Configuring redundant DNS with Microsoft Server 2012 is literally no harder than installing a few roles. To complete this tutorial you’ll need a few machines that are domain enrolled, about 15-20 minutes, and one existing DNS server that is already functioning and known to be healthy. Let’s jump into it.
Step 1.) Update Both Of Your Servers
Make sure both of the servers you are planning to use in your DNS cluster are as close to each other in patch level as possible. Run Windows Update against both machines – after they are completed and as close in patch level as possible, move on to step 2.
2.) Install The DNS Role
Install the DNS role on your secondary server that is going to be part of the DNS cluster – make sure that it’s named something logical ( DNS1, DNS2, DNS3 ) for example. The installation wizard is completely automated and will finish on its own without any prompting.
3.) Create A Secondary DNS Zone
From the Server Manager, go ahead and launch the DNS snap in. Since we want a clustered type setup that will provide for high availability and load balancing, we’re going to create what’s known as a Secondary Zone. Right click on the Forward Lookup Zone, and select the New Zone option. Now choose the Create Secondary Zone option, which presents itself after a few informational prompts.
4.) Designate Your Zone Name
Simply fill in this field with your local domain information. My internal domain is techstaty.local, so that’s what I’ll be using for this portion of the wizard.
5.) Designate Your Master DNS Server
Now you’re prompted to designate your master DNS server – this is where the secondary DNS server will be copying the Forward Lookup Zone information from. My master DNS server is 192.168.1.114 in this example.
6.) Designate Your Reverse Lookup Zone
After you’ve finished creating your Forward Lookup Zone, you still need to configure your Reverse Lookup Zone. From the DNS manager, select the Reverse Lookup Zones and right-click to create your DNS zone. This process is basically the same as how we made our Forward Lookup Zone, but with some differences. Choose the Secondary Zone Option :
7.) Choose IPV4 Lookup Zone
Unless your environment is heavily invested in IPV6, you can feel reasonably confident in creating an IPV4 zone as shown below.
8.) Enter Subnet Information
Now you’re prompted to enter the range of IP addresses that this Reverse Lookup Zone will be translating. I’m running the private 192.168.1.0/24 class C subnet, so I’ll be entering the values accordingly as shown below. Your network configuration might be different, so make sure to double-check this part before proceeding.
9.) Designate Your Master DNS Server
Just like in step 5, you need to designate your master DNS server here. Note : if your master DNS server does not have a configured Reverse Lookup Zone, the wizard will complain about the server not being authoritative and will fail.
If you receive an error at this part, go back to your primary DNS server and create a Reverse Lookup Zone with secure updates to all DNS servers in the domain.
10.) Configure Zone Updates
From your primary DNS server, you need to allow Zone Updates on both your Forward and Reverse Lookup Zones before replication can occur – Expand Forward Lookup Zones and right-click on the internal domain name. Now you’ll see the Zone Transfers tab, select it and enable the allow zone transfer option as shown below. You can either designate your servers manually, or have it allow Zone Updates to any server.
Now you should be able to see the same DNS records on both servers, which means Zone Updates have been configured and the DNS servers are now replicating successfully. Congratulations on setting up redundant DNS servers with Server 2012 :)