This book is organized, more or less, to follow the evolution of a zone and its administrator. Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 discuss Domain Name System theory. Chapter 3-Chapter 6 help you decide whether to set up your own zones, then describe how to go about it, should you choose to. Chapter 7-Chapter 11 describe how to maintain your zones, integrate zone data with Active Directory, configure hosts to use your name servers, plan for the growth of your zones, create subdomains, and secure your name servers. Chapter 12-Chapter 16 deal with common problems, management tools, and troubleshooting tools.

Here's a more detailed, chapter-by-chapter breakdown:

  • Chapter 1 provides a little historical perspective and discusses the problems that motivated the development of DNS. It presents an overview of DNS theory.

  • Chapter 2 goes over DNS theory in more detail, including the DNS namespace, domains, and name servers. We also introduce important concepts such as name resolution and caching.

  • Chapter 3 covers how to choose and acquire your DNS software if you don't already have it and what to do with it once you've got it; that is, how to figure out what your domain name should be and how to contact the organization that can delegate your domain to you.

  • Chapter 4 details how to set up your first two name servers, including creating your name server database, starting up your name servers, and checking their operation.

  • Chapter 5 deals with DNS's MX record, which allows administrators to specify alternate hosts to handle a given destination's mail. The chapter covers mail-routing strategies for a variety of networks and hosts, including networks with firewalls and hosts without direct Internet connectivity.

  • Chapter 6 explains how to configure a Windows resolver.

  • Chapter 7 describes the periodic maintenance administrators must perform to keep their domains running smoothly, such as checking name server health and authority.

  • Chapter 8 covers how to design the namespace for your Active Directory forest, how to use application partitions for zone storage, and how to enable secure dynamic updates. The chapter ends with a description of the various resource records used by domain controllers.

  • Chapter 9 covers how to plan for the growth and evolution of your domain, including how to get big and how to plan for moves and outages.

  • Chapter 10 explores the joys of becoming a parent domain. We explain when to become a parent (i.e., create subdomains), what to call your children, how to create them (!), and how to watch over them.

  • Chapter 11 goes over name server configuration options that can help you tune your name server's performance, secure your name server, and ease administration.

  • Chapter 12 shows the ins and outs of the most popular tools for doing DNS debugging, including techniques for digging obscure information out of remote name servers.

  • Chapter 13 examines dnscmd and other command-line utilities that can be used for configuring, managing, and updating the Microsoft DNS Server.

  • Chapter 14 details how to program with Microsoft's WMI DNS provider. This chapter includes examples of reading and modifying name server configurations and updating zone data using scripts written in VBScript and Perl.

  • Chapter 15 covers many common DNS problems and their solutions and then describes a number of less common, harder-to-diagnose scenarios.

  • Chapter 16 ties up all the loose ends. We cover DNS wildcards, special configurations for networks that connect to the Internet through firewalls, and hosts and networks with intermittent Internet connectivity via dial-up.

  • Appendix A contains a byte-by-byte breakdown of the formats used in DNS queries and responses as well as a list of commonly used resource record types.

  • Appendix B covers migrating from an existing BIND 4 name server to the Microsoft DNS Server.

  • Appendix C lists the current top-level domains in the Internet domain namespace.