Functions Of A Domain Name System Server Computer Science Essay

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Domain Name System. Domain Name System is a hierarchy of domains used for naming the computer and network services in TCP/IP networks. Domain Name System will serve as a translator to translate the human understandable language into other associated information. For example, Domain Name System will translate the domain name www.tarc.edu.my into the IP address 202.184.223.41. Domain Name System is needed, because the internet will only process and understand the IP address. Therefore, Domain Name System will do the translation for us, form domain name to IP address.

Domain name is very useful for uses. This is because domain name is a human understandable language. If we compare to a set of not meaningful number (IP address), user will be much easier to remember the meaningful word (domain name). Besides that, because the domain name system can assign the domain name to the network therefore users just need to remember the meaningful URL (Uniform Resource Locator) and e-mail address. They do not need to know which IP version address needed for internet or for mobile device and they also do not need to know how the computer process the requirement.

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The function of the Domain Name System Server in Windows Server 2008 is to combines the support for standard Domain Name System protocols. From here it can take the advantages of combines the Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) and other Windows networking and security features. By doing this, we can improve the security when the dynamic update the Domain Name System database records.

Besides that, Windows Server 2008 has improved some of the feature for the domain name system. There is some changing in the domain name server to improve the domain name system performance. The new abilities are background zone loading, IP version 6 support, global single names, and global query block list.

2.0 Introduction - Domain Name System Server

Domain Name System Server provides name resolution to the network services in TCP/IP networks. Therefore it make the uses of client computer can use the domain name to identify the remote hosts.

When the server receives the domain name send by the client, it will check their database and return the IP address to the client. If the domain name does not exist in the database, server will return the closer remote hosts IP address to the client or find from other Domain Name System Server. This process will be stop, only when the Domain Name System Server returns the IP address or returns no such domain name in the database to the client computer.

In Windows Server 2008, the Domain Name System Server can run as a name resolution server for a TCP/IP network. The Domain Name System service in Windows Server 2008 is tightly integrated with Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) so that Windows-based DHCP clients and Windows-based DHCP servers automatically register host names and IP addresses on the Domain Name System server for the appropriate domain. (Microsoft, 2010).

Domain Name System in Windows Server 2008 is integrated with Active Directory Domain Services. By using the Active Directory Domain Services we can have a multi-master replication of the Domain Name System namespaces. Active Directory Domain Services is requires Domain Name System for clients to perform search and retrieval function from the domain controller. Besides that, by integrated with Active Directory Domain services, we can also enhance the security when the dynamic update the Domain Name System database records.

We will learn the Domain Name System Server feature in the next section.

2.1 Domain Name System Server Feature

Domain Name System Server provides the feature of Request for Comments-compliant Domain Name System Server. Domain Name System is an open protocol that standardized by a set of Request for Comments. Microsoft supports with this specification. The seconds feature is interoperability with other Domain Name System Server implementations. This is because the Domain Name System Server in Windows Server 2008 is using Request for Comments-compliant. This Request for Comments-compliant is using the standard data file and standard resource record format for Domain Name System. Therefore it cans interoperability with most of the Domain Name System Server implementations.

Besides that, the third feature is support the Active Directory Domain Services. By using the Active Directory Domain Services can have a multi-master replication; client can locate domain controllers, and enhance the security when the dynamic update performs. The fours feature is enhancements to Domain Name System zone storage in Active Directory Domain Services. The advantages of integrated the Active Directory Domain Services is it can perform multi-master replication, enhance the security when the dynamic update perform and so on.

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The fifth feature is enhancement to Domain Name System zone storage in Active Directory Domain Services. Normally the Active Directory Domain Services will store the Domain Name System zone application directory partitions. This application is used to difference the data for replica. Besides that we can specify which zone data will be stored into the application. There have 2 types of application to let us has a standard stay of replication. That is DomainDnsZones and ForestDnsZones.

Besides that, the sixth feature is conditional forwarders. This feature can improve the Domain Name System Server service. This is because we allow the Domain Name System Server performing the conditional forwarders. The server can send the queries based on the Domain Name System domain name in the query. The seventh feature is Stub zones. A stub zones will store the necessary information to identify the authoritative Domain Name System Servers about that zone. This stub zones can help us for maintain the Domain Name System name resolution more efficiency.

The eighth feature is enhanced the Domain Name System security. In order to improve the security, the Domain Name System provides the enhanced security administration for Domain Name System Server service, Domain Name System Client service, and Domain Name System data. Besides that, the ninth feature is integration with other Microsoft networking services. The Domain Name System Server cans integration with other network like integrate with Request for comments, Active Directory Domain Services, and so on. We can have the advantages when the Domain Name System integrates with other network.

