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Manual Chapter: Managing DNS Files with ZoneRunner
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14 
One of the modes in which you operate the Global Traffic Manager is the node mode. In node mode, the Global Traffic Manager is responsible not only for load balancing name resolution requests and monitoring the health of your physical and logical network; it is also responsible for maintaining the DNS zone files that map name resolution requests to the appropriate network resource.
In the Global Traffic Manager, you create, manage, and maintain DNS files using the ZoneRunner utility. The ZoneRunner utility is a zone file management utility that can manage both DNS zone files and your BIND configuration. With the ZoneRunner utility, you can:
The ZoneRunner utility is an advanced feature of the Global Traffic Manager. We highly recommend that you become familiar with the various aspects of BIND and DNS before you use this feature. For in-depth information, we recommend the following resources:
DNS and BIND, 4th edition, Paul Albitz and Cricket Liu
The Internet Systems Consortium web site, http://www.isc.org/index.pl?/sw/bind/
When you use the ZoneRunner utility to manage your DNS zones and resource records, you can accomplish several tasks, including:
With the ZoneRunner utility, you can create, modify, and delete zone files. Additionally, you can transfer zone files to another name server, or import zone files from another name server. A zone file contains resource records and directives that describe the characteristics and hosts of a zone, otherwise known as a domain or sub-domain.
Primary (Master)
Zone files for a primary zone contain, at minimum, the start of authority (SOA) and name server (NS) resource records for the zone. Primary zones are authoritative, that is, they respond to DNS queries for the domain or sub-domain. A zone can have only one SOA record, and must have at least one NS record.
Secondary (Slave)
Zone files for a secondary zone are copies of the principal zone files. At an interval specified in the SOA record, secondary zones query the primary zone to check for and obtain updated zone data. A secondary zone responds authoritatively for the zone as long as the zone data is valid.
Stub
Stub zones are similar to secondary zones, except that stub zones contain only the NS records for the zone. Note that stub zones are a specific feature of the BIND implementation of DNS. We recommend that you use stub zones only if you have a specific requirement for this functionality.
Forward
The zone file for a forwarding zone contains only information to forward DNS queries to another name server on a per-zone (or per-domain) basis.
Hint
The zone file for a hint zone specifies an initial set of root name servers for the zone. Whenever the local name server starts, it queries a root name server in the hint zone file to obtain the most recent list of root name servers.
1.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand Global Traffic and click ZoneRunner.
The Resource Records List screen opens.
2.
On the menu bar, click Zone List.
The Zone List screen opens.
3.
Click the Create button.
The New Zone screen opens.
4.
From the View Name list, select a view with which to associate the new zone.
The default setting is external.
5.
In the Zone Name box, type a fully-qualified domain name for the zone.
Note: Do not forget the trailing dot ( . ) at the end of the name.
6.
From the Zone Type list, select the type of zone that you are configuring.
The screen refreshes to display the configuration settings for the zone type.
Primary zones have many components. When you create a primary zone, you create a zone file, an SOA record, and an initial NS record. You can also create a reverse zone and its corresponding reverse zone file.
1.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand Global Traffic and click ZoneRunner.
The Resource Records List screen opens.
2.
On the menu bar, click Zone List.
The Zone List screen opens.
3.
Click the Create button.
The New Zone screen opens.
4.
On the New Zone screen, select Master from the Zone Type list.
The screen refreshes to display the configuration options and records creation options for a primary zone.
5.
From the Records Creation Method list, select Manual. The configuration options in the Records Creation section in the following procedure change, depending on the record creation method that you select in this step.
Note: The Records Creation Method list has two additional options: Load From File and Transfer from Server. These options are discussed in the section, Importing zone files.
6.
In the Zone File Name box, type the name you want to use for the zone file.
7.
In the Options box, you can type any additional statements that the zone requires. Do not delete the allow-update statement as the system needs this to maintain compatibility with the wide IP information.
Important: Exercise caution when typing in the Options box. The system writes any changes you make directly to the named.conf file. For information on available options and syntax, refer to the BIND documentation mentioned at the beginning of this chapter.
8.
Check the Create Reverse Zone box to specify that the system creates a reverse zone for this zone.
9.
In the Reverse Zone Name box, type a name for the reverse zone, and then select whether the reverse zone applies to IPv4 or IPv6 networks.
10.
In the Reverse Zone File Name box, type the name you want to use for the reverse zone file.
11.
In the SOA Record section, supply the relevant configuration for the Start of Authority (SOA) record associated with this zone.
12.
In the NS Record section, supply the information for the first Name Server associated with this zone.
See Creating NS resource records for more information.
13.
