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Simple method for looking up one DNS entry

Posted on 2011-03-15
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Hi,

I'm running an in-house email server and have several laptop users who are sometimes in the office, and other times remote. For Outlook the email server names are set for "mail.mycompany.com". This obviously works fine, as "mail.mycompany.com" translates to an MX record for our mail-server's WAN address. But when the laptops are in the office, they're looking up "mail.mycompany.com" and finding the WAN address, therefore traffic flows out of the building and then back in again.

I normally have one router dedicated to email traffic, and another for web traffic. So for someone using a laptop, traffic will flow out using the web router and back in again on another router (the email router).

To speed up laptops when working in the office I'd like some way of telling them that the DNS name of the mail-server is actually a LAN address in the same building. I thought it might be possible to add an entry to the router's DNS cache to point local requests to the server LAN address, but the routers are not capable of DNS caching (Draytek 2820's).

One other option is possibly a batch file to be run immediately before opening outlook, and that batch file amends the LMHOSTS file according to whether a user is on-site or remote. I think this is very clumsy though.....

Failing all that, perhaps someone could suggest a small, cheap/free, and simple DNS server? We have Windows 2003 servers (R2), and operate a regular workgroup (not domain). I want to avoid converting the whole lot to a domain if possible.

Incidentally, the email server is Mdaemon, and the laptops are using Mdaemon Outlook Connector (something which isn't particularly stable over slow WAN connections, thus my need to improve connectivity at least on-site).

Thanks for your time!
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Question by:DPL31
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sentner earned 500 total points
ID: 35138944
What I've done in the past is set up an internal and external DNS server.  The internal one has the records (MX, A, CNAMES, etc) for what I'd point internal clients and servers to, and the external one has the ones that I need accessible by outside clients.

This is a more secure solution also, as not every server on a network should be visible (or knowable) to the outside world.  For example, internal web servers would only be found in the internal DNS servers.  

You then configure your DHCP for your internal network to point at the internal DNS servers (for cache as well as authoritative).  When outside, the laptops will only see the external DNS servers, which are what are registered with your registrar.
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by:bluepig
ID: 35139238
One of your Windows 2003 R2 servers can do DNS - it becomes the internal DNS server that sentner describes above.
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by:Qlemo
ID: 35373067
This question has been classified as abandoned and is being closed as part of the Cleanup Program. See my comment at the end of the question for more details.
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