Active Directory Integration and Multimaster Replication

In addition to storing zone files on DNS servers, you can store a primary zone in Active Directory. When you store a zone in Active Directory, zone data is stored as Active Directory objects and replicated as part of Active Directory replication.

Active Directory replication provides an advantage over standard DNS alone. With standard DNS, only the primary server for a zone can modify the zone. With Active Directory replication, all domain controllers for the domain can modify the zone and then replicate the changes to other domain controllers. This replication process is called multimaster replication because multiple domain controllers, or masters , can update the zone.

Although Active Directory–integrated zones are transferred by using Active Directory replication, you can also perform standard zone transfers to secondary servers as you can with standard DNS zones.

Active Directory–integrated storage provides the following benefits:

Fault Tolerance    Although you can still perform standard zone transfers with Active Directory–integrated zones, Active Directory multimaster replication provides greater fault tolerance than using standard zone transfers alone. Standard zone transfers and updates rely on a single primary DNS server to update all the secondary servers. With Active Directory replication, however, there is no single point of failure for zone updates.

Security    You can limit access to updates for any zone or record, preventing insecure dynamic updates. For more information about configuring secure dynamic update, see "Dynamic Update and Secure Dynamic Update" later in this chapter.

Simpler Management    Because Active Directory performs replication, you do not need to set up and maintain a separate replication topology (that is, zone transfers) for DNS servers.

More Efficient Replication of Large Zones    Active Directory replicates on a per-property basis, propagating only relevant changes. This is more efficient than full zone transfers.