This three-day hands on DNS training course studies both the UNIX BIND and the Microsoft (MS DNS) implementations. The course starts with the big picture of how DNS works, then client configuration. Primary and secondary servers are then configured, progressing to DDNS, subdomains and security issues. Hands on sessions follow all sections ensuring that troubleshooting techniques are used throughout the course. Students choose whether to use Windows or UNIX for the hands on sessions.


UNIX Fundamentals (or Windows knowledge). TCP/IP Fundamentals.

Delegates will learn how to

By the end of the course delegates will be able to: Describe the architecture of DNS. Explain how DNS works. Install, configure, maintain and troubleshoot DNS


What is DNS?

Hostnames, Name resolution, host files, host file problems, What is DNS? The DNS namespace, TLDs, gTLDs, registering domains, Nameservers, how DNS works.Hands on: Testing DNS servers on the Internet.

DNS clients

Ways to use DNS, dynamic and static configuration, multiple nameservers, domain name, searchlist, resolution issues, testing the configuration.
Hands on: Client configuration

DNS server software

Implementations, Microsoft, BIND, daemons and services, installation, starting and stopping servers.
Hands on: Setting up a DNS server

DNS zone files

What is a zone, Zone file overview, Forward zones, Reverse zones, Resource records, A records, PTR records, CNAME records, MX records, SRV records. Root hints, local zone file. BIND and Microsoft configuration.
Hands on: Server configuration files.

DNS and applications

MX records, Mail server load balancing, SPF, SRV records, VoIP and SRV, Microsoft and SRV, NAPTR.
Hands on: Testing records with dig and nslookup.

DNS slaves and other servers

DNS server types, Server resilience, Slaves, Zone transfers, SOA records, Serial numbers, recommendations, polling based zone transfers, NOTIFY, AD integration, DNS caching, Negative caching, TTL, Caching only servers.
Hands on: Masters, slaves and zone transfers.

The DNS protocol

The DNS stack, DNS port numbers, DNS queries, The DNS header, header section format, question format, other section format.
Hands on: Troubleshooting DNS with Wireshark

Dynamic DNS

DHCP, DDNS, IXFR, WINS integration.


Root servers, root server selection, Authority, delegation, NS records, subdomain with and without delegation, reverse delegation.

DNS security

Restricting queries, DNS and firewalls, Split DNS, forwarders, internal root servers, the use of proxy servers, DNSSEC, TSIG.
Hands on: Hardening a DNS server.

DNS and IPv6

What is IPv6, IPv6 addressing, IPv6 DNS issues, AAAA, IPv6 reverse delegation.

Troubleshooting DNS

Problem solving, DNS troubleshooting, Zone file checking, Some common errors, Log files, tools, nslookup, dig, host, DNS design, performance, load balancing.
Hands on: Putting it all together.


Useful books, Internet sites, RFCs.

Appendix: ENUM

What is ENUM, How ENUM works, NAPTR.