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DNS on Windows Server 2012

Posted on 2013-05-10
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Last Modified: 2013-05-14
This may be a simple question, however, I am wondering if I need to setup DNS forwarding on a DNS Server.  Do I have to have my Domain Controller setup as a DNS Server.  The company uses AD.  If I do use DNS, do I have to set DNS on all workstations to the Server IP Address.  If so, I have issues getting to the internet on the workstations (I assume thats why I need forwarder)  Also if I have a couple laptops that are not on the domain, do I have to mess with their DNS.  Thanks
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Question by:Daniel Fishkin
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by:footech
footech earned 500 total points
ID: 39157661
Your server can be configured to use forwarders or root hints.  In my opinion either is acceptable.

You should have all your DCs setup as a DNS server so that you can use AD-integrated zones.

All domain members (workstations and servers) should only use internal DNS servers, otherwise you can encounter weird issues with name resolution.  If you only have a single DC, yes everything should point to that IP.

I suggest that you use a DHCP server that is set to assign your DC/DNS server(s) IP as the DNS servers.  All workstations, whether members of the domain or not, can get their IP info from DHCP.  Your servers should be statically configured.  Your non-domain members don't have to use internal DNS, but then they won't be able to resolve the names of internal machines.  Something like that may be just what you want, but if so, I'd suggest you take it one step further and separate the non-domain machines from your internal network and have a separate DHCP server which can hand out the appropriate information automatically.  Why configured machines manually when you can avoid it?
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LVL 7

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mbkitmgr earned 500 total points
ID: 39157666
You've answered your questions to some degree yourself.

to find services and resource in the domain and among domain controllers, so DNS is a requirement, and one DNS server has to exist somewhere on your domain.
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LVL 77

Expert Comment

by:Rob Williams
ID: 39158532
Could you advise if this is server 2012 standard or server 2012 Essentials?  The latter has some special considerations.
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Author Comment

by:Daniel Fishkin
ID: 39158607
It is a 2012 Standard edition.  We have a sonicwall that is handing out the DHCP to the workstations.  
So if the Server is 192.168.168.11, would I set the DNS on the workstations to 192.168.168.11

Also I am a bit confused on why people would say set the workstations to 127.0.0.1

Thanks again for all the input
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Author Comment

by:Daniel Fishkin
ID: 39158608
one other piece of info, we have VOIP phones which act as a hub between the ethernet port and the PCs
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LVL 77

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by:Rob Williams
Rob Williams earned 500 total points
ID: 39158615
>>"Also I am a bit confused on why people would say set the workstations to 127.0.0.1"
They don't they might set the server to that, the local host address.

Workstations should be assigned the server as their ONLY DNS server.
Usually you are best to have the server manage DNS for central management and to assure all necessary DHCP scope options are assigned to clients.
Because of the VoIP system, though the server can handle them as well, you may have reasons to leave DHCP on the Sonicwall.  If so make sure it hands out the server as the DNS server, as well as the local domain suffix, and if present the WINS server address.
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LVL 96

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by:Lee W, MVP
Lee W, MVP earned 500 total points
ID: 39159695
> one other piece of info, we have VOIP phones which act as a hub between the ethernet
> port and the PCs
This is irrelevant.  

Windows DNS server is a FULL DNS server and can provide name resolution for anything requiring DNS resolution.  Phones, computers, etc.
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