When dynamic DNS is configured, I am wondering which DNS servers do the client computers attempt to register their name with. Do they only register with their configured DNS server or does the client query for NS records on its configured domain and contact those servers?

The reason I ask is that we have a dynamic zone which may need to move to new DNS servers, but I will not be able to reconfigure all clients to point at the new DNS servers. Instead, the client's DNS servers will be delegating the zone to the new servers.

This is all Windows (clients/DNS servers), but I don't know if that affects the answer.


The registration process begins with a start-of-authority (SOA) query for the zone in question, so your clients should be able to dynamically register just fine if their configured DNS servers are not primaries for the zone.

If your clients get their addresses from DHCP, then the default is that the clients will register the A records and your DHCP server will be requested to register the PTR records.

  • Regarding the SOA query - that's what I was looking for. Thanks! – Doug Luxem Aug 31 '09 at 16:42

If your DNS server are domain controllers and the zones are Active-Directory integrated, they will be automatically replicated to all new DC/DNS you add to the domain; so if you want to add a new DC/DNS, you just need to promote the server and enable the DNS service on it, and it will get an always-up-to-date copy of the zone.

If your zones are not running on DCs you're stuck with standard primary-secondary behaviour, though; in this case, your question is pointless, because only the server hosting the primary zone can modify it, so even if a client tried registering with another server, the registration would fail.

  • The zones are AD integrated, but this is not the zone for our AD domain. The clients are not domain members and they are doing "unsecure" updates. This zone will need to move to domain controllers in a different domain though, but the clients will still be pointed at their current DNS servers. – Doug Luxem Aug 31 '09 at 16:11

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