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Creating DNS Records using Microsoft DNS

This video will look at how to create some of the more common DNS records on Windows Server using Remote Administration Tools for Windows 8.

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Demonstration
The Windows 8 computer has Remote Server Administration Tools installed which means it can be used to administer Microsoft DNS Server running on another computer.
1) To open DNS Manager, open charms by moving the mouse pointer to the top right of the screen and then selecting the icon Administrative Tools. Inside Administrative tools is the shortcut DNS to run DNS manager.
2) When you first run DNS manager it will ask which computer you want to perform administration on. You should enter in the name of the server that you are running Microsoft DNS server on.
3) In DNS Manager, DNS records are organized into containers. Most of the general DNS records that you will create are located under Forward Lookup Zones.
4) Under Forward Look Up zones is a container for each Forward Lookup Zone. In this container are the DNS records that have been created for that forward lookup zone, however some of the DNS records do not appear in the container. If you right click the zone file and select properties and then select the Start of Authority tab, this shows all the data that is contained in the SOA record. Every zone has an SOA record. Since there is only one SOA record, and there has to be one, Microsoft decided to make it so the SOA record could only be modified by changing the properties of the zone.

Start of Authority (SOA)
Primary server: Is a server that holds the primary zone for that zone. The primary zone is a server that contains a writable copy of the DNS data.
Responsible Person: This is the e-mail address of a person who is responsible for looking after that zone. The value is only valid if the @ sign is changed to a period.

Name Server (NS)
This data is accessed via the properties of the zone and selecting the tab Name Servers. Servers that appear in the name servers tab are considered to be DNS servers that hold the best source of information for that zone. They do not have to have a writeable copy of the zone file, it is just that they need DNS servers that contain an up-to-date copy of the DNS server and answers given by that server for that DNS server are considered to have authority or are correct.

Creating new records
To create a new DNS record, right click the zone and select new, followed by the type of DNS record that you want to create.

A Record or AAAA
This record type creates a mapping from a name to an IP Address. An A record is used for IPv4 and AAAA or Quad A is used for IPV6.
When you create an A or AAAA record, you have a tickbox, create associated pointer (PTR) record tickbox. When this tick box is ticked, a reverse lookup record will be created for the A record if a reverse lookup zone exists. A reverse look up zone allows a client to determine the host name given the IP Address.

Alias (CNAME)
A CNAME record allows the administrator to create a DNS record that effectively redirects the request to a different record. For example, if you had a CNAME record called ftp, you could configure the CName record to point to any other host record on the network. The advantage of this is it can change the CName at any time to point to a different server. The only down side of this approach is that if the client has the old record in their cache, the client will keep using this DNS record until its cache expires.
To create a new CName, right click on the zone and select the option, New Alias (CName). In the alias name enter in the name that you want to use. For the fully qualified domain name you can enter in the name or the IP Address. If you enter in the name, that name used does not need to be in the same namespace as the zone that it is created in.

New Mail Exchanger (MX)
When an external e-mail server has e-mail for a particular domain name, the external e-mail server will contact a DNS server and ask for the MX record. The MX record will contain the name of a server that can receive e-mail for that zone.
Each MX record has a value of Mail server priority. When multiple MX records exist, the MX record with the lowest priority will be used. If two or more MX records exist and they both have the same priority value, e-mail will be randomly sent to each of the mail servers listed in all the MX records with the same lowest priority value. To create an MX Record, right click the zone and select the option New Mail Exchanger (MX). Next, press browse to browse to the DNS record that you want to use for this mail exchanger record or enter in the IP Address. On this screen also enter in the mail server priority value. Since this record will be created so that a user will be able to access a mail server, it is a good idea to make sure the tick box “Delete this record when it becomes stale” is not ticked. If this tickbox is ticked, potentially the DNS server can remove this DNS record later on.

Other New Records
If the DNS record that you want to create is not listed when you right click the zone, select the option “Other New Records”. This will show DNS records that are not common DNS records.

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References
“DNS best practices” http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc778439(v=ws.10).aspx

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