How to Setup and Configure DNS in Windows Server

Microsoft Windows Server 2012 is a powerful server operating system capable of many different roles and functions. However, to prevent overloading production servers with features and options that are never used, Windows Server provides a modular approach in which the administrator manually installs the services needed.

To setup and configure DNS, you’ll need to install the DNS Server Role on Windows Server 2012. This article will guide you through the DNS installation and configuration process in Windows Server 2012. Please note that you’ll need to be logged into your Windows server. When you’re ready to proceed, please refer to the following steps.

 

Installing the DNS Server Role in Server 2012

To add a new role to Windows Server 2012, you use the Server Manager.

 

  1. Start Server Manager
  2. Click the Manage menu
  3. Select Add Roles and Features
  4. Click Next on the Add Roles and Features Wizard Before you begin window that pops up (If you checked Skip this page by default at any point in the past, the page should not appear)
  5. Select Role-based or feature-based installation
  6. Select the server that you’d like to install the DNS function to from the server pool and click next
  7. At this point, you’ll see a pop-up window informing you that some additional tools are required to manage the DNS Server
    1. We recommend to go ahead and install these tools unless your company policy explicitly forbids this practice
  8. In the Features window you shouldn’t need to make any changes and you can click Next
  9. Click next on the information window that appears
  10. You should now be at the final confirmation screen before installation
    1. You can choose to restart the server once the installation is complete, although this is not necessary

 

Congratulations! The DNS Server role should now be installed and ready for use! You should now see a new DNS Role tile in your Server Manager.

 

Configuring the DNS Server Role in Server 2012

If you’re an old pro with DNS server files, Windows Server 2012 does let you edit the files directly. However, Microsoft recommends that you use the interface tools to avoid errors, especially if you’re integrating DNS with Active Directory. If you want to use the command line to configure your DNS, use the dnscmd command. For those of us who don’t memorize TechNet for fun, a few clicks is all it takes.

 

  1. Within the Server Manager click the Tools menu and select DNS
  2. This brings up the DNS Manager window which should look something like the following screenshot
  3. Select the DNS Server to manage
  4. Click the Action Menu
  5. Select Configure a DNS Server
  6. You should now see the Configure a DNS Server wizard
  7. There are three options
    1. Configure a forward lookup zone
    2. Create forward and reverse lookup zones
    3. Configure root hints only
  8. Select the option which best suits your needs, generally creating forward and reverse lookup zones is the best approach
  9. Click Next
  10. Choose whether this server will maintain the zone, or if this server will have a read-only copy of the DNS records from another server
  11. Enter your zone name
  12. Click Next
  13. Choose the file name where the DNS records will be stored
  14. Select how this server will respond to Dynamic Updates
    1. Select the first option to allow only secure dynamic updates if you’re integrating your DNS with Active Directory
    2. Select do not allow dynamic updates if your DNS is not integrated with Active Directory and you don’t want to allow dynamic updates
  15. Select if you’d like the DNS server to forward queries
  16. Click Next

 

Your DNS Server should now be configured and ready to use!


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