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I have a virtual network setup in the Azure cloud. The virtual machines (all with Windows Server 2008) can only identify each other by IP and not by host name. To do this I need to set up my own DNS server in the virtual network. I do not have the expertise to do this.

Is there not a way to locally configure DNS 'bindings' in each virtual machines' TCP/IP settings?

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

You'll have to add entries in each server's hosts file, located at C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts. Run Notepad as administrator, then open this file and add lines like this, one line per server: myserver 

I would advise that you invest in the time to deploy DNS in your environment. Managing hosts files does not scale whatosever past a small handful of machines.

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This is perfect for now, thanks. Yes, I would like to implement DNS, but I've done some reading and it's mostly going over my head. Could you perhaps provide me with a starting point? Software to use? – davenewza Feb 14 '13 at 7:52
Windows Server 2008 has a DNS server role. It's quite simple to install and the wizards will get you started with a basic installation. You'd then specify that DNS server as the first DNS server in each machine's IP configuration. – Joel E Salas Feb 14 '13 at 8:06
Thanks. Another question: How would those machines then resolve Internet domains if they are only pointing to an internal DNS? – davenewza Feb 14 '13 at 8:10
@davenewza In the DNS server you set up a "forwarder," which is exactly what it sounds like. DNS requests that the DNS server can't answer (aka for domains you don't host) get sent along to the forwarder, which is generally a well-known DNS service like Google's public DNS. – Joel E Salas Feb 14 '13 at 8:11
You would point the 2008 server at an other DNS server. It is like asking your secretary to answer all local queries. When she does not know she 'phones out'. – Hennes Feb 14 '13 at 8:12

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