Set up DNS for Office 2013 volume activation


Applies to: Office 2013

Summary: How to configure DNS to work with Office 2013 volume activation.

Audience: IT Professionals

Configure DNS for Office

To activate Office 2013 by using Key Management Service (KMS), Office KMS host must be discoverable. KMS host automatically publishes its existence by creating service (SRV) resource records (RRs) on the DNS server. However, only the first KMS can create an SRV RR. If there is more than one computer running KMS, subsequent KMS hosts cannot change or update SRV RRs unless the permissions on the DNS server are configured to allow this.

Changing the permissions on the DNS server requires administrative rights in the domain. You will need to set up DNS as follows:

  • Ensure that all computers running KMS are members of the same Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) domain.

  • Create a global security group in AD DS for the computers running KMS.

  • Add each computer running KMS to the new security group.

  • Set the permissions on the DNS server to enable updates by members of the newly created security group.

For instructions about how to complete these tasks, see Configuring DNS.

Client discovery of KMS

The first time that a KMS client queries DNS for KMS information, it randomly selects a KMS host from the list of SRV RRs that DNS returns. The address of a DNS server that contains the SRV RRs can be listed as a suffixed entry on KMS clients. This enables advertisement of SRV RRs for KMS in one DNS server and KMS clients that have other primary DNS servers to find it.

You can add priority and weight parameters to the DnsDomainPublishList registry value for KMS hosts on volume license editions of Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2. Doing so enables you to establish priority groupings and weighting within each group, which specifies the order in which to use KMS hosts and balances traffic among multiple KMS hosts. If you are using priority and weight parameters, we recommend that KMS caching be disabled on the client. This allows the client to query DNS every time that activation is tried, which will honor the priority and weight parameters, instead of directly contacting the cached KMS host that last resulted in successful activation.

If the KMS host that a client selects does not respond, the KMS client removes that KMS host from its list of SRV RRs and randomly selects another KMS host from the list. If the priority and weight parameters are set, the KMS client will use them while finding another KMS host. Otherwise, KMS hosts are selected randomly. After a KMS host responds, the KMS client caches the name of the KMS host and, if caching is enabled, uses it for successive activation and renewal attempts. If the cached KMS host does not respond on a later renewal, the KMS client discovers a new KMS host by querying DNS for KMS SRV RRs.

See also

Volume activation of Office 2013
Prepare and set up the Office 2013 KMS host