I've got an internal DNS server (part of OS X server) and it's acting as the main DNS server for a specific (physical) site. When it can't resolve hostnames itself, it forwards requests to Google's DNS servers. Everything works well apart from a couple of issues, which I think may be related but can't get to the bottom of.

I've got a number of intranet sites setup, that people can access by going to something like:



These point to various servers in the building that host these sites. Whether internal or external (without VPN), I can access these sites just dandy.

Where the issue comes is when I want to host, say, test.mydomainname.com on an external server it fails to resolve as the primary zone for mydomainname.com is internal. How can I get it to look up Google's DNS (or an external one) for that zone if it's not in the list? I've tried everything I can think (adding my host's nameservers etc) of but nothing seems to work fully.

Also I can't access intranet sites when connected via VPN and from what I can gather - I believe this might be related to the DNS issue but just wanted to give as much information as possible.


The domain mydomainname.com is hosted externally and pointed at the site's public IP. From there we can forward the requests to the relevant internal server. Externally everything works, internally though any subdomain of mydomainname.com is served locally, I want it to be served from Google's DNS / externally.

DNS Configuration

As per a request, here's the current DNS configuration (OS X server's DNS tab). I've blurred out the .private address as it's not really relevant but it's the server's name. The colored dots are just there to link everything together. Screenshot:

enter image description here

In an attempt to clarify this is what I want:

intranet.mydomain.com ->
selfservice.mydomain.com ->
*.mydomain.com -> forward to external DNS
mydomain.com -> forward to external DNS

At the moment any subdomain of mydomain.com is not forwarded on (think this is because of the primary zone being mydomain.com with a NS of intranet.mydomain.com but could do with a little nod in the right direction.

  • I don't understand how google's servers would have the correct records for your own internal domain - wouldn't adding the correct records to the authoritative name servers (presumably your internal one) be the proper course of action? – user16081-JoeT Aug 16 '14 at 18:21
  • @user16081 added some clarification. The domain is hosted externally and the subdomains that should be internal are pointed to the site's public IP. The ones that should be hosted external aren't and it works well from outside the building. Within the network though - everything under that domain name, is treated as internal - it shouldn't. Only the ones I've specified. – ScottMcGready Aug 16 '14 at 18:25
  • You might want to provide the appropriate sections of your bind configuration for your internal DNS. – mdpc Aug 16 '14 at 18:27
  • @mdpc I've added a screenshot of OS X's DNS setup :) – ScottMcGready Aug 16 '14 at 22:10
  • hmmm...I was talking about the underlying textual configuration files that bind would be using. What you presented does not really help. – mdpc Aug 16 '14 at 22:14

I figured out a workaround but it's far from perfect. Ideally I'd have liked to add "*.mydomain.com" as a catch all forwarding to external DNS (my registrar) and only point the relevant ones to internal servers. Unfortunately OS X server doesn't currently allow wildcard entries so I've had to add everything manually pointing out/in where appropriate.

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