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Designing a DNS Infrastructure to Support Active Directory

Updated: March 28, 2003

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012

After you create your Active Directory forest and domain designs, you must design a DNS infrastructure to support your Active Directory logical structure. DNS enables users to use friendly names that are easy to remember to connect to computers and other resources on IP networks.

Windows Server 2003 uses DNS for name resolution instead of the Windows Internet Name Service (WINS) NetBIOS name resolution method used in Windows NT 4.0–based networks. It is still possible to use WINS for applications that require it; however, Active Directory requires DNS.

The process for designing DNS to support Active Directory varies according to whether your organization already has an existing DNS service or whether you are deploying a new DNS service. Figure 2.28 shows the process for creating a DNS design for Active Directory.

Figure 2.28   Designing a DNS Infrastructure to Support Active Directory

Designing DNS Infrastructures for Active Directory

Before you design your DNS infrastructure to support Active Directory, it can be helpful to read about the DNS hierarchy, the DNS name resolution process, and how DNS supports Active Directory. For information about the DNS hierarchy and name resolution process, see the DNS Technical Reference (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=48145). For information about how DNS supports Active Directory, see the DNS Support for Active Directory Technical Reference (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=48147).

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