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Managing DNS Servers

Archived content. No warranty is made as to technical accuracy. Content may contain URLs that were valid when originally published, but now link to sites or pages that no longer exist.
By William R. Stanek

Archived content - No warranty is made as to technical accuracy. Content may contain URLs that were valid when originally published, but now link to sites or pages that no longer exist.

from Chapter 16, Windows NT Administrator's Pocket Consultant.

DNS Manager is the tool you'll use to manage local and remote DNS Servers. As shown in Figure 16-4, the main window of DNS Manager is divided into two panes. The left pane allows you to access DNS servers and their database files. The right pane shows the details for the currently selected item. You can work with DNS Manager in several ways:

  • Double-click on an entry in the left pane to expand the list of files for the entry.

  • Select an entry in the left pane to display details such as Zone Info or Server Statistics in the right pane.

  • Right-click on an entry to display a context menu with available options.

Adding Remote Servers to DNS Manager

Servers running Microsoft DNS can be managed from DNS Manager by doing the following:

  1. Install Microsoft DNS Service on the remote server and make sure that the service is properly started.

  2. Right-click on the Server List icon and select New Server from the pop-up menu.

  3. Enter the fully qualified host name or IP address of the DNS server you want to manage and then click OK.

    Note: If the remote server can't be reached, a red X is displayed on top of the server's icon. Generally, this means that the server is offline or otherwise inaccessible due to security restrictions or problems with the RPC service. If you select the server, the Server Statistics pane shows the error message "RPC service is unavailable."

    Cc722541.16wnta04(en-us,TechNet.10).gif

    Figure 16-4: The Domain Name Service Manager dialog box lets you manage local and remote DNS Servers.

Working with the Cache Zone

DNS servers can have zones and domain files associated with them. When you create a new server, the only zone file available by default is the Cache zone. This zone lists authoritative name servers for root domains, such as arpa (used for reverse name lookups) and NET (used for top-level name services). If you create additional zones and name them so that they fit into the DNS domain hierarchy properly, you may see additional root domains, such as COM (if you create a zone called tvpress.com) or EDU (if you create a zone called tvpress.edu).

Normally, cache entries are updated automatically when you create, modify, or delete zone files and DNS records. Thus, in most cases you don't need to update cache entries. However, you may need to periodically update the ROOT-SERVERS zone for the NET domain. This domain contains entries for the top-level name servers on the Internet and can be accessed by doing the following:

  1. Double-click on the DNS server you want to work with and then double-click on the Cache entry to display entries for root domains. Note the NS entries.

  2. Double-click on the NET zone and then select ROOT-SERVERS. The address records for the root name servers should now be displayed in user manager as shown in Figure 16-5. Note these entries.

  3. You can obtain a current list of root servers by entering ftp://ftp.rs.internic.net/domain/named.root into your Web browser.

  4. If necessary, add entries for new root servers or change existing entries in the ROOT-SERVERS zone. Then select the Cache zone and add corresponding name server entries for new root servers.

    Cc722541.16wnta05(en-us,TechNet.10).gif

    Figure 16-5: Root name servers are defined in the Cache zone.

Tip Updating the Cache zone isn't something you have to do often, but it is something you may need to do semiannually. For example, the version of Microsoft DNS installed on my system had information for root servers A to I. Since the installation, root servers J to M have been added. To update the Cache zone for these entries, I created address records in ROOT-SERVERS and name server records in Cache for each new server.

Examining Server Statistics

If you select a DNS server in the left pane, the right pane displays statistics for the server. Table 16-1 provides an overview of server statistics and how they are used.

Table 16-1 DNS Server Statistics

Statistic

Description

UdpQueries

Tracks the number of name server requests over UDP.

UdpResponses

Tracks the number of name server responses over UDP.

TcpConnections

Tracks the number of TCP connections to the server.

TcpQueries

Tracks the number of name server requests over TCP.

TcpResponses

Tracks the number of name server responses over TCP.

Recursive Lookups

Tracks the number of times the server has to query other servers to fulfill client's requests for recursive lookups.

Recursive Responses

Tracks the number of times the server responds to recursive lookups.

WINS Forward Lookups

Tracks the number of times a WINS name to IP address mapping is requested.

