Creating Internal and External Domains

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

Organizations that require an Internet presence as well as an internal namespace must deploy both an internal and an external DNS namespace and manage each namespace separately. You can create a mixed internal and external DNS namespace in one of two ways:

  • By making the internal domain a subdomain of the external domain.

  • By using different names for the internal and external domains.


You can also use the same name for the internal domain and the external domain. However, this method is not recommended. It creates name resolution problems because it introduces DNS names that are not unique. This method requires additional configuration to enable optimized performance.

Select the configuration design option that best meets the needs of your organization. Table 3.3 lists the design options for deploying a mixed internal and external namespace and the level of management complexity for each option, along with an example to illustrate each option.

Table 3.3   Mixed Internal and External DNS Namespace Design Options

Design Option Management Complexity Example

The internal domain is a subdomain of the external domain. Microsoft strongly recommends this option. For more information, see Using an Internal Subdomain.

Easy to deploy and administer.

An organization with an external namespace uses the internal namespace

The internal and external domain names are different from each other. For more information, see Using Different Internal and External Domain Names.

More complicated than previous option.

An organization uses for its external namespace, and corp.internal for its internal namespace.