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DNS on Windows 2000 2nd Edition Matt Larson and Cricket Liu
Published by O'Reilly & Associates
334 pages
£ 28.50
Published: 1st October 2001
reviewed by Raza Rizvi
   in the March 2002 issue (pdf), (html)

I recently reviewed the fourth edition of the classic `DNS and BIND' (also co-authored by Cricket Liu) which includes a quite reasonable section on Windows 2000 DNS and dynamic update features. This book, although focused on the Microsoft provided DNS server, pays the complement back by leaning heavily on direct transplantation of text from `DNS and BIND'. Whilst this is initially annoying, the target audience is likely to be different and the quality of the Windows specific parts is high enough to avoid leaving a bitter taste!

After a run through of DNS basics, chapter 4 starts on the setup of domains using the Microsoft DNS server. The example is based on the familiar `Movie University' domain? and shows the DNS console and how the wizard is used to create the zone file. The contents of the file, SOA, A, and MX records together with the PTR are explained well and the many screenshots make it simple to follow.

The function of MX records and mail delivery are covered in chapter 5, and then we return to new text with a chapter on the configuration of the resolver on the Windows clients, 2000 obviously but also 95, 98, and NT. The server maintenance is covered in chapter 7 with explanations of the logging and the hints file.

WINS integration and co-existence is covered very well in chapter 10 together with other advanced features such as DNS Notify. Active Directory, arguably the biggest new feature, gets a half chapter that is concise and well written. The latter part of the chapter deals with Dynamic Updates.

Now in the last third of the book, nslookup and troubleshooting in covered in enough detail for the majority of likely scenarios. To finish the appendices cover the DNS RFC (1035), installation of the Microsoft DNS server, and conversion from BIND to Microsoft DNS.

All in all a useful book for Windows administrators but not required if you already own the fourth edition of `DNS and BIND'. The concepts covered are the same and the DNS console makes it easy to work out what is required to set up files and their hosts.

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