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Where should the DNS servers point

Posted on 2006-06-19
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Last Modified: 2010-03-18
I have 2 servers with AD and DNS installed.

the SBS server is the primary DC and primary DNS

The second server (windows server03) is a secondary DC and a secondary DNS

Where should the DNS's of each server be pointing to?
should the SBS point to itself first and then to the server03 as the alternate?
Should SBS only point to itself and have no alternate
Shoudl the server03 point to itself first and then the SBS as its alternate?
Should server03 point to itself only?
Should they point to each other and then to themselves as the alternates?

I don't know which configuration i should choose.
please help
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Question by:Raynovac
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by:Jay_Jay70
Jay_Jay70 earned 100 total points
ID: 16938836
SBS should point to itself with the other as backup

same for any other DNS server - make sure your zones are AD integrated
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by:Erik Bjers
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as Jay said, each server should point to itself for the primary and the other for alternat.  You will then want to add your ISPs DNS servers as forwarders on each DNS server to handle external DNS lookups.

eb
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by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
ID: 16941460
May I ask why you have a secondary DNS server on your network?  There's generally no need since you can't have over 75 clients on the network anyhow, and one server is plenty enough resource for that many machines.  You are really only causing more problems probably than you are solving.

So to answer your question... the SBS should be pointing to itself and have no alternates.  To further this... all workstations and all member servers should point to the SBS for DNS and have no alternates.

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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by:Erik Bjers
ID: 16941704
I'm all for second DNS servers even on small networks... this way if one goes down you have the other and your network is not dead.  
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by:Raynovac
ID: 16944832
The reason for the second DNS is in case one goes down.

This all ties into a failover system with backup domain controllers, secondary DHCP, secondary DNS and data replication.

Our current setup is that the SBS points to itself with no alternate and the server03 points to itself first and then the SBS as a secondary.

Jeff - Is there a reason why SBS should only point to itself?
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by:Erik Bjers
ID: 16944888
The SBS should point to itself and then to server03, but should not point to any external DNS servers.  Your server03 is good the way it is.

Your clients should point to the SBS then server03
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by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
ID: 16944902
Do you have one or two NICs on your SBS?   Also, how many workstations are on your network?

Jeff
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by:Raynovac
ID: 16945382
1 nic on the SBS

approximately  35 workstations and 4 servers
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by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
ID: 16945980
With a single NIC, you could have the other server listed as secondary, but I don't see any benefit since the reason you have it is in case the SBS goes down.  If the SBS goes down, it doesn't matter at all what it has on it's NIC.  If the SBS can't resolve to itself to begin with, then you have other problems anyhow.

The fact that you have four servers is a bit unique in this size company...but it does make sense that you would want a secondary DNS.

Also, I would suggest that you don't replicate DHCP.  Its really not necessary... since your DHCP leases would proably last you through any down time issue.  You just wouldn't be able to add new devices during that time.

So, speaking of "that time".  I must tell you that SBS, installed on appropriate hardware using a RAID array and maintained according to all recommendations is a pretty reliable system.  While complete redundancy is typical in an Enterprise model, in the Small Business space, complete redundancy can end up costing more in time, effort and dollars than what the true cost of downtime would actually be.  

It's easy to justify a few thousand dollars of cost in a large enterprise when you are protecting against the possibiity of huge ramifications from even an hour of downtime.  I am not saying that you shouldn't prepare for these type of things, and I have no idea about your business situation, but I would suggest that you carefully consider whether the cost of your efforts might exceed the potential risk.

SBS has a number of built-in features that help protect against the types of issues you say your "failover system" is handling... such as Cached Exchange Mode, Volume SnapShot Service, and My Documents Folder Redirection with Cached local Files. If you haven't already reveiwed these things, it would be good to do so as part of your plan.

Lastly, always make sure that you add addional servers with the connectcomputer wizard... this will ensure that they are in the proper Active Directory OU, and that all other integrated SBS services are configured properly.

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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by:Raynovac
ID: 16946229
The DHCP doesn't replicate but they share a scope using the 80/20 rule.

This failover system is for business countinuity.  It is required by the government for our industry.  Unfortunately, our area has wildfires every year and we have had evacuations a couple of times.  Because of the possible destruction of the main office, we have a server offsite connected through VPN.

This is the server03 i was talking about.  In the case of something happening to our main site, we can connect to the offsite using the backup firewall and continue our business.  The government will shut us down if we don't have this system.

So lastly, will there be any ill effects if I have the SBS use the server03 as an alternate DNS?
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Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy earned 100 total points
ID: 16946329
The only effects that I can think of is how Remote Web Workplace might function... and off hand, I can't think of any exact issues... but would certainly test it out if you are using RWW.  Overall though, it can't hurt to put it there and see what happens... it won't kill anything... I would think it just could slow down one thing or another... and that wouldn't be a critical problem... so you could easily correct it if there were any problems.

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
ID: 16946347
P. S.  Thanks for sharing the environment considerations.  It would have helped to explain this at the start of the question, just FYI, in case you have other questions like this in the future.

:-)

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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by:Raynovac
ID: 16946575
cool

Thanks for your help
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