Besides that, the tenth feature is improved ease of administration. The Domain Name System snap-in in Microsoft Management Console have better graphical user interface for managing the Domain Name System server service. Other than this, it also has several configuration wizards for some of the administration tasks. Other than snap-in there has some other tools can help us to have a better manage and support for Domain Name System.

In addition, the eleventh feature is Request for Comments - compliant dynamic update protocol support. With this support the Domain Name System client computer can dynamically update the resource records by using the Request for Comments 2136 protocol. Because of this the time for manage all these records manually for Domain Name System administration has been reduce.

The 12th feature is support for incremental zone transfer between servers. This useful when the transfers zones does not integrated with the Active Directory Domain Services, the incremental zone transfer can be use by the Domain Name Server service to replicate only the changed portions of a zone. This can save the network bandwidth.

Lastly, the 13th feature is single-label host-name resolution without Windows Internet Naming System (WINS). The Domain Name System Server service have support a zone called GlobalNames. This GlobalNames is use to hold the single-label names. This is like the name that does not include the parent domain name such as (.my). WINS is compulsory use in the networks. Therefore the GlobalNames zone will give single-label name resolution with fix IP addresses for the limited set of centrally administered servers.

3.0 Active Directory Domain Services Integration

Domain Name System in Windows Server 2008 is integrated with Active Directory Domain Services. Active Directory Domain Services has provides an enterprise-level tool for organizing, managing, and locating resources in a network. (Microsoft,2010).

We need to consider some of the rule when we want to deploy the Domain Name System Server with Active Directory Domain Services. First, we need to consider the Domain Name System is required for locating domain controllers. In order to support the register the domain controllers to the Domain Name System domain namespace, the Net Logon service need to use the Domain Name System Server. Besides that, we need to consider the Domain Name System Server is running in Windows Server 2003 or Windows Server 2008 and whether the Active Directory Domain Services can be use for storing and replicating the zones. This is because if we want to have the advantage of Domain Name System features, the Active Directory Domain Services integration is required.

The Domain Name System integrated with Active Directory Domain Services has several advantages. One of the advantages is the Domain Name System will have the features of multi-master data replication and help in enhances the security based on the capabilities of Active Directory Domain Services. The Domain Name System update is based on a single-master update model for the standard zone storage model. The disadvantage of this model is when the server is down all the update requests cannot be run for the zone.

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Therefore, if we integrated the Active Directory Domain Services, all the dynamic updates to Domain Name System will sent to the Active Directory Domain Services integrated Domain Name System Server and it will replicated to all the Active Directory Domain Services integrated Domain Name System Server. By using this multimaster update model all the update requests can be process for the zone even if one of the server is down. This is because with this model all the primary servers for directory integrated zone can process the requests.

Besides that, if we are using the directory integrated zones, we can use the access control list to secure the dnsZone object inside the directory tree. Because of this we can access to the zone or the specified resource record inside the zone. For example, we can set the authorization to the client computer for dynamic update in the access control list.

In addition, the advantage of Domain Name System integrated with Active Directory Domain Services is when has a new one is added into the Active Directory Domain Services domain the zones will be automatic replicated and synchronized to the new domain controllers. This can help to improve the performance of the standard zone update methods.

Beside that, the advantage is we can streamline the database replication planning for our network by integrating the storage of our Domain Name System zone databases in Active Directory Domain Services. If we are using the standard Domain Name System zone and the Active Directory Domain Services together, we have to maintain two different replication topologies. To solve this problem we can integrating the Domain Name System storage, to merge them together become a single administrative entity.

Furthermore, the advantage for Domain Name System integrated with Active Directory Domain Services is the directory integrated replication will be faster and will be more efficient compare to the standard Domain Name System replication. This is because the Active Directory Domain Services replication processing is based on the per-property basis to perform. Therefore only the relevant changes will be propagated. This will reduce the updates for directory- stored zones.

4.0 Domain Name System Architecture

Domain Name System architecture is a hierarchical distributed database associated with several protocols. It can let the mechanism for querying and updating the database. Besides that, it can let the mechanism for replication the information in the database among the servers and it can schema the database.

Domain Name System is a hierarchy of domains used for naming the computer and network services in TCP/IP networks. In contain various types of data in their database. For example, like host names, domain names, and so on. Domain namespace is the name inside the Domain Name System database form the hierarchical tree structure. The format of the domain names is the single label separated by the dots. For example like tarc.edu.my.

