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Dated: Apr. 09, 2012

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Something About DNS Records

In any network setup DNS server plays an important role as it helps client computers to resolve names to their respective IP addresses. When a DNS server is installed in a network it automatically creates a Forward Lookup Zone and adds some records in it by its own. A DNS server can have several record types depending on the type of network. Some DNS record types are: 

  • Host (A) records - These records represent DNS client computers. A Host (A) record comprises of the name of the client computer and its respective IP addresses. Host (A) records resolve names to IPv4 addresses only. Note: The term ‘Client Computers’ here refers to all the computers that act as DNS clients. A DNS client can be any computer (including computers acting as servers) that relies on DNS server for name resolution.
  • Host (AAAA) records – These records represent DNS client computers that use IPv6 addressing scheme. A Host (AAAA) record comprises of the name of the client computer and its respective IPv6 address.
  • CNAME records – These records are the alias names to any existing Host (A) records. These records are mostly used to define FQDNs for external clients.
  • Mail Exchanger (MX) records – These records are used to resolve Exchange Server queries.

Importance of Host (A) Records

When a client computer attempts to communicate another computer in a network, in the background IP addresses are used to identify the computers. However the matter of fact is that in large network setups it becomes next to impossible for the users to memorize IP address is of all computers connected to the network and therefore user-friendly host names are used. When users try to locate computers connected in a network with their host names, name resolution takes place in which the requesting computer sends a recursive query to the DNS server. DNS server, in return, searches for the requested host name in its database and if found it sends the IP address of the requested computer to the requesting client computer. Client computer then directly contacts to the requested computer using its IP address. In case primary DNS server fails to resolve the query sent by client computer, the client computer sends the query to the alternate DNS server.

Creating Host (A) Records

Administrators must follow the steps given below in order to create Host (A) records manually in a Windows Server 2008 R2 DNS server:

  1. Log on to Windows Server 2008 R2 computer with the administrator account.
  2. Make sure that DNS server role has already been installed and the DNS server is properly configured.
  3. Go to Start > Administrative Tools and from the submenu click DNS.
  4. On DNS Manager snap-in from the left pane expand <ServerName> > Forward Lookup Zones and click the name of the domain from the expanded tree (TESTDOMAIN.COM for this example).
  5. On the right pane right-click anywhere and from the context menu click New Host (A or AAAA).
  6. On Add Host box in Name (uses parent domain name if blank) field type the host name of the computer for which the new Host (A) records has to be created.
  7. In IP address field type the associated IPv4 or IPv6 address of the computer for which the new record has to be created.
  8. Click Add Host button to add a new Host (A) record in the DNS database.
    Add New Host (A) Record
  9. Click OK button on the displayed DNS information box and back on Add Host box click Done button to close it.
  10. Close DNS Manager snap-in

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