Click the Finished button to save your changes.
Secondary zones are essentially copies of primary zones. Secondary zones can respond to DNS queries, which significantly reduces the possibility that a query goes unanswered. Secondary zones regularly poll primary zones to get up-to-date zone information.
1.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand Global Traffic and click ZoneRunner.
The Resource Records List screen opens.
2.
On the menu bar, click Zone List.
The Zone List screen opens.
3.
Click the Create button.
The New Zone screen opens.
4.
On the New Zone screen, select Slave from the Zone Type list.
The screen refreshes to display the configuration options for a secondary zone.
5.
In the Zone File Name box, type the name you want to use for the zone file.
6.
In the Options box, you can type any additional statements that the zone requires. Do not delete the allow-update statement as the system needs this to maintain compatibility with the wide IP information.
Important: Exercise caution when typing in the Options box. The system writes any changes you make directly to the named.conf file. For information on available options and syntax, refer to the BIND documentation mentioned at the beginning of this chapter.
7.
Click the Finished button to save your changes.
Stub zones contain only the NS records for a zone. Stub zones are a unique feature of the BIND implementation of DNS. As such, we recommend that you carefully evaluate using stub zones in your configuration. Refer to the BIND documentation for additional information about stub zones.
1.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand Global Traffic and click ZoneRunner.
The Resource Records List screen opens.
2.
On the menu bar, click Zone List.
The Zone List screen opens.
3.
Click the Create button.
The New Zone screen opens.
4.
On the New Zone screen, select Slave from the Zone Type list.
The screen refreshes to display the configuration options for a secondary zone.
5.
In the Zone File Name box, type the name you want to use for the zone file.
6.
In the Options box, you can type any additional statements that the zone requires. Do not delete the allow-update statement, as the system needs this to maintain compatibility with the wide IP information.
Important: Exercise caution when typing in the Options box. The system writes any changes you make directly to the named.conf file. For information on available options and syntax, refer to the BIND documentation mentioned at the beginning of this chapter.
7.
Click the Finished button to save your changes.
Hint zones designate a subset of the root servers list. When the local name server starts (or restarts), the name server queries the root servers in the hint zone for the most current list of root servers.
1.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand Global Traffic and click ZoneRunner.
The Resource Records List screen opens.
2.
On the menu bar, click Zone List.
The Zone List screen opens.
3.
Click the Create button.
The New Zone screen opens.
4.
On the New Zone screen, select Hint from the Zone Type list.
The screen refreshes to display the configuration options for a hint zone.
5.
Click the Finished button to save your changes.
Forward zones provide forwarding information for a zone or a domain. When a query comes in that matches a forward zone, the ZoneRunner utility sends the query to the server specified in the forward zone, rather than returning the query to the requesting local DNS server.
1.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand Global Traffic and click ZoneRunner.
The Resource Records List screen opens.
2.
On the menu bar, click Zone List.
The Zone List screen opens.
3.
Click the Create button.
The New Zone screen opens.
4.
On the New Zone screen, select Slave from the Zone Type list.
The screen refreshes to display the configuration options for a slave zone.
5.
In the Options box, you can type any additional statements that the zone requires. Do not delete the forwarders statement as the system needs this to maintain compatibility with the wide IP information.
Important: Exercise caution when typing in the Options box. The system writes any changes you make directly to the named.conf file. For information on available options and syntax, refer to the BIND documentation mentioned at the beginning of this chapter.
6.
Click the Finished button to save your changes.
Often, when you add the Global Traffic Manager to your network, you already have a DNS server that manages your zone files. Typically, the Global Traffic Manager can then become either a secondary server that provides backup DNS information in case your primary DNS server goes offline, or becomes the primary DNS server. In either situation, you can use the ZoneRunner utility to import existing zone files into the Global Traffic Manager instead of re-creating them manually.
If you know where the zone files you want to import reside on your server, you can load these files directly into the Global Traffic Manager through the ZoneRunner utility. Once you load a zone file into the Global Traffic Manager, the ZoneRunner utility displays information about the zone and any of its resource records within the Configuration utility.
1.
On the Main tab, expand Global Traffic and click ZoneRunner.
The Resource Records List screen opens.
2.
On the menu bar, click Zone List.
The Zone List screen opens.
3.
Click the Create button.
The New Zone screen opens.
4.
From the View Name list, select a view with which to associate the new zone.
The default setting is external.
5.
In the Zone Name box, type a fully-qualified domain name for the zone.
6.
From the Zone Type list, select Master.
7.
From the Records Creation Method, select Load From File.
8.
In the Upload Records File box, located in the Records Creation section, type the path to the zone file.
