Applies To:

Show Versions Show Versions

Manual Chapter: Configuring BIG-IP to Load Balance Zone Transfer Requests to a Pool of DNS Servers
Manual Chapter
Table of Contents   |   << Previous Chapter   |   Next Chapter >>

Overview: Configuring BIG-IP to load balance zone transfer requests to a pool of DNS servers

Within your network, the BIG-IP® system can act as a proxy for a pool of DNS servers hosting a zone. In this case, when a DNS nameserver (client) in a specified list of servers sends a zone transfer request, the BIG-IP system load balances the request to a pool of DNS servers that host the zone. A pool member responds with a zone transfer, and the BIG-IP system sends the zone transfer to the client that made the zone transfer request. Optionally, the BIG-IP system can use transaction signature (TSIG) keys to validate the identity of the pool member sending a zone transfer and the DNS nameservers (clients) sending zone transfer requests.

Example of load balancing zone transfer requests with client-side TSIG authentication to a pool

In this figure, an administrator at Site Request configures the BIG-IP system to load balance zone transfer requests for siterequest.com to a pool of DNS servers and uses TSIG key authentication only on the client-side.

BIG-IP load balancing zone transfer requests to a pool of DNS servers

BIG-IP system load balancing zone transfer requests to a pool of DNS servers with client-side TSIG authentication

  1. DNS nameserver (client) sends TSIG-signed zone transfer request.
  2. BIG-IP system validates the signature and removes the client TSIG key from the request.
  3. BIG-IP system sends unsigned zone transfer request to a member of a pool of DNS servers that host the zone.
  4. Pool member answers with an unsigned zone transfer to the BIG-IP system.
  5. BIG-IP system signs the response with the client TSIG key.
  6. BIG-IP system sends the TSIG-signed zone transfer to the DNS nameserver (client).

Example of load balancing zone transfer requests with client-side and server-side TSIG authentication to a pool

In this figure, an administrator at Site Request configures the BIG-IP® system to load balance zone transfer requests for siterequest.com to a pool of DNS servers, and uses TSIG key authentication on both the client- and server-sides.

BIG-IP system load balancing zone transfer requests to a pool of DNS servers using        client-side TSIG authentication

BIG-IP system load balancing zone transfer requests to a pool of DNS servers using client-side TSIG authentication

  1. DNS nameserver (client) sends TSIG-signed zone transfer request.
  2. BIG-IP system validates the signature, removes the client TSIG key from the request, and then adds the server TSIG key to the request.
  3. BIG-IP system sends the TSIG-signed request to a member of the pool of DNS servers that host the zone.
  4. Pool member answers with a TSIG-signed zone transfer to the BIG-IP system.
  5. BIG-IP system validates the signature, removes the server TSIG key from the response, and signs the response with the client TSIG key.
  6. BIG-IP system sends the TSIG-signed zone transfer to the DNS nameserver (client).

About TSIG key authentication

The BIG-IP® system can use transaction signature (TSIG) keys to authenticate communications about zone transfers between the BIG-IP system and authoritative DNS servers, and between the BIG-IP system and DNS nameservers (clients). TSIG keys are generated by a third party tool such as BIND's keygen utility. Using TSIG keys is optional.

TSIG key configured on authoritative DNS server
You can add a TSIG key to a nameserver object that represents an authoritative DNS server. With this configuration, when the DNS server sends a NOTIFY message to the BIG-IP system, DNS Express™ responds with a TSIG-signed zone transfer request. Then the DNS server returns a TSIG-signed zone transfer. If required, you can disable the Verify Notify TSIG option on the DNS zone. With this configuration, DNS Express can process a NOTIFY message without a TSIG key, even when a subsequent zone transfer requires a TSIG key.
TSIG key configured on DNS nameserver (client)
You can add a TSIG key to a nameserver object that represents a DNS nameserver (client). When the client sends a TSIG-signed zone transfer request, DNS Express returns a TSIG-signed zone transfer.
TSIG key configured on DNS zone
You can add a server TSIG key to a DNS zone on the BIG-IP system. With this configuration, the system uses this TSIG key when the zone on the BIG-IP system is a proxy for the zone on the server. There are two possible scenarios:
  • Client sends TSIG-signed zone transfer request

    When the BIG-IP system receives a TSIG-signed zone transfer request from a client for a DNS zone for which it is a proxy, the system validates the client TSIG key and removes the key from the request. The system then adds the server TSIG key to the request and forwards the TSIG-signed request to the DNS server or load balances the TSIG-signed request to a pool of DNS servers. The DNS server responds with a TSIG-signed zone transfer. The BIG-IP system validates the server TSIG key and removes the key. Then the system adds the client TSIG key and returns a TSIG-signed signed zone transfer to the client.

