Best Practices for DNS Configuration in an Active Directory Domain

The following list of best practices is not all-inclusive but will help ensure proper name resolution within an Active Directory domain. But you must be aware of dns configuration settings too.

Installation of DNS Server

In a small environment, at least one domain controller (DC) should be a DNS server. It is possible to install DNS on servers which are not DCs, including non-Windows servers, but installing DNS on DCs allows the use of AD-integrated lookup zones, which improve security and simplify zone replication.

In a larger environment, at least two domain controllers at each physical site should be DNS servers. This provides redundancy in the event that one DC goes offline unexpectedly. Note that domain-joined machines must be configured to use multiple DNS servers in order to take advantage of this.

If multiple DCs are configured as DNS servers, they should be configured to use each other for resolution first and themselves second. Each DC’s list of DNS servers should include its own address, but not as the first server in the list. If a DC uses only itself for resolution, it may stop replicating with other DCs. This is obviously not an issue in a domain with only one DC.

All domain-joined computers must use only internal DNS servers.

If a domain-joined computer is configured to use an external server as an alternate DNS server, a temporary lack of connectivity to an internal DNS server will cause that machine to begin using the external server for resolution. That external server will be unable to resolve queries for anything inside the AD domain, and the client machine will not automatically revert to the internal DNS server when connectivity is restored. This generally manifests itself as an inability to access resources in the domain from the affected machine.

Domain for multi-site environment

In a multi-site environment, domain members should be configured to use the DNS servers at their local site before those at a different site.

Use of Active Directory-integrated DNS zones

These directory partitions replicate along with the rest of AD; therefore, no extra configuration is required for the DNS replication. This prevents updates to DNS records from machines which are unable to authenticate with the domain.

These are the essential processes about which you need to be well aware of as only then you will be able to have a proper sense of right and wrong when it comes to the perfect DNS choice. The choice is not easy to make but the end result happens to be perfect if you make the right pick. The result happens to be perfect in that case and you can also get long term benefit from it. This is the kind of option that you can look for.

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