CONFIGURING AN INTERNAL DNS SERVER (WINDOWS SERVER 2003)
About DNS (Domain Name System).
This tutorial documents the steps needed to create an internal
DNS Server that will allow you to use "friendly"
names within your LAN (Local Area Network) or provide a platform
for Host Headers to be used within your IIS (Internet Information
1. Installing DNS on Windows Server 2003:
If using the new style Start menu: Click on "Start",
"Control Panel", "Add or Remove Programs"
and select the "Add/Remove Windows Components"
tab on the left-hand side.
If using the "Classic" style Start menu: Click
on "Start", "Settings", "Control
Panel", "Add or Remove Programs" and
select the "Add/Remove Windows Components"
tab on the left-hand side.
In the "Windows Components Wizard", highlight
the "Networking Services" and press the "Details"
button. The screen below will be displayed (Fig 1).
Figure 1 - The Application Server Screen
Then, check "Domain Name System (DNS)"
as shown in Figure 2 below and click "OK"
to close each window and "Next" to install
DNS. You will be asked to insert your Windows Server
2003 disk. Click "Finish" once the installation
Figure 2 - The Networking Services Screen
You have now installed DNS.
Figure 3 - Where to find the IIS Manager
2. Where to find the DNS Manager:
If you are using the new style Start menu, you can reach
the Internet Information Services console by clicking
"Start", "Administrative Tools"
and selecting "DNS" from the list in figure
If you are using the "Classic" style Start
Menu, you can reach the console by clicking "Start",
"Programs", "Administrative Tools"
and select "DNS" from the list in figure 3
Figure 4 - Select Configuration Action
3. Configure your DNS Server:
Right-click on your server name in the list on the left-hand
pane and select "Configure a Server". The
"Configure a DNS Server" Wizard will start.
On the "Select Configuration Action" screen
(shown in Figure 4 above) select "Create a forward
lookup zone (recommended for small networks)" and
Figure 5 - Adding a new "Zone"
4. Adding a new "Zone":
Simply enter the name of a suitable domain which you
intend to use internally. I am going to use my own domain
and add appropriately named "subdomains" to
access internal network resources. For example, to access
my Intranet, I will enter http://intranet.simongibson.com
where "intranet" is the subdomain.
Figure 6 - The Zone File
5. The Zone File:
DNS information is stored in a file within the system32
folder. The "Zone File" screen simply gives
you the opportunity to use an existing backup file or
create a fresh one. In our case, we will simply create
a fresh file. Press "Next".
Figure 7 - Dynamic Update
6. Dynamic Update:
As my server is not part of a Directory I am going to
opt not to allow dynamic updates as shown in Figure
7 above. Press "Next".
Figure 8 - Adding Forwarders
Forwarders will allow non simongibson.com requests to
be answered by other DNS Servers. In this case, I have
entered the IP addresses for my ISP's DNS Servers so
I can still browse the Internet. Only simongibson.com
requests will be answered by our internal DNS Server,
everything else will be answered by the external DNS
servers shown in Figure 8 above.
To complete the "Configure a DNS Server" wizard,
click "Next" and "Finish".
Figure 9 - Adding a new Host
8. Adding a new Host:
Now that our DNS Server is operational, we need to add
a Host name. As I have set up IIS to use "Host
Headers" I need to create an entry for my Intranet
(see IIS6 tutorial here). This
is going to be intranet.simongibson.com.
To add the new Host, right-click in the white space
in the pane on the right and select "New Host (A)..."
from the menu that appears (as shown in Figure 9 above).
In my case, my website is hosted externally so I will
need to add another Host called "www" which
will point at the IP of the web server on which it is
hosted. I will also need to do the same for my email
by adding a "mail" host.
Figure 10 - The New Host
9. The New Host:
As illustrated in Figure 10 above, type the subdomain
name into the upper box and the IP address it should
forward to (in this case, the web server) in the lower
box. Then press the "Add Host" button. A message
will then appear indicating if the new host was successfully
added after which you can either add more hosts or press
"Done" to close the "New Host" screen.
Figure 11 - Configuring your client PCs (Windows
10. Configuring your client PCs (Windows XP):
To configure your client PCs to use the new DNS Server
you will need to make a change to their network settings.
To do this, right-click on "My Network Places"
and select "Properties". Then, right-click
on "Local Area Connection" and select "Properties".
Select "Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)" from the
list and click "Properties". The screen shown
in figure 11 will be shown.
Ensure that the "Use the following DNS server
addresses" radio button is selected and enter the
IP address of your new DNS Server into the "Preferred
DNS Server" box and press "OK". The client
PC will now use your new DNS Server.
Alternatively, where you have access to a DHCP server,
you can configure it to issue the IP address of the
new DNS server to all your client PCs automatically.
This is the preferred method of assigning a DNS server
and the method I use in my internal network.