  • Client sends unsigned zone transfer request

    When the BIG-IP system receives an unsigned zone transfer request from a client for a DNS zone for which it is a proxy, the system adds the server TSIG key to the request. The system then forwards the TSIG-signed request to the DNS server or load balances the TSIG-signed request to a pool of DNS servers. The DNS server responds with a TSIG-signed zone transfer. The BIG-IP system validates the server TSIG key and removes the key. Then the system returns an unsigned zone transfer to the client.

About listeners

A listener is a specialized virtual server that passively checks for DNS packets on port 53 and the IP address you assign to the listener. When a DNS request is sent to the IP address of the listener, the BIG-IP® system handles the request or forwards the request to the appropriate resource.

Task summary

Perform these tasks to configure a DNS zone on the BIG-IP system that is a proxy for a pool of DNS servers hosting a DNS zone in your network:

Configuring BIND servers to allow zone transfers

If you are unfamiliar with how to modify BIND server files, review the fifth edition of DNS and BIND, available from O’Reilly Media.
Typically, BIND servers allow zone transfers to any DNS nameserver requesting a zone transfer. That is, named.conf on a typical BIND server does not contain an allow-transfer statement. Therefore, adding an allow-transfer statement to a BIND server actually restricts zone transfers to a specified list of DNS nameservers.

When you want the BIG-IP® system to act as a proxy for a DNS zone configured on a BIND server, you must add an allow-transfer statement to named.conf on the BIND server that hosts the zone.

Here is an example allow-transfer statement that you can modify to meet your needs: allow-transfer { localhost; <self IP address on BIG-IP from which zone transfer request is sent to the DNS server>; };
allow-transfer { localhost; 10.10.10.1 ; };

Adding TSIG keys

Obtain the TSIG key that the DNS servers in the pool that hosts the zone use to authenticate zone transfer requests. Optionally, obtain the TSIG key for the DNS nameserver (client) that you want to add to the BIG-IP system configuration.
Note: TSIG keys are created by a third party tool such as BIND's keygen utility. The configuration of each DNS server in the pool must contain the same TSIG key.

When you want the BIG-IP system to validate zone transfers from a pool DNS servers, add the server TSIG key to the BIG-IP system configuration. Optionally, if you want the BIG-IP system to validate the DNS nameservers (clients) sending zone transfer requests, add the client TSIG keys.

  1. On the Main tab, click DNS > Delivery > Keys > TSIG Key List .
    The TSIG Key List screen opens.
  2. Click Create.
    The New TSIG Key screen opens.
  3. In the Name field, type the name of the TSIG key.
  4. From the Algorithm list, select the algorithm that was used to generate the key.
  5. In the Secret field, type the TSIG key secret.
  6. Click Finished.
  7. If the DNS nameservers (clients) requesting zone transfers contain a TSIG key, repeat steps 2-7 to add each client TSIG key.
Add the server TSIG key to a DNS zone configured on the BIG-IP system. Optionally, add TSIG keys to DNS nameservers (clients) configured on the BIG-IP system.

Adding DNS nameserver (client) objects

Gather the IP addresses of the DNS nameservers (clients) from which the BIG-IP® system accepts zone transfer requests for a DNS zone. Optional: Ensure that the client TSIG key is available on the BIG-IP system.
To allow DNS nameservers (clients) to request zone transfers for a zone, add a nameserver object that represents each client. Optionally, you can add a client TSIG key that the BIG-IP system uses to authenticate the identity of the client during zone transfer communications.
  1. On the Main tab, click DNS > Delivery > Nameservers .
    The Nameservers List screen opens.
  2. Click Create.
    The New Nameserver screen opens.
  3. In the Name field, type a name for the DNS nameserver (client).
  4. In the Address field, type the IP address on which the DNS nameserver (client) listens for DNS messages.
  5. Optional: From the TSIG Key list, select the TSIG key that matches the TSIG key on the DNS nameserver (client).
    The BIG-IP system uses this TSIG key to authenticate zone transfer communications as coming from this client and to sign communications sent to this client.
  6. Click Finished.
  7. Add nameserver objects to represent other DNS nameservers (clients).
Add the DNS nameservers (clients) objects to the Zone Transfer Client list of the DNS zone on the BIG-IP system.

