’s best feature is the way it suggests solutions to network problems. Its second best feature is the ability to monitor the health of individual VMware virtual machines. If you are interested in troubleshooting, and creating network maps, then I recommend that you give this Network Performance Monitor a try.
DNS is the most difficult topic in the whole of Active Directory in general and TCP/IP in particular. However, to be a ‘top techie’ forget those exams, if you can troubleshoot DNS then you can not only talk the talk but you can walk the walk and rule that server room. Make a start by listing the DNS terms and understanding how they fit together. My tutorials will give you step-by-step guidance on how to get the most out of Microsoft’s Dynamic DNS.