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DNS under IIS, multiple private subdomains.

Posted on 2001-08-30
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Last Modified: 2008-03-10
www.anything.myserver.com - possible?

I've often seen sites (usually ISPs) which once you have an account, give you a web site on their server with the URL www.myname.ispname.com

I beleive this is something to do with setting up DNS on the server, but I really haven't a clue.

Is it possible to do this using IIS so that I can have various areas in my site linked via a URL like www.area1.mysite.com; and if so - how do I do this?

Incidentally, I know setting a host header name up will allow me to respond to different server names from the same server, however this means that each server name has to be registered separately.

I'd really like some step by step instructions if possible, and I can up the points if it gets a bit involved.

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Question by:andyclap
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by:meverest
ID: 6443104
Hi,

yes - you guess right - it is a DNS function to acheive this.

what you need to do is to add an A record for each host you need to access.  each record will give the name of the host, and assign to the relevent IP address.  can be the same, can be different - whatever.  if they will all be on the same server, and all http (not https) then they can be all the same address - and you know how to use host headers to distnguish.

the big question is where to put the DNS.  you say "DNS on the server" - but that is not exactly necessary.  you need DNS, sure, but it can be anywhere.

easiest way is to leave the dns exactly where it is now, and just add the appropriate records.  talk to whoever is handling your dns now - they will know what to do.

cheers.

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by:andyclap
ID: 6444163
Unfortunately the DNS is managed externally, and the company which co-locates our host wants a maintenance fee for each DNS entry they add. As there could be several hundred of these entries, I want to do this myself on our server.
What I'm trying to do is register one DNS entry externally for *.mysite.com to point to our server; then set up something on our server to work out the sub-domains.
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meverest earned 200 total points
ID: 6449419
then you would have to ask the ISP company to add one entry like "some-sub-domain.mysite.com" and delegate it as a subdomain handled by your own dns servers.

Then what you do is to set up a dns (even MS Windows DNS server will do) with primary zone 'some-sub-domain.mysite.com' instead of just 'mysite.com'

then you can add your hosts:

customer1.some-sub-domain.mysite.com
www.customer2.some-sub-domain.mysite.com
ftp.customer2.some-sub-domain.mysite.com

..etc..

but i must say, that if you are gonna be doing DNS at all, then you may as well take on the whole lot, including your root zone.

cheers.
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by:meverest
ID: 6449420
by the way, did you notice that this question is not available for selection in the main topic menu?  it is a bug in their (EE) code - i suggest that you go to the customer support area and ask them to fix up your question subject..

cheers.
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by:andyclap
ID: 6449939
meverest - thanks for the comments, I'll post a CS comment as suggested.

I think taking on the whole DNS is the best root to go, as then I can add/remove names myself without any 3rd party involvement, but I really don't know how to go about this: Do I need some extra s/w in addition to NT4AS? What should I ask my ISP to do on their side?
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by:andyalder
ID: 6450497
Andy, your question title shows blank because EE's filter think it's a URL. If you edit the subject so it read Multiple subdomains possible instead it will show up.
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by:Computer101
ID: 6450922
I have changed the title to get to the question.  Now andyclap can edit it.

Thank you
Computer101
Community Support Moderator
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by:andyclap
ID: 6451040
Hi, thanks Computer01.
Hopefully it should get some more attention now... perhaps.
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by:andyalder
ID: 6451341
There's not really much to add, like meverest says,  either a subdomain NS record pointing to your own DNS server so you pay for one record to be added or have the SOA transferred to your server (they might even charge for the transfer as a penalty clause).
If you're lucky they will set your server as primary and maintain a secondary server for the domain for free as that's no admin for them to do on a slave server.

Technically speaking the additional hosts should be CNAMEs rather than A records, there should be only one A record for each IP address but not many problems if you use all A records.

If you use DNS internally (e.g. win2000) then do not use the same server for your public records, set up split-DNS with 2 seperate servers, one for your internal records and one accessible from the internet.

