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What is the best practice for configuring a Domain Controller's adapter DNS settings?

We have an MPLS network with 6 DC's located in different locations.

HQ - DC1 & DC2 WH - DC3 Branch - DC4 Cloud - DC5 Colo - DC6

My thoughts were to use the DC's IP address as the primary and one of the other DC's as secondary.



marked as duplicate by mfinni, Ryan Ries, mdpc, HopelessN00b, MichelZ Aug 13 '14 at 18:46

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  • That is interesting. Mark Minasi's Master Windows Server 2008 R2 says to not use the loop back address, but to use the real address. He said using the loop back can cause odd problems when troubleshooting DNS. I wasn't able to find anything saying which DNS servers or which should be primary or secondary. – user2565554 Aug 12 '14 at 21:46
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    The BPA raises a warning when you don't use the loopback adapter. I'd trust the direct guidance from the Directory Services product team on this one :) – MDMarra Aug 12 '14 at 21:55

Unfortunately this is a controversial subject so there is no one authoritative answer.

I personally would use another DC as the primary DNS server, and the DC's own IP address as secondary. Ideally the primary DNS would be in the same physical location as the DC.

In network configurations where some DC's may be inaccessible to others (firewalls), if using the DC as itself for primary may result in significant startup delays. More on that and other useful information here:

Troubleshoot DNS Event ID 4013: The DNS server was unable to load AD integrated DNS zones

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