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I have a win 2008 r2 AD server that acts as the primary DNS for all clients on the network. I'm having some issues with the response times when resolving external domains and would like to add another DNS server to my network. The second DNS server would be running on windows web server edition so cannot support the active directory role. Simply setting the new DNS server as the secondary DNS for clients seems to balls up domain services for them. How is it possible to achieve this?

Many Thanks

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How many internal clients do you have? – Chris McKeown May 1 '12 at 22:21
Hi, Thanks for the response. About 60. – Dave May 1 '12 at 22:26
A single AD|DNS server should have no problems with 60 internal clients. You might have other problems, or perhaps the server is overloaded by something else you're running on it. – Chris McKeown May 1 '12 at 22:27
Oh yeah, It's overloaded allright! :D but 'tis the way it is – Dave May 1 '12 at 22:29
In that case go with Falcon's advice. Since the Web server edition can't host an AD-integrated zone, you'll need to set up either a conditional forwarder or a stub zone on it so that requests for your internal domain get resolved correctly. – Chris McKeown May 1 '12 at 22:32
up vote 3 down vote accepted

You need the domain server to be configured as a replication slave to the primary one. If you don't do that, clients might randomly try to resolve using it only to find that it does not have the domain records.

The other thing you could do is have it configured to forward all requests for domain-local DNS data to the domain server, but enable caching.

60 users should be a trivial load. You may want to have a look at how the DNS server is resolving the names; if it is forwarding queries to a slow DNS server, this would be an issue. Either have the domain server resolve them on its own without forwarding (using the root hints and recursing), or configure a faster forwarder.

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This is a quick and painless task.

  • On your DC in the DNS console, right click on your zone and select zone transfers
  • Allow zone transfers to only the following servers, put in the IP of your secondary
  • Hop on your secondary server, open up DNS, configure a secondary zone

Now you said that you're experiencing slow resolution times. Do you have forwarding setup or are you only using root hints? If you're not using forwarders have you confirmed that your Root Hints is configured properly with all the correct entries? Also you can enable logging in the debug logging tab to get the exact details of whats going on

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Sounds like these steps have to be repeated for each zone. Any way to reduce the pain for replicating a large number of zones (same source and destination server for all, both Windows DNS although different versions, and all joined to the same Windows domain)? – Ben Voigt May 13 '12 at 21:58

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