System administrators can easily perform DNS configuration on Windows 2000 Server for the purpose of creating a DNS zone by using the appropriate snap-in for the Microsoft Management Console. The snap-in can be found in the Administrative Tools program folder.
First, let's be sure we understand the difference between a zone and a domain. A zone is merely a small part of a domain. For example, a domain techtarget.com may contain all of the data for techtarget.com, sales.techtarget.com and accounts.techtarget.com. But the zone techtarget.com contains only information for techtarget.com and references to the authoritative name servers for the subdomains.
In short, we can say that the domain name server stores information about part of the domain name space called a zone. The name server is authoritative for a particular zone. A single name server can be authoritative for many zones.
Going back to configuring the server, it's also possible to manually configure the text files that DNS creates (for Unix fans). But using the DNS console makes it much easier to see your DNS namespace configuration as well as to make modifications.
To create a new DNS zone:
- Open the DNS management console from Administrative Tools in Control Panel.
- From the Action menu, select New Zone. This opens up the New Zone Wizard that will guide you through the process.
- Click Next.
- The Zone Type dialog box allows you to select one of three types of zone to create:
- Active Directory–Integrated. This option stores all DNS information in the Active Directory. If your entire domain infrastructure is run on a Windows 2000 platform, this is a good selection.
- Standard Primary. This option stores the information in a text file, like most non-Windows 2000 DNS servers. It is useful if you need to transfer information between different types of DNS servers.
- Standard Secondary. This option creates a copy of an existing zone. These are generally used to provide redundancy or load balancing of DNS on a network. Note: Choosing the proper zone is critical. If you have any doubts about what to select, choose Standard Primary.
- Now, click Next to open the Forward or Reverse Lookup Zone dialog box.
- Choose Forward Lookup Zone. A forward lookup zone resolves names to IP addresses. A reverse lookup zone allows users to resolve an IP address to a system name. However, reverse zones are rarely used.
- In the Zone Name dialog box, enter the name of the new zone, for example, editors.techtarget.com. Zone names can indicate a domain, such as techtarget.com, or a subdomain, such as editors.techtarget.com.
- Click Next to open the Zone file dialog box. This allows you to select the name of the zone file, or to load an existing zone file. Zone files are stored in %winroot%\system32\dns.
- If this is a new server, select Create New File. If you have a zone file already, select Use This Existing File.
- Click Next to open the Completing the New Zone Wizard dialog box, which will give you a summary of the information you have input.
- Check the information you have input, as you can still go back and change it.
- Click Finish to complete the zone creation.
About the author: Rahul Shah currently works at a software firm in India, where he is a systems administrator maintaining Windows servers. He has also worked for various software firms in testing and analytics, and also has experiences deploying client/server applications in different Windows configurations.
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