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Sample detailed DNS records for self-hosting SBS 2008 server

I have installed the Standard version of SBS 2008 and want to self-host a SharePoint site.  The basic installation configures dns for example.local and remote.example.com, but not www.example.com.  This is my first time setting up a server and I have searched and read quite a bit, including Windows Small Business Server 2008 Unleashed without finding out how to configure dns for www.example.com.

One of the things the book says is that the first troubleshooting thing that should be done for dns is to run ipconfig /all and compare it to a known good configuration.  I am looking for that known good dns configuration with which to compare for an SBS 2008 single server that is self-hosting .
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traveler34
Asked:
traveler34
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2 Solutions
 
Philip ElderTechnical Architect - HA/Compute/StorageCommented:
DNS will be hosted by your ISP or domain hosting company.

You have them set www.example.com to the same IP address as remote.example.com.

When you set up your SharePoint site, you set it to use the www.example.com host header on port 80 and all will work fine.

Philip
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traveler34Author Commented:
Hello MPEC:
I have a Domain Name Provider (Register.com), but they are not hosting my site and therefore they are not hosting the dns records.  Neither is my ISP.  Both of them have politely told me that if I self-host, all dns records are on my server (which is OK with me and sounds corrrect to me).  I just don't know how to complete the records.
The same is true of the SharePoint site, as you indicate.  I just don't know the details of setting up the zone records for www.example.com.  For example, example.local and remote.example.com have different SOAs, but the same ns (server.example.local).  Should www.example.com have a different SOA and how can it have an ns of server.example.local?  Shouldn't the ns be something like server.www.example.com?
Maybe I'm just not smart enough to understand, but I believe I do have to manually create the zone for www.example.com and probably example.com and that means I have to be able to fill in every field required by the dns mmc.
Even if I am smart enough, I know I'm not knowledgeable enough.
Ken
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Chris DentPowerShell DeveloperCommented:

Hi Ken,

In the Windows 2008 DNS Console:

1. Right click on Forward Lookup Zones and select New Zone
2. Select Primary Zone. Remove the Tick from Store the zone in Active Directory.
3. Enter the name example.com
4. Allow it to create the default file name
5. Leave the Dynamic Updates option disabled

Now we have a basic Zone File we can use to make it work. Browse to %SystemRoot%\System32\DNS and open up example.com.dns in Notepad.

First, we need to know what values we should be putting in. What Name Servers did you enter onto register.com for your domain name?

For example, if you entered ns1.example.com and ns2.example.com we would change the zone file to match the format of the version below. Once we've got the NS and SOA records correct you can manage it it in GUI as normal.

Note that all IP addresses and names used within the zone file should be public names or you'll run into lots of problems in the long run.

Save the file, then right click on the zone and select Reload (or restart the DNS service). Note that you will have to open Notepad as Administrator to be able to edit the file by default in Windows 2008.

HTH

Chris
;
;  Database file example.com.dns for example.com zone.
;      Zone version:  10
;
 
@                       IN  SOA ns1.example.com. hostmaster.example.com. (
                        	10           ; serial number
                        	900          ; refresh
                        	600          ; retry
                        	86400        ; expire
                        	86400 )      ; default TTL (1 Day)
 
;
;  Zone NS records
;
 
@                       IN NS	ns1.example.com.
@                       IN NS   ns2.example.com.
 
;
; A Records for NS Records
;
 
ns1                     IN A       1.2.3.4
ns2                     IN A       1.2.3.5
 
;
;  Zone records
;
 
www                     IN A       1.2.3.6

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Philip ElderTechnical Architect - HA/Compute/StorageCommented:
Use ZoneEdit.com to host your DNS records. The site explains how to set up the registrar with their NS records, then set up your DNS A, MX, and other records there.

Do not host an Internet facing DNS on your only DC please. Not a good idea at all.

Philip
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Philip ElderTechnical Architect - HA/Compute/StorageCommented:
BTW, ZoneEdit.com is free for the first 5 zones and they give you redundancy which hosting your own will not.

Philip
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traveler34Author Commented:
Hi Chris:
Wow!  Looks like you've done this before.  Great explanation and example.  Just a couple followup questions:
1. Is there anything after line 31 of your screen shot that has to go into Notepad?
2. My ISP gave me 2 static IPs.  The 1st I believe is for the Host (A) record for example.com.  The 2nd I believe is for the MX record, which I have not yet created (don't know if it is a separate zone also, but that's a separate question).  The other 2 IPs were for the ns1 and ns2, which I used to register example.com for both.
3. Where in the example.com zone does the first static IP go?  Or is that handled by the ISP?
4. If I want example.com and www.example.com to both work from a browser, does there have to be a zone for each?
Thanks,
Ken
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Chris DentPowerShell DeveloperCommented:

First, I agree with Philip. If you can host this somewhere other than your Domain Controller you really should.

1. Nope.

2. It really depends where you've assigned the IP addresses. All we're doing is providing friendly names for those IP addresses.

3. As above, it really depends where the IP addresses are used. If it's used for the web site then it will replace 1.2.3.4 in the example below.

4. You would have two records one possible example is:

www   IN CNAME example.com.
@  IN A  1.2.3.4

@ is shorthand for "example.com." in this case, it appears in the DNS GUI as "(same as parent folder)". The end result of that record is that both www.example.com and example.com resolve to the same IP address.

Do bear in mind that if you host the web site within your network your internal clients may not be able to get to the site on these names.

Chris
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traveler34Author Commented:
Chris/Phillip:
Sorry I was away for a little bit.  Please give me a few minutes to take a look at ZoneEdit.
Ken
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Philip ElderTechnical Architect - HA/Compute/StorageCommented:
No worries. We hosted everything internally since our company's inception in 2003. We had three separate SBS 2003 RTM/R2 Premium sites with Win2K3 Web running our DNS infrastructure. ISA 2004 SP3 protected all three sites.

I can now say, BTDT.

It is a lot of work keeping up a DNS infrastructure along with the needed redundancy.

We have since moved all of our domains onto ZoneEdit's servers and deprecated our old DNS servers. It is worth the low annual costs for us to have someone else do it now.

Philip
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traveler34Author Commented:
Chris/Philip:
I'm feeling guilty forcing so much back and forth on one question, but just one more question- a dumb one- and I'll accept solutions and leave you alone.
In order to mitigate the risk of "hosting dns", do I need to host my website, SharePoint site and Exchange on someone else's servers/site(s) and use ZoneEdit or just use ZoneEdit and have these applications resident on my server?
Ken
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Philip ElderTechnical Architect - HA/Compute/StorageCommented:
ZoneEdit will host your DNS settings.

You can put your WWW, MX, and anything else where you want to. It is a matter of setting up the DNS records in ZoneEdit to point to the correct server resource.

Philip
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traveler34Author Commented:
Got it.  Thanks to both of you.  I'll close out the question now.
Ken
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traveler34Author Commented:
Excellent feedback.  I recieved the DNS technical solution and knowledge of a vendor to help me long term.  Very happy.
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