Alternatively, you can click the Browse button to navigate to the file.
9.
Click the Finished button to save your changes.
Instead of loading zones from a file, you have the option of transferring them from existing DNS server. This method is useful if the zone files you need reside at a remote location. Once you transfer a zone file into the Global Traffic Manager, the ZoneRunner utility displays information about the zone and any of its resource records within the Configuration utility.
Before you can transfer zone files from another server, you must ensure that the you have configured the source server to allow transfers to the destination server. You typically accomplish this task using the allow-transfer option. See your DNS and BIND documentation for more information.
1.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand Global Traffic and click ZoneRunner.
The Resource Records List screen opens.
2.
On the menu bar, click Zone List.
The Zone List screen opens.
3.
Click the Create button.
The New Zone screen opens.
4.
From the View Name list, select a view with which to associate the new zone.
The default setting is external.
5.
In the Zone Name box, type a fully-qualified domain name for the zone.
6.
From the Zone Type list, select Master.
7.
From the Records Creation Method, select Transfer from Server.
8.
In the Source Server box, located in the Records Creation section, type the path to DNS server.
9.
In the Source Zone box, type the name of the zone you want to transfer to the Global Traffic Manager.
10.
Click the Finished button to save your changes.
Through the ZoneRunner utility, you can modify zones on an as-needed basis. For example, you can increase or decrease the time-to-live (TTL) value for the zone, or change the master server for the zone.
1.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand Global Traffic and click ZoneRunner.
The Resource Records List screen opens.
2.
On the menu bar, click Zone List.
The main screen for the zone opens.
3.
Click the name of the zone that you want to modify.
The properties screen for the zone opens.
5.
Click the Update button to save your changes.
With the ZoneRunner utility, you can delete zones that either have become obsolete or are no longer relevant to the Global Traffic Manager due to a network configuration change. For example, you might adjust your name servers, after which the Global Traffic Manager is no longer responsible for a specific zone.
1.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand Global Traffic and click ZoneRunner.
The Resource Records List screen opens.
2.
On the menu bar, click Zone List.
The main screen for the zone opens.
3.
Click the name of the zone that you want to modify.
The properties screen for the zone opens.
5.
Click the Delete button.
A confirmation screen opens.
6.
Click the Delete button again to delete the zone.
Resource records are the files that contain the details about a zone. These resource records, in a hierarchical structure, make up the domain name system (DNS). Once you have created a zone, you can use the ZoneRunner utility to view, create, modify, and delete the resource records for that zone.
Note: Although case is preserved in names and data fields when loaded into the name server, comparisons and lookups in the name server database are not case-sensitive.
This section describes the common resource records that the ZoneRunner utility supports. For information on additional resource record types, see DNS and BIND, 4th edition, Albitz and Liu.
SOA (Start of authority)
The start of authority resource record, SOA, starts every zone file and indicates that a name server is the best source of information for a particular zone. The SOA record indicates that a name server is authoritative for a zone. There must be exactly one SOA record per zone. Unlike other resource records, you create a SOA record only when you create a new master zone file.
A (Address)
The Address record, or A record, lists the IP address for a given host name. The name field is the hosts name, and the address is the network interface address. There should be one A record for each IP address of the machine.
AAAA (IPv6 Address)
The IPv6 Address record, or AAAA record, lists the 128-bit IPv6 address for a given host name.
CNAME (Canonical Name)
The Canonical Name resource record, CNAME, specifies an alias or nickname for the official, or canonical, host name. This record must be the only one associated with the alias name. It is usually easier to supply one A record for a given address and use CNAME records to define alias host names for that address.
DNAME (Delegation of Reverse Name)
The Delegation of Reverse Name resource record, DNAME, specifies the reverse lookup of an IPv6 address. These records substitute the suffix of one domain name with another. The DNAME record instructs the Global Traffic Manager (or any DNS server) to build an alias that substitutes a portion of the requested IP address with the data stored in the DNAME record.
HINFO (Host Information)
The Host Information resource record, HINFO, contains information on the hardware and operating system relevant to the Global Traffic Manager (or other DNS).
MX (Mail Exchanger)
The Mail Exchange resource record, MX, defines the mail system(s) for a given domain.
NS (Name Server)
The name server resource record, NS, defines the name servers for a given domain, creating a delegation point and a subzone. The first name field specifies the zone that is served by the name server that is specified in the name servers name field. Every zone needs at least one name server.
PTR (Pointer)
A name pointer resource record, PTR, associates a host name with a given IP address. These records are used for reverse name lookups.
