I imagine an excellent answer to this question is already here somewhere, but I can't find it...

I want to configure an intranet Windows Server 2003 DNS server to provide the internal IP addresses of certain local (intranet) servers, but pass everything else to an external DNS server. For example, if billy.acme.com has an entry pointing to, and I ping billy.acme.com, it'll resolve to, but if I ping bob.acme.com, which does not have an entry in my local DNS server, it'll get forwarded to a public internet-located DNS server.

Can anybody tell me how to do this?


You can create forward lookup zones on your internal DNS server that have the FQDN of the server you want to host the info for, then create an A record that you don't give a name to and give it your internal IP.

For your example: create a new forward lookup zone called billy.acme.com, create an A records with the name box empty and put in for the IP.

You can now ping billy.acme.com and get your internal address, because your server is authoritative for that domain, but it will pass along bob.acme.com because it doesn't host that zone.

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you should configure the forward dns servers in your internal dns server to point to external accessible dns servers like google's. In the dns management console, select your dns server, rigth click -> properties. Select tab forwarders and enter your dns servers there.

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  • This doesn't really address his question – tore- Jul 26 '10 at 7:05

This is doable. You need to create a new DNS zone in Windows for each server, time consuming but it works. For that new zone, you need to create one A record.

Example, zone acme.com. Is authoriative on host

Then on your local DNS, you will need to create a new zone billy.acme.com, then create a A record in that zone to point to

If you query your local DNS server for billy.acme.com, it will return, if you query for somethinghere.acme.com, the DNS server (if configured so) will use it forwarders to try to resolve the name for you.

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  • You are correct. I thought he was saying his internal DNS was authoritative for acme.com. He wouldn't be able to at that point though, right? Isn't my first sentence correct? – TheCleaner Jul 27 '10 at 20:17
  • Still, if acme.com was internally defined and auth. this would work as well. – tore- Jul 28 '10 at 12:35

I'm not aware that you can do this if your local DNS server is authoritative for "acme.com". In that case, you'll have to create an entry for "bob.acme.com" pointing to its external IP and for any other "internet IP addressed" host on the acme.com domain.

Your DNS server won't say "well, I don't have it...but I'll forward it onto someone else" if it is authoritative for that domain.

Google "split DNS Windows" for more information.

Long story short: If your local DNS server is authoritative (has a forward lookup zone) for acme.com then it will need A records for ALL hosts you want to resolve on acme.com whether internal or external.

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  • This is doable, read my answer. – tore- Jul 26 '10 at 7:05

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