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What is the best advice for handling network and internet DNS routing?

Posted on 2007-08-08
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Last Modified: 2010-04-20
I have a DNS Server that an outside company configured.  Today, all outgoing www traffic stopped dead.  Our computers are all configured to send DNS requests to that server at 192.168.100.2.  I quickly figured that since we were still receiving email and our VPN was still up that it was a DNS problem and not that our T1 data line hadn't gone out.  So I looked in DNS and our www record appeared to have the address of our old email server instead of the internet DNS server that we use.  I replaced the address in the www record with a valid DNS server address.  

1. Is it correct to say that that mail server had been handling all of our internet DNS requests?
2. Can I add multiple www records for other DNS servers or is there no point?
3. Since we have DHCP running, would it be better to not use the www record and just set up DHCP to hand out the 192.168.100.2 network DNS server address and also the internet DNS servers?
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Question by:shoshe
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Hypercat (Deb) earned 1000 total points
ID: 19656500
The www record in DNS has nothing to do with name resolution for Internet traffic.  The correct configuration is:

1.  ALL internal servers and clients should be using your internal DNS server(s) as primary and secondary DNS servers.  If you only have one DNS server, you can leave the secondary blank.
2.  DHCP is the easiest way overall to assign the DNS server address to your clients.  Again, in setting up DHCP, you want to use ONLY your internal DNS server address(es).
3.  On your DNS servers, you can set up DNS forwarders to forward requests for external addresses to your ISP's DNS servers.  This is optional, however; all name resolution should work fine without it unless there is something wrong with your DNS server's configuration or their is an operational or network communication problem.
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by:shoshe
ID: 19656594
Thanks for the suggestion and it does help.  Is there a way to explain the complete network loss of being able to resolve internet addresses?   Everything else didn't stop, our VPN stayed up, Exchange email was still flowing, I could remote to a PC outside of the network.
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Author Comment

by:shoshe
ID: 19656658
OK, I think I got it.
When I right clicked on our server in the DNS window and went to Properties, there is a tab that says Forwarders.  Those were configured with addresses other than those that I thought we were using.  Those servers must have stopped responding temporarily?  It was probably my ISP's problem, not ours you think?  I edited that forwarders record to include the addresses of the DNS servers I thought we were using.
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Expert Comment

by:Hypercat (Deb)
ID: 19656743
Yes, I think you're right about the forwarders.  I've seen this happen before, which is why I don't necessary encourage people to use forwarders.  Everything should work just fine without them.  According to Microsoft, using forwarders can speed up name resolution for external addresses, and this might be true if your DNS server is carrying a heavy load.  However, I've not seen any noticeable advantage in the situations I deal with, which are mostly small networks (100 or fewer users).
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