The following diagram shows the Domain Name System domain namespace. This diagram is base on the concept of the name domains tree. We can present each of the level at the tree as a branch or a leaf of the tree. Each branch will be the level where we have more than one name used to identify a collection of named resources. Beside, each leaf wills presents a single name used one time at the level to identify a specific resource.

Diagram: domain Name System Domain Name Hierarchy (Microsoft, 2010)

The diagram above show that how the Internet root servers assign the authority to the Microsoft for Internet root servers part of the Domain Name System domain namespace tree on the Internet.

4.1 Type of domain name

They have 5 ways to define the Domain Name System domain name. The domain name will be based on the level and the common patter of the name. For example, we have one Domain Name System domain name registered under Microsoft (micrisoft.com) we will know that this is a second level domain. We can see that the domain name have 2 labels to indicate that the domain name is located 2 levels below the root or top of the tree. The number of labels will indicate the level of the tree.

The first type used to describe the Domain Name System domain names is root domain. Root domain is the top of the tree. It used to represent an unnamed level. The null value will be representing as 2 empty quotation marks (""). In Domain Name System domain name the trailing period (.) is used to assign the name located at the root or highest level in the domain hierarchy. For example, the tailing period (.) will be use at the end of a name like "try.microsoft.com.".

Besides that, the second type is top-level domain. This top-level domain is used to indicate which region or the type of the organization. For example, ".com" from the name .com we will know that this is registered business for commercial use on the Internet. The third type is second-level domain. This domain name is created by the people who register the name for using on the Internet. After the second-level domain name it will follow by the top-level domain name. For example, "microsoft.com" this show that the Microsoft register the second-level domain name as microsoft.

In addition the fourth type is subdomain. This subdomain is use to derived from the registered second-level domain name. The subdomain is a child of the second-level domain name. For example, "example.microsoft.com.", which show that the subdomain assigned by Microsoft is example.

Lastly, the last type is host or resource name. The names will be used to represent a leaf in the Domain Name System tree of names and identify a specific resource. Normally, the Domain Name System domain name will use the leftmost label to identify the specific computer on the network. For example, "host-a.example.microsoft.com", the first label "host-a" is the Domain Name System host name for a specific computer on the network. The Domain Name System will look up the IP address of the computer based on this host name.

4.2 Domain Name System and Internet domains

The top-level domain on the Internet is maintained by the Name Registration Authority. The top-level domain name follow rule of the International Standard 3166. There are some of the Some Domain Name System top-level domain names are show as the following table:

DNS Domain Name

Type of Organization

com

Commercial organizations

edu

Educational institutions

org

Non-profit organizations

net

Networks (the backbone of the Internet)

gov

Non-military government organizations

mil

Military government organizations

arpa

Reverse DNS

"xx"

Two-letter country code (for example, us, au, ca, fr)

Domain Name System top-level domain names (Microsoft, 2010)

4.3 Resource records

A Domain Name System database consists of the resource records. Each resource records is used to identifies a particular resource within the database. There have several type of the resource records in Domain Name System. The table below will show some of the common structure of the resource records.

Description

Class

Time to Live (TTL)

Type

Data

Start of Authority

Internet (IN)

Default TTL is 60 minutes

SOA

Owner Name

Primary Name Server DNS Name, Serial Number

Refresh Interval

Retry Interval

Expire Time

Minimum TTL

Host

Internet (IN)

Record-specific TTL if present, or else zone (SOA) TTL

A

Owner Name (Host DNS Name)

Host IP Address

Name Server

Internet (IN)

Record-specific TTL if present, or else zone (SOA) TTL

NS

Owner Name

Name Server DNS Name

Mail Exchanger

Internet (IN)

Record-specific TTL if present, or else zone (SOA) TTL

MX

Owner Name

Mail Exchange Server DNS Name, Preference Number

Canonical Name

(an alias)

Internet (IN)

Record-specific TTL if present, or else zone (SOA) TTL

CNAME

Owner Name (Alias Name)

Host DNS Name

Common Domain Name System resource records (Microsoft, 2010)

5.0 Zone Files and Delegation

A Domain Name System database can be divided into multiple zones. Each zone will contain the zone file. The zone file will contain all the information about the zone. The Domain Name Server will maintain the zone file. The zone file will consist of the Start of Authority (SOA) resource records. This SOA will be used to specify the Domain Name System Zone primary authoritative. Besides that, the zone file also consists of Time-to-Live for resource record. This Time-to-Live is used to specific how long the data should keep in the Domain Name System Server.

