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'GlobalNames' Zone, A DNS Feature in Windows Server 2008

By Nirmal Sharma (Send Email)
Posted Sep 4, 2008


Nirmal Sharma
Many Microsoft customers are still using WINS in their networks. WINS is often used as a secondary name resolution protocol for NetBIOS names. WINS uses NetBIOS Over TCP/IP (NBT) for name resolution. Organizations still use WINS because they like having the static names for their enterprise servers.

Win Tip: 'GlobalNames' Zone is another reason to consider migrating from WINS.

Microsoft developers have designed GlobalNames Zone (also called GNZ) to provide the same functionality as WINS. This is a step taken by Microsoft to retire WINS completely from the customer's networks. GNZ provides DNS support for single-label names lookups for important legacy servers. This gives organizations a chance to remove the WINS servers from their networks and move to a DNS-only environment.

Microsoft has changed the name resolution behavior in Windows Server 2008 DNS, enabling DNS Server to perform NetBIOS name lookups in the GNZ zone first.

To create GNZ

GNZ is a type of Forward Lookup Zone. There are two requirements:

  • Create a zone called "GlobalNames"
  • Enable DNS Server to perform lookups in GNZ zone by issuing the command,
    Dnscmd /config /enableglobalnamessupport 1

The above command will turn the new feature on. The GlobalNames lookup will fail if you don't run the above command, even if you have created the GlobalName zone.

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