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A while back when I first started with my company, the domain had already been set up using a "" DNS name for the internal AD namespace. The shortname is just fine and I feel no need to change it but I have always hated how we used an internet DNS name for our internal AD. We are planning an AD upgrade from 2003 to 2008R2 and I would like to work this DNS name change if possible.

I know there are procedures for doing a full domain name change but my question is: Is a FULL domain name change neccessary if all I want to change is the internal DNS name of the domain? Would it be better to do this change after the 2008R2 domain upgrade?

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I think you should just make it, where YYY is your internal name as a sub-domain of – user3914 Feb 4 '11 at 17:58
I would wait for 2008 R2 full functionnal level to get all my chances with me. if you go for a full rename, my experiences:… I wouldn't do any of that for a dns name. It's just a name, you should go over the psychological barrier. – Mathieu Chateau Feb 4 '11 at 19:16
up vote 3 down vote accepted

If I were you, I'd just leave it as-is. Split DNS is a perfectly valid infrastructure choice, and in some cases would make life easier when switching between the office and being on the road if that's required.

For example, using split DNS, you could point Outlook to This would allow you to get your mail internally via MAPI, and via RPC/HTTP or Outlook Anywhere when away from the office - all without having to reconfigure Outlook. The same goes for Exchange 2007/2010 Autodiscover service records - assuming you're using Exchange, that is.

Otherwise, if you want to proceed with the rename, I don't think the functional level of the domain will affect the outcome or execution of the rename process at all. I've done several renames as well as AD migrations at 2003 functional level without issues. I'd do it before the upgrade and make sure everything's bedded down and error-free before moving to a 2008 domain.

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