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What is the purpose of Forward Lookup Zones?

I have a domain setup in DNS as a forward lookup zone. Now I want to add a new domain to my DNS.

I looks like I can either create a new forward lookup zone for or I can create a "new domain" under the existing forward lookup zone. Which should I do?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

New domains under an existing Forward Lookup Domain add domains to the left of the domain. So in your example, adding a domain to '' would mean adding ''. Since you want to add '', you need to add a new Forward Lookup domain in order to do that.

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You say adding a domain to would create a subdomain However, adding a new Host (A) record also does this. What's the difference between these two methods of creating a subdomain? – User Oct 12 '10 at 1:48
Adding an A record just creates a single host (for instance, you can create ''). Whereas a full domain with its own SOA record allows the DNS server to treat it as a full domain for reasons of secondary DNS servers and zone-transfer settings. For small installs (no more than 50 hostnames) the A-record method should be sufficient. Windows AD is another story though, don't know if that's a factor in your environment. – sysadmin1138 Oct 12 '10 at 2:33
thanks, no active directory so no issue there. – User Oct 12 '10 at 5:04

I found this article which explains exactly what DNS Zones are and how you should use them. A lot of people get confused between a zone and a domain as they are named the same. This cleared it up for me with good examples to help DNS Zones Explained

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A forward lookup zone contains all the information for a domain. You should create a new forward lookup zone for this new domain.

Then, without wishing to be rude, you should probably treat yourself to a copy of DNS and Bind. Not that I mind answering questions or anything but if you're running a DNS server on the Internet you do need to have some understanding of how they work.

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May be off topic but I made the mistake: be careful too to differentiate them from Forwarders which your DNS server will query if it cannot resolve the DNS request, you would want values such as the Google DNS resolvers: and (or your ISP supplied ones - see which is fastest by pinging) as forwarders for workstations attempting to get to the net as they would presumably query your DNS server first (if they are on the domain).

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