When implementing Windows 2000 and Windows Server 2003 DNS infrastructure DNS naming is another major factor which has to be taken into account. DNS names are restricted to the characters A to Z, digits, and the hyphen(-). The first character of a DNS label can be either a letter or a digit according to RFC 1123.
Microsoft’s machine naming is based on NetBIOS names which supports a much wider character set the underscore (_), and the exclamation mark (!). The underscore is particularly common in Windows-based networks, and when these are combined with UNIX-based networks problems might surface.
Microsoft’s Windows 2000/2003 DNS supports alternate character set defined in RFC 2181 which specifies that a DNS label can be any binary string that does not necessarily need to be interpreted as ASCII. Thus Microsoft suggests the use of UTF-8 character encoding that is a superset of ASCII and a translation of Unicode.
To change the naming standard in W2K DNS:
- In the DNS console, right-click on DNS server.
- Select Properties.
- Select Advanced tab.
- Make your choice in the Name Checking drop-down list:
- Strict RFC (ANSI) : RFC 1123, A-Z, 0-9, – (dash).
- Non-RFC (ANSI): adds underscore to ANSI set.
- Multibyte (UTF8) : allows UTF8 characters (Microsoft naming standard).
- Any names : allows any character.
For a strictly private network, Microsoft’s suggested Unicode standard works well. If its a strictly Microsoft network. You again have to decide on whether enforcing standards on the Microsoft world which the heterogeneous network needs or whether to have dual support.