Sebastopol, CA--While computers and other devices identify each other on networks or the Internet by using unique addresses made up of numbers, humans rely on the Domain Name System (DNS), the distributed database that allows us to identify machines by name, such as www.oreilly.com. DNS works a little like the exchange operator in the early days of the telephone: the individual placing the call would speak the name of the exchange, "Pennsylvania 6500" for example, and the operator at the switchboard would connect the call manually. You didn't need to know how the system worked to place a call. Similarly with DNS, users require little or no knowledge of the system. But, for the system or network administrator, configuring, implementing and maintaining DNS zones can be a formidable challenge. Now with Windows 2000, an understanding of the workings of DNS has become even more critical for system administrators, say Matt Larson and Cricket Liu, coauthors of the new DNS on Windows 2000 (O'Reilly, US $39.95).
Windows 2000 includes many new DNS bells and whistles, including a heavier reliance on DNS than any previous version of Windows. The Active Directory--the major new feature of Windows 2000--is integrated tightly with DNS. "This book will be especially important as administrators begin to roll out Windows 2000 in a corporate environment and find out how much of their implementation depends on a robust DNS infrastructure," says coauthor Liu. He adds, "This is most obvious in the naming of Active Directory names: with Windows 2000, all Active Directory Domain names are DNS domain names but--and this is important--not every DNS name is an Active Directory name."
According to Larson and Liu, one of the greatest challenges of working with DNS is the lack of documentation. "The worst problem with DNS is that despite its widespread use on the Internet, there's really very little documentation about managing and maintaining it," says Larson. "This means that the understanding of an enormously important internet service--one of the linchpins of today's Internet--is either handed down from administrator to administrator like a closely guarded family recipe or relearned repeatedly by isolated programmers and engineers. New zone administrators suffer through the same mistakes made by countless others."
In the tradition of the bestselling DNS and BIND (Albitz & Liu, O'Reilly), DNS on Windows 2000 covers general issues like installing, setting up, and maintaining the server, then focuses on issues specific to the Windows 2000 environment: integration between DNS and Active Directory, converting from BIND to the Microsoft DNS Server and Registry settings. It pays special attention to security issues, system tuning, caching, and zone change notification. It also covers issues such as troubleshooting and planning for growth.
DNS on Windows 2000 is intended primarily for Windows 2000 system administrators who manage zones and one or more name servers. It also includes material for network engineers, postmasters, and others. This book provides essential knowledge about DNS for all readers, whether they are administrators involved with DNS on a daily basis or users who wants to be more informed about the Internet and how it works.
What the critics said about the first edition, DNS on Windows NT:
"This fine volume should have a special place in the bookshelf of every webmaster with a Windows-based Web server. This is a comprehensive and highly comprehensible book on what can be a complex and confusing subject. Highly recommended."
"The majority of this excellent publication shows you how to acquire DNS software, and it leads you through installation and configuration requirements. From administrative duties to advanced features, you review monitoring and troubleshooting in a deployed DNS system."
"This book provides a well laid out overview of DNS and focuses on how it behaves on Windows NT. DNS on Windows NT walks you through the whole process from buying a domain name to setting up a Windows NT DNS server and adding all appropriate records. This book makes an excellent desktop reference."
--www.mcseguide.com, March 2000
"The way I introduce this book in my classes now goes something like this: '...here is a book you don't need to check out; you just need to buy it--immediately...'"
--Ron Reck, MSCE/MCT, Quickstart Technologies, San Francisco
Chapter 11, "New DNS Features in Windows 2000," is available free online.
More information about the book, including Table of Contents, index, author bio, and samples.
A cover graphic in jpeg format.
DNS on Windows
By Matt Larson & Cricket Liu
Second Edition, September 2001
ISBN 0-596-00230-0, 334 pages, $39.95 (US)
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