DNS Server

Applies To: Windows Server 2008

A DNS server hosts the information that enables client computers to resolve memorable, alphanumeric DNS names to the IP addresses that computers use to communicate with each other. Most often, the DNS server responds to requests from DNS clients to provide the IP address associated with a host's DNS domain name. DNS servers can also be configured to provide the name of a host when it receives a query containing the host's IP address, and DNS servers can also provide the IP addresses of other servers configured to provide certain services, such as e-mail.

DNS names are organized into a hierarchy of domains, and domains are grouped and managed in zones on the DNS server.

The DNS Server role in Windows Server 2008 combines support for standard DNS protocols with the benefits of integration with Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) and other Windows networking and security features, including such advanced capabilities as secure dynamic update of DNS resource records.


The following is a list of all aspects that are part of this managed entity:

Name Description

DNS Server Active Directory Integration

You can configure the DNS Server service to use Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) to store zone data. This makes it possible for the DNS server to rely on directory replication, which enhances security, reliability, and ease of administration.

DNS Server Autoconfiguration

When a DNS server is installed as part of the process of creating a domain controller, it is configured automatically to use the appropriate DNS servers for name resolution, forwarding, and root hints.

DNS Server Configuration

The DNS server configuration consists of the settings that determine how the DNS server will function on a network and how those settings are stored and retrieved when they are needed.


DNS Server Root Hints Configuration

Root hints are the names and addresses of servers that are authoritative for the root zone of the Domain Name System (DNS) namespace. Root hints can be used for resolving external names, such as the names of Internet host computers.

DNS Server RPC Protocol Initialization

Management tools, such as the DNS Microsoft Management Console snap-in, use the Remote Procedure Call (RPC) protocol to communicate with and manage the DNS Server service.

DNS Server Service Status

The DNS Server service responds to requests from DNS client computers for name resolution services. Domain Name System (DNS) is a protocol that enables a computer to obtain the numeric IP address of another computer by submitting the target computer's name to a DNS server. Problems with the DNS Server service can cause network performance to degrade or even prevent network computers from being able to locate each other.

DNS Server WINS NetBIOS Initialization

The NetBIOS protocol was the principal network protocol that early versions of Windows used. In conjunction with Windows Internet Name Service (WINS), NetBIOS supports a simple, nonhierarchical naming system. You can configure DNS servers and clients to support NetBIOS and WINS as a supplement to the Domain Name System (DNS) protocol.

DNS Server Zone Transfer

Domain Name System (DNS) enhances fault tolerance and load balancing by providing for server redundancy. For any given zone, a DNS server can act as a primary master server, which is the authority for a zone, or as a secondary server, which obtains its zone data from the zone's primary master server or another secondary server. This process is known as zone transfer.

DNS Infrastructure