Microsoft KB Archive/254680

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DNS Namespace Planning

Article ID: 254680

Article Last Modified on 12/3/2007


  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition (32-bit x86)
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition (32-bit x86)
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Datacenter Edition (32-bit x86)
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server
  • Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2003 Premium Edition
  • Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2003 Standard Edition

This article was previously published under Q254680


The resolution of names through the use of Domain Name System (DNS) is central to Windows operation. Without proper name resolution, users cannot locate resources on the network. It is critical that the design of the DNS namespace be created with Active Directory in mind and that the namespace that exists on the Internet not conflict with an organization's internal namespace.


The recommended approach to DNS design in an Active Directory environment is to design the Active Directory environment first and then support that design with the DNS structure. However, in some cases, the DNS namespace may already be in place. In such a configuration, the Active Directory environment should be designed independently and then implemented either as a totally separate namespace or as a subdomain of the existing namespace. If the namespace you choose already exists on the Internet, it may cause name resolution problems for internal clients.

Consider the following items:

  • Identify the DNS namespace that you will be using for your domain. Identify the name that your organization has registered for use on the Internet (for example, If your company does not have a registered name, but you will be connected to the Internet, you may want to register a name on the Internet. Make sure if you choose not to register a name that you choose a name that is unique. You can review existing names at
  • Use different internal and external namespaces. Internally, you could use or a subdomain of the external name such as The subdomain structure could be useful if you already have an existing DNS namespace. Different locations or organizations can be named with different subdomains such as or to ease administration.
  • Make Active Directory child domains immediately subordinate to their parent domains in the DNS namespace. You can choose to create subdomains for organizations within your company or locations. For example,
  • Separate internal and external names on separate servers. External servers should include only those names that you want to be visible to the Internet. Internal servers should contain names that are for internal use. You can set your internal DNS servers to forward requests that they cannot resolve to external servers for resolution. Different types of clients require different kinds of name resolution. Web proxy clients, for example, do not require external name resolution because the proxy server does this on their behalf. Overlapping internal and external namespaces are not recommended. In most cases, the end result of this configuration is that computers will be unable to locate needed resources because of receiving incorrect IP addresses from DNS. This is particularly a concern when Network Address Translation (NAT) is involved and the external IP address is in an unreachable range for internal clients.
  • Make sure that root servers are not created unintentionally. Root servers may be created by the Dcpromo Wizard, resulting in internal clients being able to reach external clients or to reach parent domains. If the "." zone exists, a root server has been created. It may be necessary to remove this for proper name resolution to work. For additional information, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

    229840 DNS Server's Root Hints and Forwarder Pages Are Unavailable

Additional query words: win2000hotnet

Keywords: kbproductlink kbdns kbinfo KB254680