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MS Server 2003: DNS and default domain external name resolution

Posted on 2008-10-18
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Hi there,

I have a question about DNS and in particular Microsoft Server 2003.  Suppose we have a domain called 'ourdomain.com' and that is what was what our domain controller was promoted as and is responsible for.  Suppose we also have a website which is hosted externally which should be reachable via http://ourdomain.com.

If we are on our network our website resolves one of our few servers and not the website.  I've been able to create a DNS entry (A record) on our DNS server for 'www.ourdomain.com' and point to the correct IP address of our site and that works fine, but what if we want to access our site without the www in front?

Upon going into DNS on our 2K03 server, I can see entries which state are '(same as parent folder)' but modifying these entries (on a test server) do not seem to help achieve our goal...

Could someone tell me how we can access our website which is externally hosted and happens to be the same name as our actual domain without having to put 'www' in front?

PS--I realize that creating a domain with a name like this is not a best practice.

Thanks!

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Question by:lighthousekeeper
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OriNetworks earned 100 total points
ID: 22748112
Its not possible as far as I know. See this EE post:
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Networking/Protocols/DNS/Q_23076605.html

Alternatively, if IIS is installed on your domain controllers you could do this. Since any internal attempts to resolve ourdomain.com would return the IP address of a domain controller, you could run a webpage on each domain controller that redirects to www.ourdomain.com which would redirect them to the external site. It does work, but it depends how bad you want this feature to work.
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by:Chris Dent
Chris Dent earned 100 total points
ID: 22748170

OriNetworks is right, it's not possible.

AD needs the records as they are (resolving to the Domain Controllers) to answer requests for group policies, for clients joining the domain, for distributed file systems, etc, etc, etc. Your choices are extremely limited, the option mentioned above by OriNetworks is one of the easier ones (the easiest being "make everyone use www.ourdomain.com").

The harder options include renaming the domain, hardly inspiring choices.

Chris
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by:Sci-Fi-Si
Sci-Fi-Si earned 100 total points
ID: 22748218
Well said by OriNetworks.

Short of demoting your domain controller, changing the name and then re-joining all your clients, which really is a last resort, installing IIS on your DC and adding host headders for both yourdomain.com and www.yourdomain.com as a direct to URL for which you could specify the IP address of your external web server.

Another way.
I host all my websites myself. It means I have total control of my domain and emails and still manage to maintain an up time of 100% most months. The disadvantage is bandwidth, but until I have more than 1000 visitors to my site per day it's not a problem.

All the best
Sci-Fi Si
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Author Closing Comment

by:lighthousekeeper
ID: 31507406
Thanks guys, very informative, I split the points three ways.
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