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DNS Alias

Posted on 2010-09-15
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I have trying to create a development environment that would allow us to alias systems based on their location or intended use much like using unique hosts files. The plan is to use dedicated DNS servers to manage each environment. Examples would be production, development or disaster recovery sites. I am at a loss as to how this would work and still maintain AD functionality.
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Question by:germancarguy
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by:collins23
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You question is a little confusing to me.

why would you need separate DNS servers ? can't you simple add A records/ CNAME records in your current DNS server ?

Names are just names, they should affect anything ( atleast if i understand you correctly )

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by:germancarguy
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An example would be I have 3 different SQL servers all in the same domain. Server1 is in our production environment and is used every day
Server2 is at our DR site is only used when we are in Dr mode or testing the systems at the site
and Server 3 is a development server used to test production code. I need a way other than hosts files to resolve each server with a single name depending on its intended use. This way the developers can test their code and it will run in production or at our DR site without any modifications.
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by:collins23
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If they are in the same domain. I assume your domain already has a DNS server configured.

What about putting for example :

a A record like

production -> 192.168.1.4

in your current DNS server ?

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by:germancarguy
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We have 3 dns servers 2 at the primary site and  1 at the DR site. Any A record we add will replicate to the other servers. That is the problem, I need a method to isolate the a record entry's either by DNS server  or forward lookup zones or subnet. Thanks for your help on this, its been a real problem.
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by:collins23
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aha.. becomes more clear.

i don't know if this will work.

what if you create a new zone in the DR site server DNS server for example

and give a A record for that server in this zone. ?
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Leon Fester earned 125 total points
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Your biggest issue, the fact that you want Server@DR to update on DNS@DR only.
You don't want any replication of DNS records to DNS@Production.

The issue is DEVWorkstation@Production is always reading from DNS@Production, which will never have the records that DNS@DR has...therefore DEVWorkstation cannot find any of the records on DNS@DR.

A solutions would be to create a script/batch file that replaces the users local hosts file.
Create a "standard" hosts file, which is typically blank or use existing one workstation.
Then when the developer needs to test his code, he runs the script, which replaces the empty hosts with a pre-populated hosts file, which will contain the names of your production servers which are then pointed at your DR site.

When the Developer is finished testing he can then run a second script which restores the original files.

Sample batch files:
Enable DR related hosts file:
ren c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts. c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts.prod.backup
ren c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts.dr c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts.

Restore Production hosts file
ren c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts. c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts.dr
ren c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts.prod.backup c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts.

You should rather get your developers to change the way that they code their applications/connections strings, if you were using ODBC connections then they just change the database name in the ODBC entry when they want to test. With this solution, if you do fail over to DR, you can then either change all the ODBC entries, or more simply create CNAMEs to point your Production server names to the DR Servers.
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