What is DNS: Domain Name System (DNS) is one of the industry-standard suite of protocols that comprise TCP

/IP. Microsoft Windows Server 2003. DNS is implemented using two software components: the DNS server and the DNS client (or resolver). Both components are run as background service applications. Network resources are identified by numeric IP addresses, but these IP addresses are difficult for network users to remember. The DNS database contains records that map user-friendly alphanumeric names for network resources to the IP address used by those resources for communication. In this way, DNS acts as a mnemonic device, making network resources easier to remember for network users. The Windows Server 2003 DNS Server and Client services use the DNS protocol that is included in the TCP/IP protocol suite. DNS is part of the application layer of the TCP/IP reference model. DNS and WINS The earlier method of name resolution for a Windows network was Windows Internet Name Service (WINS). DNS is different than WINS in that DNS is a hierarchical namespace and WINS is a flat namespace. Down-level clients and applications that rely on NetBIOS names continue to use WINS for name resolution. Since Windows Server 2003 DNS is WINS-aware, a combination of both DNS and WINS can be used in a mixed environment to achieve maximum efficiency in locating various network services and resources. For more information about using DNS in a mixed environment, see “How DNS Works" in this collection. DNS and DHCP For Windows Server 2003 DNS, the DHCP service provides default support to register and update information for legacy DHCP clients in DNS zones. Legacy clients typically include other Microsoft TCP/IP client computers that were released prior to Windows 2000. The Windows Server 2003 DNS-DHCP integration enables a DHCP client that is unable to dynamically update DNS resource records directly to have this information updated in DNS forward and reverse lookup zones by the DHCP server. Types of DNS Records: There are 7 types of DNS records which are A, CNAME, MX, NS, SOA, PTR, TXT. • A : This the IP address of a domain name or the IP address of the server, where the website for this domain name is hosted. For example, the A record of topweb-solutions.com is 207.44.147.74. This means, that each time I type in topweb-solutions.com in my browser, I am taken to a server, which as the 207.44.147.74 IP address assigned. The A record can also be used for subdomains and the subdomain’s A record can differ from the A record of the domain just as each subdomain’s A record can differ from the other. CNAME : This is short of cannonical name and is basically an alias. This record is most widely used to point a domain name to an external service (such as blogger.com for example). An easy example of the CNAME in top-web-

solutions.com is www.top-web-solutions.com. When we do a CNAME lookup for www.top-web-solutions.com, we see, that the www. subdomain is actually a CNAME record and is an alias (pointing to) top-web-solutions.com.

MX : This stands short for mail exchange. In other words, this is the record in your domain name’s DNS zone, which points to the mail server for your domain name. Unlike other record types, MX records ca have prioriry. It is used to determine the first mail server, to which your messages will be delivered. If it fails, the second one will be attempted. The lowest nuber here has the higher priority and 0 is the highest. Usually, the more backup servers you have, the better, but in the case of MX records, the best solution will be to only have one. If you have several (lets say 5) MX records and respectively servers in your domain name’s DNS zone, it is very likely to end up with your messages scattered across 5 different servers and it sometimes can be really annoying to gather emails and sort them. Since email is never lost (it is either delivered, delayed or returned to the sender), the most convenient setup is to have a single MX record, so all your messages will end up on the same server. NS : maps a domain name to a list of DNS servers for that domain. Delegations depend on NS records This is the type of record, which shows the authoritive nameservers for a domain name. For example, if a domain name has ns1.topweb-solutions.com as an NS record, this means, that this is the authoritive server for this domain and queries for other records should go to ns1.top-websolutions.com. SOA: specifies the DNS server providing authoritative information about an Internet domain. This is the most vital part of a DNS zone, although, most users never even see or use it. This is used by server administrators to configure a domain name’s DNS zone variables, such as e-mail address for the zone administrator, the zone’s serial number, how often it it updated and so on. From a client’s point of view, this doesn’t have much to do with hosting, but if an administrator hasn’t configured this correctly, it is very likely to expect issues with your domain name. PTR : This record or pointer record maps an IPv4 address to the canonical name for that host. Setting up a PTR record for a hostname in the in-addr.arpa domain that corresponds to an IP address implements reverse DNS lookup for that address. For example (at the time of writing), www.icann.net has the IP address 192.0.34.164, but a PTR record maps 164.34.0.192.in-addr.arpa to its canonical name, referrals.icann.org. TXT : This section is used to setup some additional parameters for one of the record above. It is most commonly used to add SPF records. In theory, SPF records should add some extra spam protection for your entire domain name, but unfortunately, it only works if both servers (yours an the one, from which some one is attempting to send spam) have SPF set up. Even though it is not as widely used as we would like, it is still a good idea to have such record.