15 Jan

Understanding the New GlobalNames Zone Functionality in Windows Server 2008

The DNS Server Role in Windows Server 2008 now supports the GlobalNames Zone.  This has been introduced to assist organizations to move away from WINS and allow organizations to move to an all-DNS environment. Unlike WINS, The GlobalNames zone is not intended to be used for peer-to-peer name resolution.

The GlobalNames Zone (GNZ) is used to hold single-label names. The GlobalNames zone is intended to provide single-label name resolution for a limited set of host names, typically corporate servers and web sites that are centrally managed. The GlobalNames zone is most commonly used to hold CNAME resource records to map a single-label name to a Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN). GlobalNames Zone functionality is not intended to fully replace WINS. GNZ provides single-label name resolution whereas WINS provides NetBIOS resolution.

If you plan to retire WINS or plan to deploy IPv6 only in your environment, all name resolution will rely on DNS.
Quite often, internal users access corporate websites through the use of a single-label name. These names are already registered in DNS and often in the WINS database. Without WINS name resolution, the 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. In a multi domain environment, managing a suffix search list for all clients can be a burden, and client query performance is also somewhat lowered when querying a single-label name with the list of domains. For environments that require both many domains and single-label name resolution of corporate server resources, GlobalNames Zone provides a more scalable solution.

The following are some valid reasons to deploy the GlobalNames Zone in Windows Server 2008:

  • You are retiring WINS or you are planning to deploy only IPv6 in your environment, so that all name resolution will depend on DNS.
  • Your need for single-label name resolution is limited to important servers or Web sites that can be statically registered in DNS.
  • You cannot rely on the suffix search lists on client computers to provide single-label name resolution; for example, because the number of target domains is too great or the domains cannot be centrally managed to guarantee that host names will be unique. For more information about using suffix search lists, see Understanding DNS Client Settings.
  • All the DNS servers that are authoritative for your zones are servers running Windows Server 2008. To resolve names that are registered in the GlobalNames zone, all DNS servers that are authoritative for a zone and that serve client query requests must be running Windows Server 2008 and they must either be configured with a local copy of the GlobalNames zone or they must be able to contact remote DNS servers that host the GlobalNames zone.

Unlike WINS, the GlobalNames Zone functionality does not allow host name entries to be registered dynamically. All host name entries in the GlobalNames Zone must be created manually.

A GlobalNames Zone can be deployed in a single-forest environment or a multiple-forest environment. A single-forest deployment of GNZ allows single-label name resolution via DNS using an Active Directory-Integrated GNZ. A multiple-forest deployment of GNZ allows single-label name resolution via DNS using an Active Directory-Integrated GNZ for each forest within the multiple-forest environment.

Example step-by-step guide to implementing GlobalNames Zone functionality in Windows Server 2008

The following is an example step-by-step guide to implement GlobalNames functionality on a Windows Server 2008 computer named SERVER1.

  1. Logon to SERVER1 as the local Administrator
  2. Open the DNS snap-in under Administrative Tools
  3. In the console tree in the DNS snap-in, expand SERVER1
  4. Right-click on SERVER1 in the console tree, and then click New Zone to open the New Zone Wizard.
  5. On the Welcome to the New Zone Wizard page of the New Zone Wizard, click Next.
  6. On the Zone Type page of the New Zone Wizard, ensure Primary zone is select, and then click Next.
  7. On the Forward or Reverse Lookup Zone page of the New Zone Wizard, ensure Forward lookup zone is selected, and then click Next.
  8. On the Zone name page of the New Zone Wizard, type adatum.com, and then click Next.
  9. On the Zone File page of the New Zone Wizard, select the default, and then click Next.
  10. On the Dynamic Updates page of the New Zone Wizard, ensure Do not allow dynamic updates is selected, and then click Next.
  11. On the Completing the New Zone Wizard page of the New Zone Wizard, click Finish.
  12. Open a command prompt
  13. Type the following, and then press Enter: Dnscmd SERVER1 /config /Enableglobalnamessupport 1
  14. Ensure the above command completes successful by validating the following output: Registry property Enableglobalnamessupport successfully reset. Command completed successfully.
  15. Open the DNS snap-in under Administrative Tools
  16. In the console tree in the DNS snap-in, expand SERVER1
  17. Right-click on SERVER1 in the console tree, and then click New Zone to open the New Zone Wizard.
  18. On the Welcome to the New Zone Wizard page of the New Zone Wizard, click Next.
  19. On the Zone Type page of the New Zone Wizard, ensure Primary zone is select, and then click Next.
  20. On the Forward or Reverse Lookup Zone page of the New Zone Wizard, ensure Forward lookup zone is selected, and then click Next.
  21. On the Zone name page of the New Zone Wizard, type GlobalNames, and then click Next.
  22. On the Zone File page of the New Zone Wizard, select the default, and then click Next.
  23. On the Dynamic Updates page of the New Zone Wizard, ensure Do not allow dynamic updates is selected, and then click Next.
  24. On the Completing the New Zone Wizard page of the New Zone Wizard, click Finish.

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