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Learn AD in 15 Minutes a Week: Microsoft DNS - Part 1

By Jason Zandri (Send Email)
Posted Dec 19, 2002


Welcome to the 17th installment of "Learn Active Directory Design and Administration in 15 Minutes a Week," a weekly series aimed at current IT professionals preparing to write the new Windows Active Directory Design and Administration exams (70-219 and 70-217 respectively), as well as newcomers to the field who are trying to get a solid grasp on this new and emerging directory service from Microsoft.

Jason Zandri's latest article in the 'Learn Active Directory Design and Administration in 15 Minutes a Week' series takes a 10,000-foot look at Microsoft DNS. Future installments will focus on how DNS provides functionality in an Active Directory network.

This installment will take a 10,000-foot look at Microsoft DNS, and in later installments it will center on how it provides functionality in an Active Directory network.

To begin with, DNS provides name resolution by translating computer names to Internet Protocol (IP) addresses so that computers can locate each other. DNS is also the primary naming convention for Windows 2000 domains. In a Windows 2000 network, the names of DNS domains and Active Directory domains often share a common naming structure, and in many cases they are identical. Server1.zandri.net is a valid Windows domain name. If that same server were available to the Internet for access it could also use that naming convention if it was available.

[NOTES FROM THE FIELD] - Microsoft DNS is not a requirement for Active Directory. Microsoft DNS on Windows 2000 is RFC-compliant and allows for the deployment of Active Directory under other DNS implementations. It has been tested to work with Windows NT 4.0, BIND 8.2, BIND 8.1.2, and BIND 4.9.7.

Microsoft DNS under Windows 2000 supports some features not supported under other implementations of DNS.

Feature
Windows
2000
Windows
NT 4.0
BIND
8.2
BIND
8.1.2
BIND
4.9.7
Support for the IETF Internet-Draft "A DNS RR for specifying the location of services (DNS SRV)." (SRV records) Yes Yes
(w/SP4)
Yes Yes Yes
Support for dynamic update Yes No Yes Yes No
Support for secure dynamic update based on the GSS-TSIG algorithm Yes No No No No
Support for WINS and WINS (R records Yes Yes No No No
Support for fast zone transfer Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Support for incremental zone transfer Yes No Yes No No
Support for UTF ‑ (8 character encoding) Yes No No No No

BIND version 4.9.7 is the earliest version of BIND that is supported for a Windows 2000 Active Directory environment for DNS support.

DNS identifies domain controllers by the specific services that they provide for the Windows 2000 Active Directory domain so that clients can query DNS to locate a domain controller that provides the needed service.

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