Name resolution includes the Domain Name System (DNS) and hosts files. The Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) goes hand-in-hand with name resolution. Name resolution resolves names to IP addresses, and DHCP takes over the tedious chore of assigning IP addresses to individual hosts. Servers need static IP addresses. Workstations do just fine with dynamically assigned addresses—just plug ‘em in and let DHCP do the work.
DNS powers the Internet. All it does is name resolution, or translation of names to numbers. As simple as the concept is, a huge infrastructure has evolved to implement it. We could get along fine without DNS—after all, we’ve been using complex postal mail addresses and phone numbers all of our lives. But there are many advantages to using name resolution. Several names can be mapped to a single IP address. Names are easier to remember. And we can indulge in giving our servers fanciful hostnames, like the names of Tolkien characters, or astronomical terms, or mythological characters. (Okay, so that last one isn’t vitally important—but it is fun.)
One difficulty with learning to run a DNS server is that the vast majority of the documentation is BIND-centric. Berkeley Internet Name Domain (BIND) is the oldest and most widely used DNS server. It seems as though BIND is considered to be the DNS protocol, rather than just an implementation of it.
This chapter contains recipes for two different DNS ...