You just add DNS as a service under NT networking, there's a stepthrough of the GUI at http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/Q172/9/53.ASP, for www.company1.yoursite.com you'd create a subdomain (NS) record for company1.yourdomain.com and then an A record in the compan1.yourdomain.com for www.

You can forget the PTR as it's only a webserver, different if it was mail but the ISP would probably do that for you unless you have a whole classC network anyway.
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by:andyclap
ID: 6454079
Hi andy - Sounds like you're on the right track here - however I really don't know much about this (NS, SOA, CNAME, A records, PTRs. Mind boggles)

Do you have any useful links for finding out more? Or can you give me a brief overview of what it's all about?
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by:andyalder
ID: 6454584
Oops, put a comma after my url, meant to read http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/Q172/9/53.ASP and on the first page there is a link to Microsofts whitepaper on page 1. Then you have to read DNS$BIND from McGraw-Hill which some consider to be the ultimate DNS bible.



None of this works in the real world, to register a domain you have to fill in a web form and give your credit card details and *they* create a NS record on the root servers that tells the rest of us internet users to query your DNS server to find your hosts "www" and so on. The root servers point to the servers for .UK and then the .UK servers point to .CO.UK and then the .co.uk servers point to you.co.uk;'s DNS server. Then you take over and setup www.you.co.uk as a host and anothercompany.you.co.uk as a subdomain and then anothercompany.you.co.uk (which might be another zonefile on the same server) sets up an A record for WWW.anothercompany.co.uk.

Transfers of domains are much harder than creating new ones so register a new asillyname1.com as a new domain for $30 to experiment with.

Be aware that what you call a hostname is supported by an A alias record and what the DNS geeks call a host is a DNS server controlled by a NS record. You don't need 200 DNS servers to support 200 domain names and sybdomains, the server can hold record for more than one and also resolve addresses for your clients in it's spare time.
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by:andyclap
ID: 6454931
Thanks andy, you're helping a lot. I got the link and downloaded and ploughed through the whitepaper earlier today. Not really light reading ;)

It's looking quite good now - I've set up DNS on the NT server and can get through to test.myserver.com, but I have to manually add my DNS to my local TCP/IP config.
I realise that I'm going to have to get my ISP to change the registration so that myserver.com points to my NS rather that theirs.
In the mean time I'll see if they're willing to add an NS entry to pass the request on to my NS.

Incidentally - is there a way of programatically altering the DNS records? I can find the API in the MSDN for Win2K and .net, but there doesn't seem to be anything other than the DNS management console for NT4 - any ideas? Will modifying the text files actually get picked up, or does it need a DNS service restart each time?

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by:andyalder
ID: 6458820
Don't know any way of doing it programatically. Do not bother to read Q174419 but it says If you manually edit the files you have to stop and start the service. With unix it's always stop/start DNS after edit which is why ISP's take half a day to add new records for you.

If you want to edit files but also not stop/start the service you have to set all the zonefiles on the main public DNS server as slave to another server which is master. Then edit this second server's files, net stop and start it's service instead. There is a time delay though due to the refresh interval in the SOA record and you cannot create a new zone though.

>I have to manually add my DNS to my local TCP/IP config.

You might as well set all the clients to use your DNS server to resolve their records as well as it cuts down internet traffic since the lookups are cached locally. Set your server to use the ISP's server as forwarder under the server's properties in DNS mangler console.
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by:andyclap
ID: 6458901
Thaks for all your advice - I'll see how it turns out over the next few days, and allocate points appropriately:
as meverst gave the answer first, he'll get the Q points, but Andy, I'll give you a private Q with the same points (I've plenty to spare) as you helped explain it all and point a DNS newbie in the right direction.
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by:meverest
ID: 6515384
hey there...

how did it go?

cheers.
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by:andyclap
ID: 6515917
Hi - yeah, I've been a bit slatternly about keeping this Q open.
andy - as mentioned earlier, check for a new Q for you.
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