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DNS Support for Active Directory Technical Reference

Updated: November 19, 2014

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, Windows Server 2012 R2

Active Directory is the directory service for the Windows Server 2003 operating system; DNS is the primary name resolution service for Windows Server 2003, and a core component of Windows Server 2003 TCP/IP networking.

Strictly speaking, DNS is not a component of Active Directory. However, knowledge of how Active Directory depends on DNS is necessary to understand how Active Directory components are able to perform their assigned operations. DNS is used by Active Directory for domain controller location and DNS naming is leveraged by Active Directory for domain naming. Because Active Directory depends on DNS for domain controller location and DNS influences Active Directory domain naming, DNS is discussed in this technical reference subject as a component of the Windows Server 2003 directory service solution.

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