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DNS zone replication in Active Directory

Updated: January 21, 2005

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

DNS zone replication in Active Directory

DNS zones can be stored in the domain or application directory partitions of Active Directory. A partition is a data structure within Active Directory used to distinguish data for different replication purposes. For more information, see Active Directory integration.

Important

  • If you are changing the storage of a zone from the domain partition to an application directory partition, such as following the promotion of a new Windows Server 2003 domain controller in an existing Windows 2000 domain, the domain controller holding the domain naming master role must be running Windows Server 2003 for the DNS application directory partitions to exist. If you receive an error when changing the storage of a zone from the domain partition to an application directory partition, transfer the domain naming master role to a domain controller running Windows Server 2003, create the default DNS application directory partitions, and try again. For more information about creating the default DNS application directory partitions and transfering the domain naming master role, see Create the default DNS application directory partitions; Transfer the domain naming master role.

The following table describes the available zone replication scopes for Active Directory-integrated DNS zone data.

 

Zone replication scope Description

All DNS servers in the Active Directory forest

Replicates zone data to all DNS servers running on domain controllers in the Active Directory forest. Usually, this is the broadest scope of replication.

All DNS servers in the Active Directory domain

Replicates zone data to all DNS servers running on domain controllers in the Active Directory domain. This option is the default setting for Active Directory-integrated DNS zone replication in the Windows Server 2003 family.

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 zone, this setting must be selected 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. For more information, see Create a DNS application directory partition and Enlist a DNS server in a DNS application directory partition.

When deciding which replication option to choose, consider that the broader the replication scope, the greater the network traffic caused by replication. For example, if you choose to have Active Directory-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 Active Directory domain in that forest. For information about changing zone replication scope, see Change zone replication scope.

Notes

  • This feature is not included on computers running the Microsoft® Windows Server® 2003, Web Edition, operating system. For more information, see Overview of Windows Server 2003, Web Edition.

  • Active Directory-integrated DNS zone data 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.

    Active Directory-integrated DNS zone data stored in a domain partition is replicated to all domain controllers in its Active Directory 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 Active Directory sites, replication will occur with the same intersite replication schedule as used for domain partition data.

  • Root hints are stored in the domain-wide application directory partition if the domain functional level is set to Windows Server 2003 . If the domain functional level is set to Windows 2000 mixed or Windows 2000 native, root hints are stored in the domain partition. For more information about functional levels, see Domain and forest functionality.

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

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