DNS questions in a Windows Server environment

Posted on 2012-09-17
Last Modified: 2012-09-20
Hi all. I have a whole bunch of questions about DNS (something that I am not very familiar with) so I hope that with the help of ExEx I will be able to learn about this topic and level up :-)

I have a parent domain (company.local) and a child domain (

I have two Domain Controllers that do (AD/DNS/DHCP/etc) in the company.local domain: and

I also have two Domain Controllers in the domain: and

When I do an IPCONFIG /ALL on the four servers I'm not sure that things are configured properly:

1) All four of the DC's return as one of their DNS servers. I presume this means that DNS lookup is occuring on the local machine. However, does it matter if this address is first in the DNS list or last? (Some servers have it first, others last)

2) I am not sure where the second DNS server entry should point. For example, should the second DNS entry on point to, or should it point to (svr3/svr9).company.local.

3) Same question for the servers in the company.local domain.. Should the second DNS entry on point to or should it point to one of the DC servers in

Sorry, I'm new to this game and some of my terminology may be wrong. Thanks for reading.
Question by:dr_dudd
    LVL 10

    Accepted Solution

    I'm not a DNS expert but am fairly familiar with it.  In my opinion...

    1) This shouldn't be an issue as long as all the DNS servers can return the correct data in a timely manor.  If however one of the servers is at the end of a slow VPN etc it could slow your network down.

    2&3) I am asusming that svr1 and svr6 hold the DNS Zone for europe, and svr3 and svr9 for company.local.  If this is correct then both your assumptions are correct.  If all 4 servers have data for both domain and sub-domain it makes little difference which is the 2nd DNS server - use the one with the best connection to the server.
    LVL 26

    Assisted Solution

    by:Leon Fester
    1) You don't mentioned what OS versions you're running, but with Windows 2008 the default is as primary. Windows 2003 didn't have anything like this.

    2&3) Answer mentioned above is correct.

    To confirm how your DNS zones are configured and replicated:
    Open DNS Manager and check the properties of your DNS zone.
    Status: Running
    Type: Active Directory-integrated
    Replication: All DNS Servers in the forest

    The Replication setting define which DC's gets copies of the DNS zones.
    With the above setting your zones will be copied to all DNS servers so there is no specifics around which server SHOULD be secondary DNS per site.

    You should do the same for your reverse zones too.
    LVL 2

    Author Comment

    Thanks both.

    I found this article which suggests that should not be used as the primary DNS server: so I've followed it. is Windows Server 2008 Standard.
    The other three servers are Windows Server 2008 R2 Stanard.

    Dumb of me not to have mentioned that :-)

    Anyway I consider this question answered and closed.

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