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How do I set up an internal-only DNS server?

I do not have a DNS server set up in my NT 4.0 environment, which I inherited from the previous network administrator. In order to connect to Exchange Server 5.5, I have to have the private address of the Exchange Server in a hosts file, or change the RPC_Binding_Order so that 'ncacn_spx' comes before 'ncacn_tcp.' I have created a WINS server, but that didn't help. The Microsoft publication for Exchange Server 5.5 Resource Guide talks about setting up a DNS server for my internal network and blocking it at the firewall, so that it functions as an internal-only DNS server, but I can't seem to find information on how to configure DNS to make this happen. Help!

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You don't need to use ncacn_spx in your binding order unless you are using IPX/SPX to connect to Exchange. Since you said you were using a HOSTS file, I will assume that you are using TCP/IP. As such, you only need/want the following entries in your RPC_Binding_Order: ncacn_tcp,netbios.

This will use basic TCP/IP first and, if that fails, it will revert to NetBIOS. You'll need DNS for SMTP e-mail, and not for regular Exchange usage. You could get away with using NetBIOS name resolution only and still use Outlook and Exchange. As long as the Outlook client can resolve the Exchange server's name, you should be fine.

DNS is used to locate mail servers that can accept SMTP e-mail. These servers are designated in DNS as mail exchangers (aka MX records). If you are receiving Internet (or other SMTP e-mail), the sending servers will need to resolve an MX record for your domain. If you are sending SMTP e-mail, then your e-mail server will need to resolve an MX record for each domain to which mail is sent.

This was first published in August 2002

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