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Does Active Directory need the local DNS server?

By mtagliaferri ·
My current set up is as follows.

Server1: Active Directory/DNS/File share/Print Server
Server2: External Website/File sharing
Server3: SQL Database box/File Sharing
Server4: Internal Website/Main Filesharing/Peachtree server

The problem that I have now is that server 1 is slowly dying. It was my first 2003 build, that turned into the domain controller. I have been able to make another server act as a backup AD for the group, but the problem that i have consistently ran into is the DNS settings. The way that it is set up now, is the local DNS server is active, and set up to point to an actual DNS server on campus ( I work at a university). So users machines have the IP of server1 in their DNS settings as well as the IP of the actual public DNS server on campus.

I have a new server coming in that I am to use to replace the existing server 1. The question I have is, is it good practice to keep the existing DNS the way it is, turn it off all together and rely on the public DNS server, or create my own actual DNS server? Or am I doing this completely wrong? Any suggestions or tips would be greatly appreciated.

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