Book Reviews

DNS for the Win2K Administrator

A magnificent guide to a challenging subject.

William Wong has done a magnificent job discussing Windows 2000 DNS Server. He has thoroughly covered how Win2K DNS fits into the overall Win2K services picture.

This is all the more impressive because DNS in a Win2K environment isn’t an easy subject to cover.

This book starts with a brief, but comprehensive, explanation of how DNS works, including a nice list of the RFCs related to DNS (in case you want to further investigate DNS). The most fascinating area of this book is the next few chapters, which look at Win2K Active Directory from a DNS perspective. Wong gives very good examples of AD structures, with DNS as a focal point. To show how this all works, he walks the reader through setting up an AD and DNS server. Even if you’ve done this many times (like I have), you’ll find this book a great resource. I was truly impressed with the level of detail. While this book is geared toward those who are just jumping into DNS, it’s also useful for those with experience in DNS setups. If you’re in the middle of designing your AD infrastructure or you want to make sure you’ve thought about all the details, check out the book’s network maps.

The author impressively covers interoperability with Windows NT 4.0 DNS; WINS; and, much to my surprise, BIND (Berkley Internet Name Domain) 8.0 and higher. While the author was the first to admit that explaining BIND would be material for a second book, he does a good job of introducing BIND to the neophyte. This book isn’t the only reference to depend on if you’re actually interoperating BIND and Win2K DNS, but the author covers this subject well enough to give you an idea of what BIND can do. The one correction I have is that the author mistakenly says that versions 8 and higher of BIND support AD. To be precise, the issue actually was that versions of BIND prior to 8.1.2 didn’t support Dynamic DNS (DDNS). BIND 4.9.7 interoperates with Win2K DNS but not DDNS.

Other than that one faux pas, this book is a well-written and thoroughly detailed discussion of DNS. This is an easy read because it’s such an interesting subject and very well written. I recommend this book to anyone interested in exploring DNS or Win2K AD.

About the Author

Yolanda R. Reid, MCSE, CCNA, works closely with Win2K, Windows NT, and BackOffice products. As an employee of USI, her specialty is enterprise systems and designing Win2K infrastructures.

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