How Do I Integrate a DNS Server Into Active Directory?


Scott Campbell

In this tutorial, we will explore the process of integrating a DNS (Domain Name System) server into Active Directory. By doing so, you can centralize and manage your DNS records within your Active Directory environment.

What is DNS?

DNS is a hierarchical, distributed naming system that translates domain names into IP addresses. It allows users to access websites or services by using easy-to-remember domain names instead of complex IP addresses.

Why Integrate DNS Server into Active Directory?

Integrating a DNS server into Active Directory brings several benefits:

  • Centralized Management: With the integration, you can manage DNS records directly within the Active Directory environment, making it easier to control and update your DNS infrastructure.
  • Single Sign-On: Integrating DNS with Active Directory allows users to access network resources using their Active Directory credentials, providing a seamless single sign-on experience.
  • Tight Integration: By integrating DNS with Active Directory, you enable dynamic updates of DNS records for computers joined to the domain.

The Integration Process

To integrate a DNS server into Active Directory, follow these steps:

Step 1: Install the DNS Server Role

To begin, ensure that you have a Windows Server installed and configured. Then follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to Server Manager: Open the Server Manager from the taskbar or by pressing Win+X and selecting “Server Manager” from the menu.
  2. Add Roles and Features: Click on “Manage” from the top-right corner of the Server Manager, and select “Add Roles and Features. “
  3. Select Role-Based or Feature-Based Installation: Choose “Role-Based or Feature-Based Installation” and click “Next. “
  4. Select the Server: Ensure that the correct server is selected and click “Next. “
  5. Select Server Roles: Scroll down and check the box for “DNS Server.”

    Click “Next. “

  6. Install Features: Review the features to be installed and click “Next. “
  7. Confirm Installation Selections: Confirm your selections and click “Install. “
  8. Installation Progress: Wait for the installation to complete. Once finished, a notification will appear.

Step 2: Configure DNS Server

After installing the DNS server role, it needs to be configured. Follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to DNS Manager: Open the DNS Manager by clicking on the Start menu, selecting “Administrative Tools,” and choosing “DNS.

  2. Create a Forward Lookup Zone: Right-click on your server’s hostname in the left pane of DNS Manager, select “New Zone,” and follow the wizard to create a forward lookup zone for your domain.
  3. Create a Reverse Lookup Zone (optional): If needed, create a reverse lookup zone using the same process as step 10.
  4. Configure Forwarders (optional): To enable external DNS resolution, configure forwarders by right-clicking on your server’s hostname in DNS Manager, selecting “Properties,” navigating to the “Forwarders” tab, and adding the desired DNS servers.
  5. Enable Dynamic Updates: Right-click on your server’s hostname in DNS Manager, select “Properties,” navigate to the “Advanced” tab, and choose “Secure Only” or “Nonsecure and Secure” for dynamic updates based on your security requirements.
  6. Verify DNS Configuration: Ensure that your DNS zones, records, and settings are correctly configured. You can use the various options in DNS Manager to manage and validate your DNS configuration.

Step 3: Integrate with Active Directory

The final step is to integrate the DNS server with Active Directory:

  1. Navigate to Server Manager: Open the Server Manager again.
  2. Select Tools: Click on “Tools” from the top-right corner of the Server Manager.
  3. Select DNS: Choose “DNS” from the drop-down menu. This will open the DNS Manager again.
  4. Right-click on Your Server’s Hostname: In DNS Manager, right-click on your server’s hostname and select “Properties.”
  5. Navigate to Interfaces Tab: In the Properties window, go to the “Interfaces” tab.
  6. Select Only the Active Directory-Integrated Option: Select “Only the following IP addresses” under “Listen on,” and choose the IP address associated with your Active Directory network interface card (NIC).
  7. Apply Changes: Click “Apply” and then “OK.”

Congratulations! You have successfully integrated a DNS server into Active Directory. Your DNS infrastructure is now centralized and manageable within your Active Directory environment.


Integrating a DNS server into Active Directory brings numerous benefits, including centralized management and seamless single sign-on. By following the steps outlined in this tutorial, you can integrate and configure a DNS server within your Active Directory environment effectively.

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