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Understanding DNS Zone Replication in Active Directory Domain Services

Applies To: Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2

You can store Domain Name System (DNS) zones in the domain or application directory partitions of Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS). A partition is a data structure in AD DS that distinguishes data for different replication purposes. For more information, see Understanding Active Directory Domain Services Integration.

The following table describes the available zone replication scopes for AD DS-integrated DNS zone data.

 

Zone replication scope Description

All DNS servers in the forest that are domain controllers running Windows Server 2003 or Windows Server 2008

Replicates zone data to all Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008 domain controllers running the DNS Server service in the AD DS forest. This option replicates zone data to the ForestDNSZones partition. Therefore, it provides the broadest replication scope.

All DNS servers in the domain that are domain controllers running Windows Server 2003 or Windows Server 2008

Replicates zone data to all Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008 domain controllers running the DNS Server service in the Active Directory domain. This option replicates zone data to the DomainDNSZone partition. It is the default setting for DNS zone replication in Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008.

All domain controllers in the Active Directory domain

Replicates zone data to all domain controllers in the Active Directory domain. If you want Windows 2000 DNS servers to load an Active Directory–integrated zone, you must specify this scope for that zone.

All domain controllers in a specified application directory partition

Replicates zone data according to the replication scope of the specified application directory partition. For a zone to be stored in the specified application directory partition, the DNS server hosting the zone must be enlisted in the specified application directory partition. Use this scope when you want zone data to be replicated to domain controllers in multiple domains but you do not want the data to replicate to the entire forest. For more information, see Create a DNS Application Directory Partition and Enlist a DNS Server in a DNS Application Directory Partition.

When you decide which replication scope to choose, consider that the broader the replication scope, the greater the network traffic caused by replication. For example, if you decide to have AD DS–integrated DNS zone data replicated to all DNS servers in the forest, this will produce greater network traffic than replicating the DNS zone data to all DNS servers in a single AD DS domain in that forest.

AD DS-integrated DNS zone data that is stored in an application directory partition is not replicated to the global catalog for the forest. The domain controller that contains the global catalog can also host application directory partitions, but it will not replicate this data to its global catalog.

AD DS-integrated DNS zone data that is stored in a domain partition is replicated to all domain controllers in its AD DS domain, and a portion of this data is stored in the global catalog. This setting is used to support Windows 2000.

If an application directory partition's replication scope replicates across AD DS sites, replication will occur with the same intersite replication schedule as is used for domain partition data.

By default, the Net Logon service registers domain controller locator (Locator) DNS resource records for the application directory partitions that are hosted on a domain controller in the same manner as it registers domain controller locator (Locator) DNS resource records for the domain partition that is hosted on a domain controller.

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