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Understanding and Configuring DNS


DNS Overview

A Domain Name System (DNS) is a distributed hierarchical system that converts hostnames to IP addresses. The DNS is divided into sections called zones. Each zone has name servers that respond to the queries belonging to their zones.

This topic includes the following sections:

DNS Components

DNS includes three main components:

  • DNS resolver: Resides on the client side of the DNS. When a user sends a hostname request, the resolver sends a DNS query request to the name servers to request the hostname's IP address.

  • Name servers: Processes the DNS query requests received from the DNS resolver and returns the IP address to the resolver.

  • Resource records: Data elements that define the basic structure and content of the DNS.

DNS Server Caching

DNS name servers are responsible for providing the hostname IP address to users. The TTL field in the resource record defines the period for which DNS query results are cached. When the TTL value expires, the name server sends a fresh DNS query and updates the cache.

Configuring a DNS Name Server for Resolving Hostnames into Addresses

Domain Name System (DNS) name servers are used for resolving hostnames to IP addresses.

For redundancy, it is a best practice to configure access to multiple name servers. You can configure a maximum of three name servers. The approach is similar to the way Web browsers resolve the names of a Web site to its network address. Additionally, Junos OS enables you to configure one or more domain names, which it uses to resolve hostnames that are not fully qualified (in other words, the domain name is missing). This is convenient because you can use a hostname in configuring and operating Junos OS without the need to reference the full domain name. After adding name server addresses and domain names to your Junos OS configuration, you can use DNS resolvable hostnames in your configurations and commands instead of IP addresses.

Optionally, instead of configuring the name server at the [edit system] hierarchy level, you can use a configuration group, as shown in this procedure. This is a recommended best practice for configuring the name server.

Starting in Junos OS Release 19.2R1, you can route traffic between a management routing instance and DNS name server. Configure a routing instance at the [edit system name-server server-ip-address] hierarchy level and the name server becomes reachable through this routing instance.

To enable a management routing instance for DNS, configure the following:

If you have configured the name server using a configuration group, use the [edit groups group-name system name-server] hierarchy level, which is a recommended best practice for configuring the name server.

Before you begin, configure your name servers with the hostname and an IP address for your Junos OS device. It does not matter which IP address you assign as the address of your Junos OS device in the name server, as long it is an address that reaches your device. Normally, you would use the management interface IP address, but you can choose the loopback interface IP address, or a network interface IP address, or even configure multiple addresses on the name server.

To configure the router or switch to resolve hostnames into addresses:

  1. Reference the IP addresses of your name servers.

    The following example shows how to reference two name servers:

  2. (Optional) Configure the routing instance for DNS.

    The following example shows how to configure the routing-instance for one of the name servers:

    Remember to also configure the following:

    • management-instance statement at the [edit system] hierarchy level

    • routing-instance statement at the [edit routing-instances] hierarchy level.

  3. (Optional) Configure the name of the domain in which the device itself is located.

    This is a good practice. Junos OS then uses this configured domain name as the default domain name to append to hostnames that are not fully qualified.

    The following example shows how to configure the domain name:

  4. (Optional) Configure a list of domains to be searched.

    If your device can reach several different domains, you can configure these as a list of domains to be searched. Junos OS then uses this list to set an order in which it appends domain names when searching for the IP address of a host.

    The domain list can contain up to six domain names, with a total of up to 256 characters.

    The following example shows how to configure two domains to be searched. This example configures Junos OS to search the domain and then the domain and then the domain when attempting to resolve unqualified hosts.

  5. If you used a configuration group, apply the configuration group, substituting global with the appropriate group name.
  6. Commit the configuration.
  7. Verify the configuration.

    If you have configured your name server with the hostname and an IP address for your Junos OS device, you can issue the following commands to confirm that DNS is working and reachable. You can either use the configured hostname to confirm resolution to the IP address or use the IP address of your device to confirm resolution to the configured hostname.

    user@host> show host host-name

    user@host> show host host-ip-address

    For example:

    user@host> show host

    user@host> show host