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I have some local host names in format: dev-some-site-name

I need to setup DNS server (on Windows Server 2012 R2) so this names can be resolved on multiple virtual machines - i don't want to use hosts file.

So far I've done this:

  • Setup primary DNS Zone with name dev-some-site-name
  • Setup empty record in this zone to correct IP address

If I try to visit this host in browser, there is ERR_NAME_NOT_RESOLVED error. If I open nslookup in interactive mode on server and type dev-some-site-name there is also error, but if I try dev-some-site-name. (dot at the end) it resolves correct.

Is it possible to make this working?

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    Short answer is its possible this will work, but not without more details. – Jim B Feb 6 '17 at 17:19
  • Hey, thank you for your comment. Please advise what kind of details should I provide. – Mateusz Marchel Feb 6 '17 at 17:38
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Ok, after hours of searching and reading I now understand a bit more about FQDN and I can answer this question myself:

Short answer:

Instead of creating zone and empty A record in it, I should create A record in domain which is on DNS Suffix Search List. After doing this visiting http://dev-some-site-name/ in browser works correctly.

A bit more details:

What i tried to achieve is called "single label domain". DNS itself has a root zone. This zone is called literally ".". The trailing '.' makes the name into a "Fully Qualified Domain Name". DNS system can't work with just single name. Possible solutions are:

  1. using WINS
  2. put single label name int FQDN which is in DNS Suffix Search List on DNS client
  3. Use GlobalNames Zone (GNZ)

Quote from Microsoft Technet (link to source below).

While Domain Name System (DNS) is the predominant name-resolution technology in TCP/IP networks, Windows Internet Name Service (WINS) is deployed in many networks as an alternative name-resolution protocol. WINS is an older service that uses NetBIOS over TCP/IP (NetBT). WINS and NetBT do not support IP version 6 (IPv6) protocols. Therefore, they will become less useful as enterprises move to IPv6-only networks. WINS continues to be deployed most commonly to provide resolution of single-label host names throughout the enterprise network.

Even without WINS name resolution, a DNS client can resolve a single-label name by successively querying a DNS server by appending the single-label name with a domain-name suffix from a preconfigured search list. The DNS client continues to query the DNS server with a different name that is derived from the list until the name resolves successfully. While this is suitable for smaller networks, for an enterprise with many domains, managing a suffix search list for all clients can be cumbersome. Also, client query performance is lowered when the client queries for a single-label name with a long list of domains. Finally, relying on the suffix search list does not guarantee that single-label names are global and unique across all the domains in the search list.

(...)

To help organizations migrate to DNS for all name resolution, the DNS Server role in Windows Server 2008 supports a special GlobalNames Zone (GNZ) feature. The GNZ feature is designed to enable DNS resolution of these single-label, static, global names. You can deploy a GNZ in a single forest or across multiple forests.

GNZ is intended to aid the retirement of WINS. It is not a replacement for WINS. GNZ is not intended to support the single-label name resolution of records that are registered dynamically and therefore not managed by IT administrators. GNZ does make it possible for you to provide single-label name resolution of a fixed set of host computers whose names are guaranteed to be both global and unique.

Sources:

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