We have a Windows 2008 server that is connected to a managed switch with about 15 Cat5e connections and three fiber branches that go to different parts of campus. At each of these parts there is another managed switch that branches out to the LAN. Our cable Internet comes into one of these locations, goes through the supplied modem and into a Sonicwall.

Question: Under DNS settings on all the switches, should I list the LAN Server IP and/or just the Gateway IP (Sonicwall)?

  • What are you trying to accomplish? – Marki Nov 14 '14 at 17:17
  • 2
    You only need to configure that setting if the switches need to resolve DNS names. That setting is irrelevant to your LAN clients. – joeqwerty Nov 14 '14 at 17:26
  • Like @joeqwerty says... – TheCleaner Nov 14 '14 at 17:34

You want to specify the IP address of the name server you want to use. That sounds cyclic, perhaps, but that's what you want.

Some Sonicwall appliances have an option to run a DNS server. You're almost certainly running a DNS server on this Windows Server 2008 if it's acting as an Active Directory Domain Controller. The Windows Server 2008 machine would have a richer configuration interface than the Sonicwall, so I'd opt to use it as the DNS server for all non-Windows devices on the network too.

The DNS server specified on switches typically only controls how the switch itself resolves names. It will have nothing to do with how devices attached to the switch resolve names. Don't get wrapped up in thinking that the DNS server specified in a switch at all alters how clients interact with DNS. (This is true of most embedded devices, excepting consumer wifi routers, which typically offer up their own mini DHCP servers and may either offer DNS services or automatically direct clients to the upstream DNS server.)

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