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Do-it-yourself DNS

Posted on 2011-02-24
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I understand the concept of DNS but when somebody says that he/she does his/her own DNS, does it mean that they have their own DNS server? If yes is there any tutorial on how to implement it because I'd like to know more about it? Thx
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Question by:mynet
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Lee W, MVP earned 167 total points
ID: 34977043
Ok, so you own mynet.com (lets say).  MOST people will configure DNS with their registrar (GoDaddy, Register.com, Network Solutions, etc). For example, you'll configure GoDaddy to indicate when someone wants to go to www.mynet.com, they go to your public ip address.

When someone runs their own DNS, they register their static IPs (with DNS servers installed) as Name Servers via their Registrar (most often).  Then, your registrar knows that the DNS server (the server that's going to tell it mail information, www information and other names on your domain) is your registered name server.

http://help.godaddy.com/article/668

I would say it is GENERALLY not recommended that you run your own name servers.  Using GoDaddy or some other major registrar, they have multiple, geographically dispersed redundant servers - doing the same yourself would be VERY expensive and there's no real great reason to do it that I can think of.

(By the way, I do both - my old network runs its own DNS servers (name servers), my new network uses my registrar's name servers.
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by:Toxacon
Toxacon earned 166 total points
ID: 34977050
This is a good site to visit from Microsoft viewpoint:

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc755183.aspx

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by:Toxacon
ID: 34977080
I agree with @leew about really-really hosting a live zone (domain) by yourself. For internal use (for example, Active Directory) it's more than recommended to manage your own DNS but for public DNS, there are so many aspects to take care of from security to redundancy that you better let Service Providers do the job. For example, you must have at least two name servers and they must not fail to serve your your zone no matter what the query load is.
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by:Anton74
Anton74 earned 167 total points
ID: 34977108
It could possibly mean different things.

One possibility is that they use their own DNS resolvers in-house, as opposed to those provided by their ISP for example, or other 3rd party resolvers like those provided by opendns.com for example.

Most likely they mean that for one or more given domains that belong to them, they run their own DNS servers (that are authoritative for the domain(s)). That means that if someone does a DNS lookup for a record on that domain, that query ends up being answered by their DNS server (the answer could be cached along the way of course). Again, this is opposed to an ISP, or domain registrar/reseller, or web hosting company's DNS servers for example.

It is fairly common for companies to at least run authoritative DNS servers for one or more internal domains; this is a requirement for Windows domains (Active Directory) for example. These internal DNS servers will normally not ever serve requests coming from the outside. Since this is so common, it would not be worth specifically mentioning normally.

Sometimes people or companies also run authoritative DNS servers for external domain(s) in-house. This is more rare, and this is most likely what is meant when people say they "do their own DNS". The domain registration will point to their DNS servers, and you can look at any domain's whois record (whois.net) to see what the authoritative name servers are for that domain.

In my opinion, you should not attempt to do this for external domains without thoroughly understanding what you're doing. One tutorial will not give you enough knowledge to take this on.

If you're interested, I would suggest you start reading up on this, and you can safely experiment on an internal (home/test/lab) network if you like.

Here's some links to get started:

http://www.dnsfaqs.com/
http://www.tech-faq.com/understanding-dns.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domain_Name_System

Looks like the Wikipedia page contains links to many more resources (and there's always Google of course).
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