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Internal DNS for windows network and script to update HOSTS file?

Posted on 2011-10-06
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
I would like to setup an internal DNS server on our main fileserver running Windows 2008 server to allow all users internally to be able to view websites in development via hostheaders. The only issue is we dot not use active directory or use a workgroup/domain. User are set permissions manually on drives and servers they need access to.

What I would like to know is, if this is possible with BIND in my network setup and how would I distribute the internal dns settings to users seeing as a domain is not used?

Alternatively is there some sort of script I could setup on the server that runs for each user when they log on to their local pc that updates their HOSTS file wih the internal hostheaders/dns ?

THanks
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Question by:swgdesign
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Expert Comment

by:Em Man
ID: 36923274
Do you have a DHCP?
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Expert Comment

by:Em Man
ID: 36923283
Where is the BIND Located? Internal? External? DMZ?
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Bruno PACI earned 2000 total points
ID: 36923299
Hi,

You can install the DNS service on a Windows Server even if you don't have a domain.

I'm not sure to have understood your current situation. I suppose you don't have any DNS service yet (???). So you surrently only use HOSTS files on your computers !?

If you already have a DNS server that is interrogated by yoru computers you don't need another DNS server, you can use the one you have and add DNS records in it.
If you don't have DNS server yet then you can install this service on any Windows server. You then have to modify IP settings on each computer to add the IP address of the DNS server so that your computers interrrogate the DNS service.
Finally, you should know that is a HOST file exists on a computer the computer will primarily use datas in the HOST file instead of interrogate DNS server. So if your HOSTS file contains bad informations you should fix this or simply delete hosts files and put all necessary DNS informations in the DNS zone on the DNS server.

To be able to change IP settings of his computer a user must be member of "Administrators" local group of the computer. So if your users are not administrators of their own computer you can not give them a script to automatically fix IP settings.
If your computers are not in a domain there is not centralized login script system and then you have no way to remotly deploy a script on these computers.

Finally, if you install a DNS server, it's then better to prohibit use of local HOSTS files. I mean that as soon as you have a centralized name resolution service (as DNS server) you can make things so that you don't need HOSTS files anymore and it's really better to avoid using them.
So don't search a way to automatically update HOSTS files if you have a DNS server. Instead, make your changes in the DNS zone and delete HOSTS files on computers to ensure that computers will use DNS server informations.

HAve a good day.
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Author Comment

by:swgdesign
ID: 36923455
We use DHCP throughout our network and do NOT have any local DNS service setup, yet.

Say we installed BIND and setup the switch that controls dhcp to set an internal server as a dns server, will it interrogate the internal dns first or is that something we would have to specify?
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Expert Comment

by:Bruno PACI
ID: 36923898
Hi,

Windows computers will always use HOSTS file informations at first, and interrogate DNS only if HOSTS file doesn't contains the requested information.
That's why I told you it's better to get rid of HOSTS files if you have a DNS server. It's better to add any necessary DNS record in the DNS zone instead using HOSTS files.

Have a nice day.
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Author Comment

by:swgdesign
ID: 36923934
Yes, that's what I plan on doing once the DNS is setup internally. We will no longer use hosts files to control internal website dns. :)

Thanks for all the comments.
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