Domain Name System (DNS) is one of the standard set of protocols that includes TCP/IP. The DNS Client and the DNS Server together provide a mechanism of the server name to IP address mapping name resolution services for servers and their users. Microsoft DNS is the most common domain name system service provided in Microsoft Windows operating systems.
Setting up a DNS server on Windows involves installing the DNS Server Role, which can be done through both the GUI method as well as through Windows PowerShell. This guide will outline the basic steps in setting up the DNS server on a Windows machine.
Installing DNS Server through GUI
Click on Start icon and then click on Server Manager to open the dashboard.
From the Quick Start section, click on Add roles and features.
In the Add Roles and Features Wizard window, click on Next under Before You Begin section.
In the Installation Type section, select the radio button for Role-based or feature-based installation and then click on Next.
Under Server Selection, choose the server name on which the role/feature is to be installed from the Server Pool list, and then click on Next.
From Server Roles section, select the check-box near to DNS Server.
A separate window will show up from which additional features required for the DNS Server can be selected. Make sure that Include management tools option is selected in this window. Click on Add Features.
Click on Next after making sure that the DNS Server option is checked.
Click on Next in the next two sections for Features and DNS Server, without making any changes.
In the Confirmation window, click Install to start the installation of the DNS server.
The installation process will take some time. Once it is completed, a message confirming that the installation has been successful will show up. Click on Close to exit the wizard.
Installing DNS Server through Windows PowerShell
Installing the DNS Server through Windows PowerShell is pretty much an easier process, which requires executing the below command through PowerShell.
Install-WindowsFeature DNS -IncludeManagementTools
Accessing DNS Server management console
Once the installation has been completed, the DNS Server console can be accessed from either Server Manager or from under Windows Administrative Tools.
The DNS Server console can be used to create DNS zones for websites, containing the DNS records associated with the website. The below steps can be followed for creating a forward lookup zone for a website. The DNS server used in this context is named LS-SERVER and the sample website that has been used is lssupport.com.
Open the DNS Manager console.
Expand the DNS Server from the left panel, right-click on Forward Lookup Zones and then click on New Zone….
Click Next in the New Zone Wizard.
Primary Zone will be selected as the default option; this can be changed accordingly. Click on Next.
Type in the website name in the Zone name field and then click on Next.
Click on Next to create a new zone file for the website. The zone file will be named as <websitename>.dns.
Select the zone update type in the next window. The default setting for this would be Do not allow dynamic updates. Click on Next.
A new zone for the website will now be created. Click on Finish to close the wizard.
Once the zone has been created, right-click on the website zone name to add the required DNS records (E.g. A, CNAME & MX, etc.) for the website.
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