DNS entries for servers that are not on the domain

Posted on 2006-04-18
Last Modified: 2010-04-18

I have a question regarding DNS entries for servers that are not part of our domain.  We currently have a development network that consists of 14 servers.  This network is not part of our Windows domain.  There isn’t a DNS server or domain controller in this development network.  Our corporate network and the development network are on separate VLAN’s.  There is routing between the VLAN’s so the development servers are accessible from the corporate network.  The developers access the servers remotely.

Here’s my problem.  Currently all of the developers have HOST files on their PC’s with entries for all of the servers on the development network.  This is an administrative nightmare when a new server is added or one is re-named / re-IP’ed etc.  I want to add A records for these servers in to our Windows 2003 DNS configuration and eliminate the customized HOST files on the developers PC’s.

Now for my question.  Should I just add A records for these development servers under our current zone on the DNS servers or should I create a new zone?             or  
A record                                      A record
A record                                      A record
A record                                      A record

I don’t think this makes a difference but our DNS is active directory integrated.

I’m sure adding A records under our existing zone will work but I’d like to keep the development server records separate if possible.  If I create a new zone for these server records will the workstations on our existing domain still be able to resolve the names/IP’s?

One last question.  We have about 200+ workstations all running XP or Windows 2000.  Is it absolutely necessary to run WINS on our network?  We had some old 98 machines that the developers were using but they were recently retired.  Since the older PC’s are gone do I have to keep WINS running?  All of our servers are Windows 2000 or Windows 2003.

Thanks for the assistance!

Question by:steno1122
    LVL 82

    Accepted Solution

    It doesn't really matter if you put them into a separate or add them to your AD zone; just make sure the primary domain suffix on the test servers matches the zone.
    The handling will be a bit easier if you keep them in your AD zone, because you'll be able to reach them by just using the host name; in a separate zone, you'll have to either use the FQDN, or add the on your client machines as additional domain suffixes.

    If you're not using any Win9x or NT4 machines anymore, and you're not using Exchange or the Network Neighborhood, either, then theoretically, you can stop using WINS and NetBIOS. But then again, WINS doesn't require much resources, so you can just keep it running.
    Exchange Server 2003 and Exchange 2000 Server require NetBIOS name resolution for full functionality
    LVL 25

    Assisted Solution

    >>Should I just add A records for these development servers under our current zone on the DNS servers or should I create a new zone?
    just do it under your current zone.

    >>If I create a new zone for these server records will the workstations on our existing domain still be able to resolve the names/IP’s?
    as long as they are pointed to the server that hosts these DNS records FIRST, then yes.

    >>Is it absolutely necessary to run WINS on our network?
    you will get different answers on this,,,, but it isn't really absolutely necessary, but i would keep it running for the following reasons
    1. less broadcasts on your domain if you keep the wins server, thus less traffic
    2. if you are running exchange it is still 'required' according to MS.
    3.  what will it hurt to keep the wins server running?


    Author Comment

    oBdA and mikeleebria,

    Thanks for the replies.  I'll take your advice and add the records to our existing zone.  I'll also run WINS since it doesn't have much overhead.

    I was going to post another question but I decided to add it to this thread.  If either of you, or someone else, can answer I'll add more points to the question and split them accordingly.

    Our network had 2 Windows 2000 domain controllers that are older model servers.  I'm in the process of configuring 2 new servers running Windows 2003.  The DC's will run Active Directory, DNS, and WINS.  I configured DNS as Active Directory integrated.  Both 2003 servers are plugged into a switch.  When I connect a laptop to the switch and test DNS there seems to be a delay.  On the laptop using nslookup I set the type to any.  When I type in the domain name I get a DNS timeout error (2 seconds) then the information appears on the screen.  When connected to the 2 Windows 2000 DC's I don't get this error using nslookup.  The difference in the DNS configurations between the servers is that the 2000 servers are configured for Primary/Secondary DNS.  As I mentioned, the 2003 servers are configured for Active Directory integrated.  AD is replicating correctly and there are no errors in the event log.  I have no clue why there is a timeout error when using nslookup.

    Are there problems with Active Directory integrated DNS?  Should I just stick with a Primary/Secondary configuration?  I liked the concept of Active Directory integrated since both domain controllers act as primary DNS servers.  Anyone have an idea as to what the problem is?  Can anyone recommend any links that I can look at to verify that DNS is configured correctly?  If there were errors in the logs I'd post them but there isn't any.  I'm stumped.

    LVL 82

    Expert Comment

    It's probably better to put that into a different question with a different title; you're more likely to find additional participants having encountered this behaviour (that I currently can't explain).

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