Problems with IIS Intranet and a Secondary DNS Server

By mrickert ·
We have our main server (win2k3) which basically does everything... Domain Controller, DNS, WINS, DHCP, etc. plus it has IIS installed and houses the company intranet. We also have a "backup" server which is for fault tolerance. It has pretty much the same things installed except that it does not host any intranet files. I have got the DNS configuration correct as far as I can tell. When the primary server goes down, the secondary essentially takes over and everyone in the office can still login/out and have working iternet connections to the outside world. However, the problem that we are having now is that it seems like it's rather hit or miss which server a given machine will talk to for it's DNS information at any given time. This poses a problem with our intranet because then both servers *THINK* that they are

So if someone at PC1 tries to get to the intranet by typing, they may or may not get it. If they happen to hit the primary server for the request then they'll get the intranet site. However, if they happen to hit the secondary server, which does not host the intranet, they get an "Under Construction" default IIS page. However, if you type in the IP address of the primary server, you get the intranet every time. So the problem is with the resolution of the name and is entirely dependent on which DNS server your computer happens to be using at that time.

I have done everything I can think of to specify Server1 as the primary. When you run IPConfig on all client machines, they always have Server1 listed first, and even the secondary server has server1 listed first. But it still doesn't seem to make a difference. It seems to be rather arbitrary which server will respond when a PC has a request.

So, to make a really long story short... my question is - How do I force this primary DNS server to really be a primary and to answer all requests all the time unless it is dead?

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it's in DHCP options

by CG IT In reply to Problems with IIS Intrane ...

if your clients are getting their information on default gateways, DNS servers, etc from DHCP, then you have to modify the options to list the DNS servers you want clients to use. Order is the listing from top down.

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change intranet

by lowlands In reply to Problems with IIS Intrane ...

From what I understand, your W2K3 domain name is for example That seems to also be the name used to connect to your intranet site. DNS will not distinguish between queries made for your AD domain or your intranet site. Configuring server1 as primary on your clients will work most of the time, but when server1 happens to be a little busy, chances are server2 will still be the one responding to DNS requests. That in itself is not an issue.
I would recommend create a DNS entry called something like that points to server1 and have your users use that to connect to the intranet. That way there's a difference between AD related queries and intranet queries.

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I think the person is talking about SBS

by CG IT In reply to change intranet

SBS is the only Windows system with a Sharepoint site that runs on IIS. It's on a local port to the SBS box. If the SBS box goes down, so does the intranet site. If they installed IIS on the secondary DC without any virtual web sites created, they'll get the standard page under construction or page can not be displayed.

So a fail over web site page needs to be put in place OR they take out IIS on the secondary DC, or they try to create a backup sharepoint site and sync it it to the primary site [not recommend that way to much work].

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