System Builder Technology MiniCast

Understanding Network Name Resolution

It’s a BOB Thing

Name Resolution

All communications between computers and any other devices on a TCP/IP network are addressed using IP addresses, such as “”. Name resolution provides a method of referring to computers by name instead of using network addresses. Windows has historically used two separate naming schemes: host naming and NetBIOS naming. Starting with the products released at the time of Windows 2000, Microsoft has been eliminating the need to use NetBIOS naming in Microsoft networks.

Host Name Resolution

DNS, or the Domain Name Service, provides name-to-IP address mapping, enabling clients to refer to destinations by name rather than IP addresses DNS has been the standard method of resolving Windows Networking resources since Windows 2000 The “hosts” file provides local name resolution for TCP/IP-based functions
 Located

in <systemroot>\system32\drivers\etc  Can store any name-to-IP address mapping  Contains “localhost” mapping by default

Benefits of DNS

 The

service is appropriate for very large and very small networks DNS server is RFC-compliant

 

 Microsoft’s


allows for the task of providing name-to-IP address records for the Internet to be distributed amongst DNS servers, eliminating the need for a “master list” catalog of all names

Important Terms

A zone is a table of IP address and name information used to answer requests  More than one DNS server can store a copy of a zone for redundancy

Unlike an Active Directory domain, in DNS the term “domain” simply defines a “namespace”  Allows an individual to reserve a section of the DNS naming structure for use in creating new names  DNS domains are hierarchical

DNS Naming Structure
  

Becomes less specific as the name moves from left to right Host.subdomain.domain.topleveldomain.

i.e. (.)

There is a true top level, least-specific domain in every name called “root”, represented by a dot that is not typed. The first word of the name was traditionally the actual name of a host on a DNS network, although a single IP address can be mapped to multiple names

DNS Client software

Two types:
 Stub


Built-in to all standard TCP/IP hosts (computers) Capable of sending a recursive request to a DNS server

 Full


Built-in to DNS Servers and DNS troubleshooting tools such as nslookup Capable of sending either a recursive or iterative request

DNS Servers
 

 

Capable of storing IP address records for a zone Capable of answering both iterative and recursive requests for records within zones hosted locally on the DNS server “Authoritatively” Capable of fulfilling recursive lookup requests on behalf of clients Capable of forwarding a recursive lookup request to another DNS server (a “forwarder”)

Types of Zones
 

Standard Primary
 Stores

DNS records in a text file on the hard drive

Standard Secondary
 Retrieves

a copy of the zone from another server and uses the copy to answer requests

Active-Directory Integrated
 Stores

zone information in Active Directory  Enables secure DDNS

Stub zones
 Retrieves

a copy of the SOA and NS records from another server and uses the copy to refer lookup processes to the correct DNS servers.

Forward and Reverse Lookups

Forward Lookup Zones
Store information for name-to-IP address lookups  Use the DNS name hierarchy for organizing zones

Reverse Lookup Zones
Store information for IP address-to-name lookups  Use the IP subnet structure for organizing zones

Record Types

“A” or “Host” records
 Simple

mapping of a name to IP address  Can be created automatically using Dynamic DNS

“CNAME” or “Alias” records
 Allows


a name to be mapped to an already existing

“MX” or “Mail Exchanger” records
 Identifies

the name or names of SMTP servers capable of receiving SMTP mail for the domain name

Record Types

“PTR” or “Pointer” Records
 

Used in Reverse Lookup Zones to provide name information when queried for an IP address Can be created automatically using Dynamic DNS Shows the names of DNS servers for a zone Stores configuration information for how the zone operates Accessed through the SOA tab of a zone’s properties in Windows Server 2003 DNS servers.

 

“NS” or “Name Server” Records

“SOA” or “Start of Authority” record
 

The SOA Record

The Start-of-Authority “SOA” record is a key element of DNS configuration on all DNS servers. The Windows 2000 and Windows Server 2003 versions of DNS use a GUI for configuring SOA record properties. Settings placed in the SOA determine behaviors for copies of the zone on all secondary DNS servers.

Active Directory and SRV Records

“SRV” or “Service Locator” Records
 

Used to store information about services needed for specialized applications Used extensively by Active Directory authentication processes to locate Domain Controllers and Global Catalog Servers

A separate zone called “_msdcs.<domainname>” is created to manage SRV records for Active Directory in Windows Server 2003 DNS

Dynamic DNS
 

Allows clients to configure “A” and “PTR” records automatically. Can be used by service providers to host a service on the Internet without a static IP address. Can be used to create records for all Active Directory domain members in DNS automatically When used with Active Directory-Integrated zones, DDNS may be secured so only domain members can create records.

NetBIOS Name Resolution

   

Used by all forms of Microsoft networking (File and Print Sharing, network browsing, UNC paths such as “\\servername\sharename”) prior to Windows 2000 NetBIOS-based routines are still present in many legacy applications NetBIOS over TCP/IP (NBT) can be disabled on Windows 2000 and later Supported by the lmhosts file for manual configuration Supported by WINS (Windows Internet Name Service) for automatic configuration

NetBIOS Names
   

Must be 15 characters or less No case sensitivity Often referred to as “computer name” The “lmhosts” file

sample version is stored in <systemroot>\system32\drivers\etc with the name “lmhosts.sam”  Needed locate domain controllers for pre-Windows 2000 clients on routed networks without WINS servers

WINS Servers

WINS Servers provide a central lookup and registration point for NetBIOS names Clients must be configured with WINS server addresses in order to use WINS

WINS Server Replication

WINS is a multi-master database Two types of replication:

Pull replication

Configured to occur at regular intervals Configured to occur after a certain number of changes have been received

Push replication

Name Resolution Troubleshooting

Pinging a target by name will attempt hostname (DNS) resolution first, then NetBIOS (WINS) resolution if NetBIOS is enabled.  Whenever name resolution is failing, ping the DNS and WINS servers by IP address to make certain they are up and running.  Check the DNS and WINS services to make sure they are running on the servers.

Use to manually perform iterative lookups on DNS servers.  Type “nslookup” at a command prompt to access the tool in interactive mode.  Type “server <DNS server name or IP address>” to change the DNS server being queried.  A wide variety of other functions available by typing “Help” inside an interactive Nslookup command session.

Use to see if names are being stored on individual WINS servers  More information is available at http://;en-us;830578

Recommended Reading

TechNet (choose “Network Services” | “Managing Core Network Services” | “DNS”);en-us;169790;en-us;200525

  

How to Troubleshoot Basic TCP/IP Problems
 

Using NSLookup.exe How to Troubleshoot Windows Server 2003 DNS Dynamic Update Problems;en-us;842200;en-us;830578

NBLookup.exe Command-line Tool

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© 2005 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. This presentation is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.

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