Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have been trying out public only facing DNS servers with Server 2008 R2 Web - I've wanted to setup at least 2 in a master/slave replication.

Using Microsoft DNS I am able to add in the domains into the primary zone on the master DNS server (ns1) and add the records ok and have them visible publically. On ns2 I can then add in the same domain but as a secondary zone and get them to replicate / zone transfer fine.

Is there a way inside of Windows to have the slave(s) automatically synchronise all the changes from the master? For example it's ok if i have manually added the domains onto each of the NS's but if i add a new zone on the master i have to add it on the slave before it replicates.

I installed Simple DNS and they have a 'Super Master/Slave' which takes care of exactly this whereby if you add a new domain into the primary zone it is automatically created and kept in sync on NS2 but i would have to buy a licence.

All this is non active directory if that helps.

Can anyone advise if it is possible to do this using Microsoft DNS?

Many Thanks in Advance!

share|improve this question

There's no "stock" method for creating zones on your secondary DNS servers when new zones are created on the primary DNS servers. You could code something up with the Resource Kit DNSCMD tool that would do it, but there's no stock behavior in the product to do what you're looking for.

As an aside: In an Active Directory environment every domain controller that hosts DNS automatically hosts all forest-wide and domain-wide (for the domain it's a member of) DNS zones. Bringing in Active Directory just to do what you're looking for is probably overkill, but it could do what you want.

share|improve this answer
Evan, do you mean that it would keep the AD domain in sync such as mycompany.local across all the DNS servers in the forest or would it include any domains i add into the primary zone and replicate them down. It is quite overkill i agree :) – Aaron Jan 6 '11 at 2:22
@Aaron: If both of your DNS servers were AD domain controllers any time you created an "Active Directory Integrated" DNS zone that zone's contents would automatically be replicated to both DNS server / DC computers. The records stored within the zones would also replicate, automatically, with no need for a "primary / secondary" relationship to be established between the DCs. – Evan Anderson Jan 6 '11 at 2:36
Ok I've had a quick look at some articles re. that DNS zone. So am I correct in saying that all of the DNS instead of being stored in config files is stored in AD. AD will then replicate and keep all of them in-sync (or all of the now 'Domain Controllers') so I can just update it once in an AD console on any box. So instead of making a new Primary Zone per web domain I would make an Active Directory Integrated zone? It does seem a little excessive :-), of course I would need to upgrade to Standard which is probably about the cost for'Simple DNS' software! Am I on the right lines above though? – Aaron Jan 6 '11 at 2:45
@Aaron: You are understanding the product's behavior correctly. It probably doesn't make business sense to go that route, but the behavior is exactly what you're looking for. – Evan Anderson Jan 6 '11 at 2:49
Thanks for this evan! There is a few solutions there which Im sure will help others. Realistically to achieve that synchronisation its either a) create new primary's on your 'master' and create them on the 'slaves' which will then keep in sync automatically, assuming zone transfers are configured correctly, (my 2 VM's are doing this at the minute no problem) b) Use Simple DNS on web edition - tried and it works as a fully automated solution but at a cost. c) install a domain and let AD handle the replication but this has a cost of upgrading/purchasing at least standard edition to make a domain – Aaron Jan 6 '11 at 2:55

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.