How to set up a DNS-based front-end Exchange Server cluster

Tutorial: How to set up a front-end Exchange Server cluster -- part 6 of 7.

  1. Go to your DNS server -> DNS console -> Administrative Tools -> DNS.

  2. Right click on the listing for your DNS server and select Properties.

  3. Go to the Advanced tab and verify that the "Enable Round Robin" checkbox is selected (it's enabled by default).

  4. Click OK, and then go to the forward lookup zone for your domain.

    I'm assuming that you already have a host record pointing to your original front-end Exchange server. You have to create an additional host record for each server you want to make a part of the front-end Exchange cluster. The host records you create should all use the same fully qualified domain name, but each record should reflect a different IP address.

  5. Create a new host record by right clicking on the container for your domain and selecting the New Host (A) command. You will then see a simple dialog box that allows you to fill in the host name and IP address.

Once you have created the additional host records, you are done. You can test the cluster by using NSLOOKUP. For example, if you used the host name, you would open a command prompt window and type the following command: NSLOOKUP

When you issue the command, it should return all the IP addresses for servers that are a part of the DNS cluster. If you repeat the command a few times, the addresses will be occasionally displayed in different orders. That's how you can tell that the DNS round-robin configuration is functioning properly.


 Home: Introduction
 A lesson in cluster node configuration and consistency
 Pros and cons of a Network Load Balancing Service front-end cluster
 Requirements for a Network Load Balancing Service front-end Exchange cluster
 How to set up a Network Load Balancing Service front-end Exchange cluster
 The pros and cons of a DNS-based front-end Exchange cluster
 How to set up a DNS-based front-end Exchange cluster
 Related links from

Brien M. Posey, MCSE
Brien M. Posey, MCSE, is a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional for his work with Exchange Server, and has previously received Microsoft's MVP award for Windows Server and Internet Information Server (IIS). Brien has served as CIO for a nationwide chain of hospitals and was once responsible for the Department of Information Management at Fort Knox. As a freelance technical writer, Brien has written for Microsoft, TechTarget, CNET, ZDNet, MSD2D, Relevant Technologies and other technology companies. You can visit Brien's personal Web site at

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