Enabling zone transfers

To enable the BIG-IP system to handle zone transfers, create a custom DNS profile.
  1. On the Main tab, click DNS > Delivery > Profiles > DNS or Local Traffic > Profiles > Services > DNS .
    The DNS profile list screen opens.
  2. Click Create.
    The New DNS Profile screen opens.
  3. In the General Properties area, name the profile dns_zxfr.
  4. Select the Custom check box.
  5. In the DNS Features area, from the DNS Express list, select Disabled.
  6. In the DNS Traffic area, from the Zone Transfer list, select Enabled.
  7. In the DNS Features area, from the Unhandled Query Actions list, select Allow.
    The BIG-IP system forwards zone transfer requests to a DNS server or a member of a pool of DNS servers.
  8. In the DNS Features area, from the Use BIND Server on BIG-IP list, select Disabled.
  9. Click Finished.
Assign the profile to listeners.

Creating a custom DNS monitor

Create a custom DNS monitor to send DNS queries, generated using the settings you specify, to a pool of DNS servers and validate the DNS responses.
Important: When defining values for custom monitors, make sure you avoid using any values that are on the list of reserved keywords. For more information, see SOL 3653 (for version 9.0 systems and later) on the AskF5™ technical support web site at www.askf5.com.
  1. On the Main tab, click DNS > Delivery > Load Balancing > Monitors or Local Traffic > Monitors .
    The Monitor List screen opens.
  2. Click Create.
    The New Monitor screen opens.
  3. Type a name for the monitor in the Name field.
  4. From the Type list, select DNS.
  5. In the Query Name field, type the domain name that you want the monitor to query.
    For the zone, siterequest.com, you might want the monitor to query for www.siterequest.com.
  6. Configure additional settings based on your network requirements.
  7. Click Finished.

Creating a pool of local DNS servers for load balancing zone transfer requests

Ensure that at least one custom DNS monitor exists on the BIG-IP® system. Gather the IP addresses of the DNS servers that you want to include in a pool to which the BIG-IP® system load balances DNS zone transfer requests.
Create a pool of local DNS servers when you want the BIG-IP system to load balance DNS zone transfer requests to members of the pool.
  1. On the Main tab, click the applicable path.
    • DNS > Delivery > Load Balancing > Pools
    • Local Traffic > Pools
    The Pool List screen opens.
  2. Click Create.
    The New Pool screen opens.
  3. In the Name field, type a unique name for the pool.
  4. For the Health Monitors setting, from the Available list, select the custom DNS monitor you created and move the monitor to the Active list.
  5. Add each DNS server that you want to include in the pool using the New Members setting:
    1. In the Address field, type the IP address of the DNS server.
    2. Type 53 in the Service Port field.
    3. (Optional) Type a priority number in the Priority field.
    4. Click Add.
  6. Click Finished.

Creating a DNS zone

Before you create a DNS zone to serve as a proxy for a zone hosted on a pool of DNS servers on your network, do the following:
  • Ensure that the TSIG key on the DNS server is available on the BIG-IP® system.
  • Optionally, ensure that TSIG keys on the DNS nameservers (clients) that can request zone transfers are available on the BIG-IP system.
  • Determine the name you want to use for the DNS zone. The name must exactly match the name of the zone on the members of the pool of DNS servers that host the zone.
    Note: Zone names are case insensitive.
When you want the BIG-IP system to act as a proxy for a zone hosted on a pool of DNS servers on your network, create a DNS zone and associate the server TSIG key on the DNS servers with the zone on the BIG-IP system. Optionally, you can add the dNS nameservers (clients) that can request zone transfers for the zone.
  1. On the Main tab, click DNS > Zones .
    The Zone List screen opens.
  2. Click Create.
    The New Zone screen opens.
  3. In the Name field, type the name of the DNS zone.
    The name must begin and end with a letter and contain only letters, numbers, and the period and hyphen (-) characters.
  4. In the Zone Transfer Clients area, move the nameservers that can initiate zone transfers from the Available list to the Active list.
  5. Optional: From the Server Key list, select the TSIG key that matches the TSIG key on the members of the pool of DNS servers that host this zone.
    The BIG-IP system uses this TSIG key to sign DNS zone transfer requests, before forwarding the requests to a member of the pool of DNS servers that host this zone, and then to verify a zone transfer returned from a member of the pool.
Table of Contents   |   << Previous Chapter   |   Next Chapter >>

Was this resource helpful in solving your issue?




NOTE: Please do not provide personal information.



Incorrect answer. Please try again: Please enter the words to the right: Please enter the numbers you hear:

Additional Comments (optional)