Chapter 13. Domain Name System (DNS)

Introduction

Active Directory is tightly coupled with the Domain Name System (DNS). Both clients and domain controllers use DNS to locate domain controllers in a particular site or that serve a particular function. Each domain controller requires numerous resource records to be present in DNS so it can advertise its services as a domain controller, global catalog server, PDC Emulator, etc. For a detailed description of each of these records plus much more on DNS, see Chapter 6 in Active Directory, Second Edition (O’Reilly).

One of the innovative uses of Active Directory is as a store of DNS data. Instead of using the antiquated primary and secondary zone transfer method or even the more recent NOTIFY method (RFC 1996) to replicate zone data between servers, AD-integrated zones store the zone data in Active Directory and use the same replication process used to replicate other data between domain controllers. The one catch with AD-integrated zones is that the DNS server must also be a domain controller. Overloading DNS server responsibilities on your domain controllers may not be something you want to do if you plan on supporting a large volume of DNS requests.

The Anatomy of a DNS Object

The only time DNS data is stored in Active Directory is if you have a zone that is AD-integrated. When using standard primary and secondary zones that are not AD-integrated, the DNS data is stored locally in the file system of each DNS server in zone files. If you ...

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