Using GlobalNames Zone in Windows Server 2008

Posted on January 8, 2009 by Daniel Petri in Windows Server 2008 with 0 Comments

On my previous article, “Understanding GlobalNames Zone in Windows Server 2008“, I’ve listed the major benefits for using the new GlobalNames Zone (also known as GNZ) in Windows Server 2008 DNS. Basically, if you are retiring WINS or are planning on deploying an IPv6-only environment, all the client and server name resolution will depend on DNS. Today, many customers support name resolution for important servers or Web sites by using a single-label name. For example, one might want to allow for name resolution for a record called Webserver, without the need for the client to manually add the full DNS suffix for that record. Today, before the implementation of Windows Server 2008 DNS servers, such names might already be registered in DNS for the domain that they belong to, allowing the clients to easily resolve them.

Without WINS name resolution, DNS Client is able to resolve single-label names by appending an appropriate list of suffixes to the name, which are then answered by the authoritative DNS Servers. For example, if the client issues the following command:

And the machines DNS suffix is, for example, adatum.com, then the client will append the DNS suffix to the host name and query the DNS for the Fully Qualified domain Name (FQDN) of Webserver.adatum.com.

Note: The correct DNS suffix depends on the domain membership of the client, but can also be manually configured in the advanced TCP/IP properties for the computer.

All this is nice, but for a customer with many domains, managing a suffix search list for all clients can be problematic. That is why for environments that require both many domains and single-label name resolution of corporate server resources, GNZ provides a more scalable solution. If you cannot configure the DNS client suffix search list for all computers requiring this single-label name functionality, and you also require that single-label names for servers are global and unique, then GlobalNames Zone (GNZ) might be suitable for your needs.

To enable the GlobalNames Zone functionality

This must be performed by either manually changing the server’s registry, or by using the command line:

  1. Click Start, right-click Command Prompt, and then click Run as Administrator.
  2. Type the following command, then press Enter: Where ServerName is your server’s name. Note: You need to ensure that GlobalNames Zone Functionality has been enabled on each DNS server in the forest.

To create the GlobalNames Zone

This action can be performed by either using the DNS GUI, or by using the command line:

  1. Open the DNS console from the Administrative Tools folder.  
  2. In the console tree, right-click a DNS server, and then click New Zone to open the New Zone Wizard. You can also do this by right-clicking the Forward Lookup Zones and selecting Create a New Zone.  
  3. Click Next.  
  4. Choose an appropriate storage method and replication scope for the zone. Microsoft’s recommendations are that you store the zone in AD DS and replicate it to all domain controllers that are DNS servers in the Forest. This will create a new AD DS integrated zone called GlobalNames which is stored in the forest-wide DNS application partition.       
  5. Give the new zone the name of GlobalNames. Click Next. Note: This is not case sensitive: globalnames is also supported.  
  6. In the Dynamic Updates page click Next. You do NOT need to allow for dynamic updates as all the records inside will be manually created.  
  7. Click Finish to finish the zone creation wizard.  

If you wish, you can also use the command line. This method is much faster, requires less clicking around, and you might as well get used to using the CLI with Windows Server 2008 (see Related Articles section below for more info on that):

Sponsored

Sponsored
  1. Click Start, right-click Command Prompt, and then click Run as Administrator.  
  2. Type the following, then press Enter: Where ServerName is your server’s name.  

To add records to the GlobalNames Zone

Adding records to the GlobalNames Zone can be performed by either using the DNS GUI, or by using the command line. The records need to be ALIASES, or in other words – CNAME records, pointing to records that already exist in other zones hosted on the server or on other DNS servers in your organization.

  1. Click on the GlobalNames zone. Then, right-click it and select New Alias (CNAME).  
  2. In the Alias text box enter the required name for the server/workstation. In this example I’ve used Webserver. In the Fully Qualified Domain Name text box either manually enter the FQDN of the destination server/workstation, or click Browse and look for the existing record in other DNS zones. Click Ok.

Testing the GlobalNames Zone

To test your GlobalNames Zone, you should be able to get a response by pinging it on the command line, or by using NSLOOKUP. Before creating the GlobalNames zone and adding the record, ping to the destination server will probably fail:

To use the PING utility to test a GlobalNames Zone, from any machine on the domain, open up a command prompt, and type:

Lamer note: webserver is just an example…

You should receive a response back with the IP address and fully-qualified domain name of webserver.

To use the NTLOOKUP utility to test a GlobalNames Zone, from any machine on the domain, open up a command prompt, and type:

Lamer note: Duh…

You should receive a response back with the IP address and fully-qualified domain name of webserver.

Recent Windows Server 2008 Forum threads

Got a question? Post it on our Windows Server 2008 forums!

Sponsored