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Windows 2003 DNS - network card settings for DNS servers

Windows primary DNS servers need to have their own IP set as their preferred (only I think) DNS server in their network card TCP/IP properties.

What do secondary DNS servers need to have in their network card properties?
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cajx
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cajx
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5 Solutions
 
DeanC30Commented:
Is your DNS infrstructure configured for AD Integrated?  If so then all DNS servers should point to themselves as primary servers.  

If you have Primary & Secondary DNS servers, then on network card properties for your secondary DNS configure the primary DNS server to point to themselves and configure the secondary DNS server on the network card to point to the primary DNS server.



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ocon827679Commented:
Set the secondaries to point to the primary.
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LauraEHunterMVPCommented:
Typically any machine that's running the DNS server service should point to itself as primary and a physically-near server as secondary, regardless of whether the server is hosting a primary or a secondary copy of the zone(s) in question.  

There were cases in Windows 2000 where this wasn't recommended for domain controllers because of a "DNS Island" issue that this created in early versions of the 2000 service packs, but this has been alleviated in 2K3.
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DavidBCSCommented:
All of this has to do with AD. If the Windows DNS servers are maintaining AD information, then the server needs to point to itself. If it is a forwarding-only server, then the DNS can be pointed to the External DNS servers from the ISP or left blank and Forwarders configured in the DNS service through DNS manager.

Your secondary servers, for AD purposes, should point to the primary DNS server. This is not true if they are hosting External DNS records or acting as a forwarding-only server.

The following article may be of some help:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/816518/en-us

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cajxAuthor Commented:
I see some conflicting advice. Can anything give a reference URL or whatnot that will help us get a concrete answer?

My biggest concern is that when your primary DNS goes down, won't your secondary DNS servers have major issues if they are only pointing to the primary? How will they function?

To answer the questions posed to me: We tried AD integrated but had weird probelms with zones disappearing. Eventually we heard enough people with the same problem that we decided to go to the more standard primary and secondary DNS servers. This has been working better for us.
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KCTSCommented:
Are you using Active Directory Integrated DNS? Id not why not?

If you are than all your own servers will normally be Primary DNS servers, and you can have multiple primary DNS servers.

The Preferred DNS server on both servers and clients should point to the Windows DNS server (normally the domain controller). If you have two Windows DNS servers then clients should point to the other Windows DNS server as an alternate DNS server.

Generally DNS servers should point to themselves and microsoft recommend that you don't have an alternate DNS specified on a DNS server to avoid the DNS queries going around in circles
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DeanC30Commented:
"My biggest concern is that when your primary DNS goes down, won't your secondary DNS servers have major issues if they are only pointing to the primary? How will they function? "

Thats why, IMO,  you should point it to itself, however if your primary DNS servers are down long enough you will have issues anyway as the secondary is simply a copy (read only) of the primary.  Depending on the TTL for the zone file, the secondaries will ultimately become useless.  
You will probably find most people here would recommend you use AD Integrated.  Then if you lose one DNS server, not such an issue.

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KCTSCommented:
If you use AD integrated DNS this is not an issue which is why it is the preferred option (that and better security, better integration, more efficient replication)

With AD integrated DNS you don't have the updateable primary DNS and read only secondaries, you have multiple primaries, any and all of which can be updated and will replicate the changes to the others as part of the normal AD integration.

Clients if you have multiple internall windows DNS servers then clients should point at one as the preferred DNS and another as the alternate. You should make the DNS server point to itself as preferred DNS. The thinking now seems to be that an alternate DNS on a DNS server causes more issues than it solves.
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ocon827679Commented:
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cajxAuthor Commented:
OK, thanks all for the immense help. Gotta love experts-exchange! I'll probably give integrated another chance our problem with the zones magically disappearing.
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