I am a web developer at a small design studio. Most of our IT is handled externally. I manage our internal test web server (Windows 2003) and live dedicated web server.

On our live web server we will be using host headers and a shared IP. I would like to do the same thing for our internal test server.

We run Windows XP / Vista on our desktops. We log on locally and use citrix.

We have a local Windows 2003 server that has a shared drive we use for design files. It is back-uped regularly. This server is not a domain controller.

Are there any problems with making the local server a domain controller and internal DNS?


You'll have to ensure that your internal DNS server is able to resolve external DNS records through your firewall, as all your internal clients will now be talking to that server for DNS resolution.

In addition to that, you'll need to decide which way to go with your internal DNS TLD. You could:

  • Go the old '*.local' route which would render all the internal entries unroutable to the outside world. This is a good thing, but the .local way of doing it has fallen out of favour in recent years. There are some possible caveats, see here: Using .local for internal websites

  • Make the internal DNS hang off a subdomain of your external presence e.g. internal.mycompany.com, and configure the DNS server to prevent external resolution of that subdomain. This seems to be a pretty good solution, but may require more configuration/lockdown of the internal DNS server

As for making the server an AD server... I would say that's a seperate can of worms with a different set of headaches. You can implement a DNS server without also implementing AD.

  • 1
    Have to agree with you on the AD Server... their situation doesn't warrant that kind of headache. – Moose Feb 5 '10 at 2:16
  • I had assumed that the internal DNS server had to be a domain controller. Good to know there are choices. – Leah Feb 5 '10 at 2:43

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.