By using the Name Server resource record the process of delegated a name within the zone to a different zone under different Domain Name System server are allow. Delegation is a process of assigning responsibility for a portion of a Domain Name System namespace to a Domain Name System server owned by a separate entity. (Microsoft, 2010). Example for the separate entity can be different department, or different workgroup within same company.

The advantage of delegate the Domain Name System namespace is we can delegate the management at one Domain Name System domain to a number of organizations or departments within an organization. Besides that, we can enhance the name resolution performance by distribute the load of the maintaining one large Domain Name System database among the multiple Domain Name System Server. In addition, we can allow a host organizational participates by including the host in appropriate domain.

The following diagram will show that the delegated process across two zones.

Diagram: delegated process across two zones. (Microsoft 2010).

From the diagram, we can see that the Microsoft management domain is delegated across two zones, that is microsoft.com. zone and mydomain.microsoft.com. zone.

Create a Zone Delegation using Windows Server 2008.

The step of create the zone delegation is as follow:

Click Start select Administrative Tools the list will be display then select Domain Name System.

The Domain Name System screen will be display, and then open the Domain Name System Manager, under the console tree, right-click the applicable subdomain, the list will be display then select New Delegation.

The New Delegation Wizard will be display. To finish create a new delegated domain we just need to follow the instructions in the New Delegation Wizard

5.1 Zone Types

There have 3 type of zone in the Domain Name System. The zone is primary zone, secondary zone, and Stub zone. Primary zone is the zone that can directly load the zone data from the Domain Name System Server host. Besides that, for secondary zone if need to load the zone data, the secondary zone need to get form the primary server or other secondary server in order to get the zone data. For Stub zone it will only contain the information about the authoritative name servers, and it will only transfer the name server (NS) records for that zone.

Create the a new Zone by using Windows Sever 2008

The following step is to create a new zone by using Windows Server 2008

Click Start select Administrative Tools the list will be display then select Domain Name System.

The Domain Name System screen will be display, and then open the Domain Name System Manager, under the console tree, right-click the Domain Name System Server, the list will be display then select New Zone.

The New Zone Wizard will be display. To finish create a new primary zone, secondary zone, or stub zone we just need to follow the instructions in the New Zone Wizard.

Change the zone type by using Windows Sever 2008

The following step is to change the zone type using Windows Server 2008

Click Start select Administrative Tools the list will be display then select Domain Name System.

The Domain Name System screen will be display, and then open the Domain Name System Manager, under the console tree, right-click the applicable zone, the list will be display then select Properties.

The Properties screen will be display, on the General tab, note the current zone type, and then click Change.

To select the Secondary zone or Stub zone, you must specify the IP address of another Domain Name System Server.

In the Change Zone Type, select what the zone type that you want to change, after finish select then click OK button.

5.2 Windows Internet Name Service (WINS) Resolution

By using Windows Internet Name Service (WINS) for Domain Name System Server, it can help to resolve the names that the Domain Name System resolution cannot find in their authoritative zones.

Enable Domain Name System to Use WINS Resolution

The following step is to enable Domain Name System to Use WINS Resolution using Windows Server 2008.

Click Start select Administrative Tools the list will be display then select Domain Name System.

The Domain Name System screen will be display, and then open the Domain Name System Manager, under the console tree, right-click the applicable zone, the list will be display then select Properties.

Select either one to do

If the applicable zone is a forward lookup zone, on the WINS tab, then we select the Use WINS forward lookup check box. In IP address, type the IP address of a WINS server to be used for resolution of names that are not found in DNS, and then click Add.

If the applicable zone is a reverse lookup zone, on the WINS-R tab, then we select the Use WINS-R lookup check box. In Domain to append to returned name, type a name.

Select the Do not replicate this record check box for this WINS record, if applicable.

5.3 Authorize Domain Name System Servers for a Zone

We can use the following step to authorize other Domain Name System Server for that zone. Normally, this will be use when the times we add the Domain Name System Servers to act like the secondary servers at primary zone.

Specify Other Domain Name System Servers as Authoritative for a Zone

The following step is to specify other Domain Name System Servers as Authoritative for a Zone using Windows Server 2008.

Click Start select Administrative Tools the list will be display then select Domain Name System then open the Domain Name System Manager.

The Domain Name System screen will be display, now under the console tree, right-click the applicable zone, the list will be display then select Properties.

Click the Name Servers tab, then click Add.

Enter the additional Domain Name System Server by their names and IP address, after finish click Add.