SRV (Service)
The Service resource record, SRV, is a pointer that allows an alias for a given service to be redirected to another domain. For example, if the fictional company SiteRequest had an FTP archive hosted on archive.siterequest.com, the IT department could create an SRV record that allows an alias, ftp.siterequest.com to be redirected to archive.siterequest.com.
TXT (Text)
The Text resource record, TXT, allows you to supply any string of information, such as the location of a server or any other relevant information that you want available.
1.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand Global Traffic and click ZoneRunner.
The Resource Records List screen opens.
2.
Click the Create button.
The New Resource Record screen opens.
3.
From the View Name list, select a view with which to associate the new zone.
The default setting is external.
4.
In the Zone Name box, select the zone with which this record is associated.
5.
In the Name box, type the name for the resource record.
6.
In the TTL box, type the time-to-live value for the record.
7.
From the Type list, select the type of resource record that you are configuring.
The screen refreshes to display the configuration settings for the resource record type.
Note: Each resource record type has unique characteristics. The following sections describe how to create each resource record type, and build on the steps listed in this procedure.
The Address record, or A record, lists the IP address for a given host name. The following steps describe how to create an A record for a zone.
1.
On the New Resource Record screen, select A from the Type list.
The screen refreshes to display the configuration options for an A resource record.
2.
In the IP Address box, type the IP address for the A record.
4.
Click the Finished button to save your changes.
The IPv6 Address record, or AAAA record, is a record used for 128-bit IPv6 addresses. The following steps describe how to create an AAAA record for a zone.
1.
On the New Resource Record screen, select AAAA from the Type list.
The screen refreshes to display the configuration options for an AAAA resource record.
2.
In the IP Address box, type the IP address for the AAAA record.
4.
Click the Finished button to save your changes.
The Canonical Name resource record, CNAME, specifies an alias or nickname for the official, or canonical, host name. The following steps describe how to create a CNAME record for a zone.
1.
On the New Resource Record screen, select CNAME from the Type list.
The screen refreshes to display the configuration options for an CNAME resource record.
2.
In the CNAME box, type the appropriate alias for the resource record.
3.
Click the Finished button to save your changes.
The Delegation of Reverse Name resource record, DNAME, specifies the reverse lookup of an IPv6 address. The following steps describe how to create a DNAME record for a zone.
1.
On the New Resource Record screen, select DNAME from the Type list.
The screen refreshes to display the configuration options for an DNAME resource record.
2.
In the DNAME box, type the appropriate reverse name for the resource record.
3.
Click the Finished button to save your changes.
The Host Information resource record, HINFO, contains information on the hardware and operating system relevant to the Global Traffic Manager (or other DNS). The following steps describe how to create an HINFO record for a zone.
1.
On the New Resource Record screen, select HINFO from the Type list.
The screen refreshes to display the configuration options for an HINFO resource record.
2.
In the Hardware box, type the appropriate hardware information for the resource record.
3.
In the OS box, type the appropriate operating system information for the resource record.
4.
Click the Finished button to save your changes.
The Mail Exchange resource record, MX, defines the mail system(s) for a given domain. The following steps describe how to create an MX record for a zone.
1.
On the New Resource Record screen, select MX from the Type list.
The screen refreshes to display the configuration options for an MX resource record.
2.
In the Preference box, type the preference for the mail server.
Preference is a numeric value for the preference of this mail exchange host relevant to all other mail exchange hosts for the domain. Lower numbers indicate a higher preference, or priority.
3.
In the Mail Server box, type the appropriate domain name for the mail server.
4.
Click the Finished button to save your changes.
The name server resource record, NS, defines the name servers for a given domain, creating a delegation point and a subzone. The following steps describe how to create an NS record for a zone.
1.
On the New Resource Record screen, select NS from the Type list.
The screen refreshes to display the configuration options for an NS resource record.
2.
In the Name Server box, type the appropriate domain name for the resource record.
3.
Click the Finished button to save your changes.
A name pointer resource record, PTR, associates a host name with a given IP address. These records are used for reverse name lookups.
1.
On the New Resource Record screen, select PTR from the Type list.
The screen refreshes to display the configuration options for a PTR resource record.
2.
In the Domain box, type the appropriate domain name for the resource record.
3.
Click the Finished button to save your changes.
The Service resource record, SRV, is a pointer that allows an alias for a given service to be redirected to another domain. The following steps describe how to create an SRV record for a zone.
1.
On the New Resource Record screen, select SRV from the Type list.
The screen refreshes to display the configuration options for an SRV resource record.
2.
In the Priority box, type the appropriate priority level for this host.
The lower the number in this box, the higher the priority level.
3.
In the Weight box, type the proportion of requests that should be targeted at this server.
This value is used when two hosts have the same priority. The higher the number in this box, the greater the weight.