WINS Forward Responses

Tracks the number of responses to WINS forward lookups.

WINS Reverse Lookups

Tracks the number of times an IP address to WINS name mapping is requested.

WINS Reverse Responses

Tracks the number of responses to WINS reverse lookups.

Last Statistics Cleared

Specifies the date and time the server statistics were last cleared.

Removing a Server from DNS Manager

In DNS Manager, you can delete a server by selecting its entry and then pressing Delete. When prompted, click Yes to confirm the deletion. Deleting a server only removes it from the Server List and doesn't actually delete the server.

Deleting a Zone

Deleting a zone permanently removes it from the DNS server. To delete a zone, follow these steps:

  1. In the DNS Manager, right-click on the zone's entry.

  2. Select Delete Zone from the pop-up menu and then confirm the action by clicking Yes.

Note: Deleting a zone deletes all DNS records in the zone file but doesn't actually delete the zone file. You'll find that the actual zone file remains in the %SystemRoot%/system32/dns directory. If you want, you can delete this file.

Creating a Domain within a Zone

Using DNS Manager, you can create domains within a zone. For example, if you created the primary zone tvpress.com, you could create hr.tvpress.com and mis.tvpress.com subdomains for the zone. You create domains by completing the following steps:

  1. In the DNS Manager, right-click on the zone's entry.

  2. Select New Domain from the pop-up menu.

  3. Enter the name of the new domain and click OK.

Note: When you create domains within zones, you must delegate authority to the domain to enable WINS integration with DNS.

Delegating an Existing Domain to a New Server

Moving DNS records from a domain on one server to a domain on another server is a fairly complex process. Because the process can be confusing, let's use a practical example where you're moving records from a domain on ServerA to a domain on ServerB. Using this scenario, you would move the records to the new server by doing the following:

  1. Add ServerA and ServerB to DNS Manager.

  2. In Server Manager, right-click on ServerA and then choose New Zone from the pop-up menu. Select Primary and then click Next.

  3. In the Zone Name field, enter the name of the existing primary domain, such as ns.tvpress.com.

  4. Afterward, click on the Zone File field to display the file name and then click Next. A new primary zone is created on ServerA.

  5. Right-click on ServerB and choose New Zone from the pop-up menu.

  6. Select Secondary and then drag the hand icon onto the new primary zone you just created on ServerA. Click Next.

  7. The Zone Name and Zone File fields should be filled in for you. Don't change this information; it should exactly match the zone name and file you just created on ServerA. Click Next. A new secondary zone is created.

  8. Wait for the zone information to transfer from the primary zone. You'll know the transfer is complete when right-clicking the zone and clicking Refresh displays updated zone information.

  9. Right-click the new secondary zone and choose Properties from the pop-up menu. On the General tab, click Primary to promote the zone to a primary zone. When prompted, click OK. Then click OK again to close the Zone Properties dialog box.

  10. ServerB's secondary zone is now a primary zone. Double-click on this zone to display its records in the right pane.

  11. In Zone Info, double-click the SOA record to display its properties. Next, in the Primary Name Server DNS Name field, replace the fully qualified domain name for ServerA with the fully qualified domain name for ServerB. Click OK.

  12. In Zone Info, double-click the NS record to display its properties. Then in the Name Server DNS Name field, replace the fully qualified domain name for ServerA with the fully qualified domain name for ServerB. Click OK.

  13. Right-click on ServerB's new primary zone and then select New Record. For Record Type, choose A Record to create an address record. Then enter the host name and IP address for ServerB.

  14. Select the old primary zone on ServerA and then press Delete.

  15. Create NS and A records for the new primary server in the parent domain. If you created the ns.tvpress.com domain, you would create these records in the tvpress.com domain.

  16. Right-click on the parent domain and choose New Record. For Record Type, choose NS Record and then enter the fully qualified domain name for ServerB.

  17. Right-click on the parent domain and choose New Record. For Record Type, choose A Record and then enter the fully qualified domain name and IP address for ServerB.

  18. To complete the process, choose Update Server Data Files from the DNS menu.

from Windows NT Administrator's Pocket Consultant by William R. Stanek. Copyright © 1999 Microsoft Corporation.

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