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We have a server that needs to live on two vlans at the same time. It manages our physical security infrastructure, collecting information from cctv cameras, keyfob readers, and door sensors via one vlan, and allowing client software installed on users machines on a different vlan to report from this information and manage the security devices.

My problem is that both the client software and the devices expect to reach this server via a single host name that is difficult to change now. The physical devices need that host name to resolve to an IP on the same subnet, and for security reasons the PCs running the client software should not be able to talk to the vlan associated with that subnet. So I need the dns for this host to resolve one way if the request is made from a machine on one vlan, and resolve to something else if the request is made from another vlan.

Our dns server is running Windows. Is this even possible?

I'm considering rolling out a hosts file entry to the PCs that need to access this software (about a dozen) so that the devices can get the entry from vanilla dns. Thoughts on that plan appreciated as well.

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DON'T roll out a hosts file. You will regret it in 3-6 months when something in your environment changes and you can't figure out why things are breaking. Split-Horizon DNS (like @Ccakemox suggested) is what you want. – voretaq7 Jun 3 '11 at 15:44
@voretaq7 Any guidance then on how to set this up when my only dns servers are part of the primary/secondary AD domain controllers? Everything I've seen is geared towards an additional dns server on a completely separate network, which is not at all what I want. – Joel Coel Jun 3 '11 at 15:59
I'm not sure this is possible with the Windows DNS server -- I know it's possible with BIND, but I believe Windows forces you to set up a separate server on each network. Someone may be able to correct me if I'm wrong, or you may get lucky with a google search ("Split-Horizon DNS" or "DNS Views" are good queries to try) – voretaq7 Jun 3 '11 at 16:37
up vote 2 down vote accepted

You'll want to set up split horizon DNS. This allows your name server to return a different IP address depending on the IP or network of the machine asking.

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