4.
In the Port box, type the port on which the service is running.
5.
In the Target Server box, type the domain name of a host running the service on the port specified in the Port box.
6.
Click the Finished button to save your changes.
The Text resource record, TXT, allows you to supply any string of information, such as the location of a server or any other relevant information that you want available. The following steps describe how to create a TXT record for a zone.
1.
On the New Resource Record screen, select TXT from the Type list.
The screen refreshes to display the configuration options for an TXT resource record.
2.
In the Text box, type the appropriate text for the resource record.
3.
Click the Finished button to save your changes.
1.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand Global Traffic and click ZoneRunner.
The Resource Records List screen opens.
2.
Click the name of the resource record that you want to modify.
The properties screen for the resource record opens.
4.
Click the Update button to save your changes.
In addition to creating a resource record through the Record List screen, you can create one when you modify an existing zone file.
1.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand Global Traffic and click ZoneRunner.
The Resource Records List screen opens.
2.
On the menu bar, click Zone List.
The Zone List screen opens.
3.
Click the name of the zone to which you want to add a resource record.
The properties screen for that zone opens.
4.
Click the Add Resource Record button, located at the bottom of the screen.
The New Resource Record screen opens, with the View and Zone Name options filled out to reflect the appropriate settings for the zone file.
6.
Click the Finished button to save your changes.
One of the features available in BIND 9 is the addition of views to your DNS configuration. A view allows you to modify the name server configuration based on the community attempting to access it. For example, if your DNS handles request from both inside and outside your company, you could create two views: internal and external. Through views, you can build name server configurations on the same server, and have those configurations apply dynamically when the request originates from a specified source.
In the Global Traffic Manager, a single view is created automatically within the ZoneRunner utility: external. If you do not want to create views, all zones that the Global Traffic Manager maintains are associated with this default view.
If you have a DNS that is accessed from multiple communities, you can create a view for each community. Depending on the community, the name server uses a different configuration for resolving name requests.
1.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand Global Traffic and click ZoneRunner.
The Resource Records List screen opens.
2.
On the menu bar, click View List.
The View List screen opens.
3.
Click the Create button.
The New View screen opens.
4.
In the View Name box, type a name for the view.
5.
In the View Order box, select where the view resides in the view hierarchy for the name server.
6.
In the Options box, specify the criteria that determines when the DNS should use the zone files associated with this view.
7.
Click the Finished button to save your changes.
As the needs of the communities attempting to access the Global Traffic Manager as a DNS change, you might need to modify your views. Through the ZoneRunner utility, you can modify a view at any time.
1.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand Global Traffic and click ZoneRunner.
The Resource Records List screen opens.
2.
On the menu bar, click View List.
The View List screen opens.
3.
Click the name of the view you want to modify.
The properties screen for the view opens.
5.
Click Update to apply your changes.
1.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand Global Traffic and click ZoneRunner.
The Resource Records List screen opens.
2.
On the menu bar, click View List.
The View List screen opens.
3.
Click the name of the view you want to delete.
The properties screen for the view opens.
4.
Click the Delete button.
A confirmation screen opens.
5.
Click the Delete button again to delete the view.
1.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand Global Traffic and click ZoneRunner.
The Resource Records List screen opens.
2.
On the menu bar, click View List.
The View List screen opens.
3.
Click the name of the view you want to delete.
The properties screen for the view opens.
4.
Click the Add Zone button.
The New Zone screen opens.
5.
Create the new zone as needed.
See Creating zone files for more information on creating zone files.
You define the primary operational characteristics of BIND using a single file, named.conf. The functions defined in this file include views, access control list definitions, and zones.
You can control most of the contents of the named.conf file through the ZoneRunner utility, as this utility updates the named.conf file to implement any modifications that you make. However, you can also use the ZoneRunner utility to edit the named.conf file directly.
Important: In this procedure, we assume that you are fully familiar with the named.conf file and the syntax of its contents. Modifying the named.conf file carries a high level of risk, as a syntax error can prevent the entire BIND system from performing as expected. For this reason, we recommend that you use the user interface of the ZoneRunner utility whenever possible, and that you exercise caution when editing the named.conf file.
1.
On the Main tab of the navigation pane, expand Global Traffic and click ZoneRunner.
The Resource Records List screen opens.
2.
On the menu bar, click Named Configuration.
The named.conf configuration screen opens.
3.
Edit the contents of the named.conf file as needed:
You can increase the size of the box containing the named.conf contents by checking Extend Text Area.
You can have the contents of the named.conf file wrap to fit the box by checking Wrap Text.
4.
Click the Update button to save your changes.
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