At first, this may seem puzzling. The reason why I got this error message was becauseI performed an NSLOOKUP outside of the NSLOOKUP shell. I will talk more aboutthe NSLOOKUP shell in the next section. For now though, you need to know that youcan enter the NSLOOKUP command by itself. When you do, you will see the familiarnon-existent domain error messages, but you will then be taken to the NSLOOKUPprompt (the > sign). From there you can enter various NSLOOKUP commands. Whenyou are done, you can use the EXIT command to return to the command prompt.The other thing that you should notice about Figure B is the bottom portion of theoutput. Beneath the reference to production.com is a string of IP addresses. These arethe IP addresses of all of the domain controllers within the domain. I should also pointout that if multiple IP addresses are assigned to a single server then all of the server’sIP addresses will be displayed by NSLOOKUP.
The NSLOOKUP Shell
Now that I have shown you how to use the NSLOOKUP command to see the IPaddress or addresses associated with the domain, let’s do something a little bit moreuseful. One of the things that you can do with NSLOOKUP is to look up a specifictype of DNS record. A good example of this is an MX record.In case you aren’t yet familiar with all of the intricacies of DNS, the MX recordpoints to the organizations mail server. For example, suppose that someone wanted tosend an E-mail message to you, one of the first things that their mail server wouldhave to do is to resolve your domain’s IP address. However, a normal addressresolution won’t usually work for this purpose. In Figure A, you saw that when I ran aDNS query against the brienposey.com domain, the domain resolved to the address188.8.131.52. Keep in mind though, that this is the IP address of the server that hostsmy Web site, not the address of my mail server. If someone wanted to send me an E-mail message their E-mail client would have to resolve the IP address of my domain’smail server. This is where the MX record comes into play. The MX record is a recordon a domain’s DNS server that specifies the IP address of the domain’s mail server.As you can see, the MX record is rather important. Suppose however that yourdomain was having trouble receiving E-mail and you suspected that a DNS serverissue was to blame. You could use NSLOOKUP to confirm that the domain doesindeed have an MX record and that the MX record is pointed to the correct IP address.Earlier I briefly mentioned that you could work within the NSLOOKUP shell. Totroubleshoot an MX record problem, you pretty much have to work within this shell.Therefore, you would start the process by entering the NSLOOKUP command at thecommand prompt.Once the NSLOOKUP shell is open, you will need to tell NSLOOKUP which DNSserver you want to query. To do so, enter the SERVER command, followed by theDNS server’s IP address. You can also enter the server’s fully qualified domain name(assuming that it can be resolved) as an alternative to the server’s IP address.