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I've seen various Google Tech Talks where they refer to their corporate network as an address like this:


I'm guessing that this is some custom host on the Google Network that is accessible to only people who are connected through their internet connection. My question is, how would you set something like that up? Is it a custom DNS server? Or is it done some other way?

Thanks for any ideas!

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Correct, this is done via an internal DNS server. You can use pretty much any DNS server software you want. If you have a Windows Active Directory network then you already have a DNS server.

Your DNS server does not have to be publically accessible, but it does need to be the DNS server for all the machines in your network. If you don't have a DNS server at the moment, this can cause many other issues. Any requests that can't be resolved are then forwarded to another DNS server (typically your ISP's).

Anyway, back to what I was saying about your Active Directory setup. The DNS server is usually the domain controller, so once you've found it, fire up the DNS control panel (Start > Control Panel > Administative Tools > DNS). Under Forward Lookup Zones, you will need to create either an A or a CNAME record for your subdomain/internal URL.

E.g. Let's say you have an internal server, WEB1 and you want it to respond on http://intranet/ then you would create a CNAME record for intranet and point it to WEB1.

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Worth mentioning that a CNAME record is only good if you already have an A record for the machine. If no A record exists you will need to create that first. Might not be a bad idea to research DNS, it's a very in-depth protocol once you get using it... – Mark Henderson Aug 10 '09 at 2:05

This is what is called a non-fully qualified host name. In the DNS world all host records belong to a domain, however a client need not completely specify the full domain when requesting resources from a remote host. Clients can be configured to use default search domains which allows for a URL such as you have given above. It's basically a time saver for us lazy humans.

For example, let's say that your company uses the internal domain name Your client workstations can be configured to use as their default dns domain. Because of this any queries for non-fully qualified host names will have that domain appended automatically by the client's resolver.

That is, when you make a name resolution query for your company's web site you can use a URL such as your example: http://www/somepath. When your client's resolver queries dns it will automatically append onto the non-fully qualified host name www in order to make a fully-qualified host name which is required for a dns query. Thus the resolver will then perform a lookup for at which point it will be sent to the dns server that is authoritative for, which will answer the query with the IP address associated with the www record.

This is done so that we don't have to type the fully-qualified host names ourselves. As I said, for the benefit of us lazy humans. That's all DNS is anyway ;)

Hope that makes sense...

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