I have just installed Server 2008 and am installing the role of DNS. It would seem that from all the advice on the Net, there are two ways of configuring DNS. One is to let the default go through and then in the Forwarders put in the DNS. The other is to create a New Forward lookup zone. What is the point of creating a new lookup zone? My DNS seems to be working just fine without it, or will I run into problems later on?

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    What exactly are you trying to do? Where do you think you would store/update records if you don't create a zone? Have you read Wikipedia article on DNS? en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domain_Name_System – Zoredache Oct 23 '12 at 0:01
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    Your question lacks the detail and context required for it to make sense. Please add some detail and context. – joeqwerty Oct 23 '12 at 0:10

These are two different things. Forwarders will tell your DNS server where to query in the event that it does not hold a copy of the zone requested. For example if you have a client that requests google.com and you don't have a forward lookup zone for it (you shouldn't, you don't own it) then forwarders (or root hints - the default) are used to find google.com.

A forward lookup zone is a set of records for a specific domain, normally that you control. If you had a LAN called internal.company.com and you wanted PCs on that LAN to find each other, you'd configure a forward lookup zone for internal.company.com and set the computers to update their records in that zone. Or, if you ran a public website called myawesomesite.com you'd hold a copy of that forward lookup zone with a Start of Authority record, some A records, maybe a MX e odd or two, etc.

As you can see, they are two different things. Forward lookup zones are usually used for computers to find resources that you manage or control and forwarders (or root hints) are so that your computers can find everything else in the world.

The DNS root servers get enough traffic as it is. The proper etiquette is to use a forwarder to resolve external domain names. Usually your ISP is what people forward to, but there are plenty of other public DNS servers out there like Google DNS or Level 3's (overloaded) public resolvers.

  • When I installed DNS, it created two folders within the Foward Lookup Zones. msdcs.coop.local and coop.local. I thought perhaps that it had already installed a default zone already to store address. I take it not. – Saundy Oct 23 '12 at 1:42
  • Those are the two forward lookup zones for your Active Directory. the _msdcs zone holds information about your domain controllers, sites, and KMS servers. The other zone holds information about your clients and servers. This is really entry level stuff. You should consider getting a good book or some training on this. Active Directory is powerful, but can be easily broken if you don't know what you're doing. This is a site for professionals, after all. – MDMarra Oct 23 '12 at 1:46
  • Unrelated, but you really shouldn't use .local. You might do well to read this q&a for some basic info. – MDMarra Oct 23 '12 at 1:48

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