10. Appendix: How to Create and Configure a Zone

Start the DNS management console ([Start/Programs/Administrative Tools/DNS]). Open up your server (OUCS-PHANTOM in the example below) in the left hand window and you should see two folders — Forward Lookup Zones and Reverse Lookup Zones . There should be nothing in either of them.

If there is an entry under Forward Lookup Zones; (there may be one called unitname.ox.ac.uk) then delete it.

Now right-click on the Forward Lookup Zone folder and select [New Zone]. Click on Next and then choose [Primary] as the zone type and make sure the option to Store the zone in Active Directory is checked.

Click on Next and type in the name of the zone you want to create. The zones are as follows (replace unitDNSname with the appropriate name for your unit).
  • _tcp.unitDNSname.ox.ac.uk
  • _udp.unitDNSname.ox.ac.uk
  • _sites.unitDNSname.ox.ac.uk
  • _msdcs.unitDNSname.ox.ac.uk
  • DomainDnsZones.unitDNSname.ox.ac.uk
  • ForestDnsZones.unitDNSname.ox.ac.uk

Click on Next, check that the details are correct and click on Finish. You now should have an entry for the zone visible within the Forward Lookup Zones folder.

DNS Management Console showing _msdcs.oucs.ox.ac.uk forward lookup

Right-click on this entry and select [Properties]. First check on the [General] tab that [Only secure updates] is the setting for [Allow dynamic updates? ]

Next click on the [Start of Authority (SOA)] tab and change the [Responsible person] entry. This box should contain a valid e-mail address which will be directed to the person responsible for the server. By convention you should substitute a. for the @ in the e-mail address. You should also include a . at the end of the address.

_msdcs.oucs.ox.ac.uk DNS Zone Properties — SOA

Consider changing the various time intervals. The main Oxford DNS servers use the following intervals, which are considerably longer than the Microsoft defaults.

Refresh interval 8 hours
Retry interval 2 hours
Expires after 1 week
Minimum TTL 1 day

There may be advantages in leaving the defaults until you have set up your server completely. However, once set up, it is unlikely that you will be making too many changes that affect the DNS, and the above settings may be more appropriate.

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