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Newbie sysadmin here. I'd like to sharpen my skills by deploying Win2K8 R2 within Amazon's VPC offering. I'm using Tom Carpenter's 'Windows Server Administration Essentials' book (MTA-cert prep) for Windows administration guidance. After a bit of Googling I found a useful thread on Amazon's VPC forum - (opening ports for AD)

To begin, I spun up a new Win2K8 R2 base instance (ami-f31ccb9a), associating it with the VPC. Would it matter which subnet? -

How should I configure the DNS settings for the server? The networking portion is a bit confusing to me.

My intention is to -

  1. Establish DNS/ADDS/DC roles across a few VM's.
  2. Establish a VPN (via software? I remember seeing a hardware VPN option within VPC deploy, however I do not believe it would apply in this situation) link with a Windows 7 client (I'm using at home) to apply GPOs to practice desktop administration.
  3. Create and link EBS volumes to the instances as network shares, and have those shares usable by my client machine.
  4. Play around with App-V and SCCM12.


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How "newbie" are we talking here? Using Amazon's VPC stuff to keep your skills sharp is a great idea, but if you're not already up to speed on both Amazon and Win2K8 to some extent you're just going to make it harder for yourself compared to say VirtualBox instances on your workstation... – voretaq7 Feb 24 '12 at 18:53
up vote 1 down vote accepted

In an Active Directory environment all your Domain member computers (Domain Controller computers included) should refer to Domain Controller (DC) computers running the DNS Server role for their DNS. For your first DC you can leave the DNS settings empty and the dcpromo utility will offer to install the DNS Server role and setup the DNS settings for you.

Your subsequent DCs should start their lives with the first DC as their DNS Server. AFter they're promoted and replicating properly you can install the DNS Server role on them and configure them to refer to themselves for DNS (though their "secondary" DNS server should be another DC).

You shouldn't ever specify non-DC DNS servers on domain member computers unless you specifically know why you're doing it and the ramifications therewith.

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