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I am currently setting up a windows 2008 server to host a website with multiple subdomains, all accessible only within the lan. also, there is no active directory.

what I did is :

1 - computer name : 'web'
2 - in IIS, I added a site binding as 'site1.web' to the default web site
3 - added DNS role to the server
4 - added 'web' as principal zone in direct lookup zones (default options)
5 - added CNAME 'site1'

From a client machine, in tcpip config I added the ip address of 'web' to the DNS list in addition to the ISP DNS. (client machine ip is from DHCP)

Now browsing to 'http://web' or 'http://site1.web' works correctly.

My question is, is it possible throught additional steps in the server to have the websites accessible without requiring the DNS config in all the client machines ?

thanks in advance

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Not sure how you work with DHCP... but I would just have all client machines use the server DNS and the server DNS go on the internet (root servers). This is what I do. That way clients come, ask the server who has the additional top level domains are you set them up (web principal zone) and all queries not resolved locally go automatically onto the internet.

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+1 - Use a DHCP server to assign client computer IP addresses. Assign your internal DNS server as the DNS server for the clients. Use either a "Forwarder" or "Root Hints" (the default) to make your internal DNS server resolve Internet names. You're then free to create any names you want on your internal DNS server for clients to resolve. – Evan Anderson Mar 22 '10 at 16:04

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