How to Configure Conditional Forwarders in DNS for Windows Server 2008

Conditional Forwarders was a new feature within the Microsoft DNS server for Windows Server 2003. It was a great addition that allowed you to specify a specific DNS server for clients trying to resolve hosts in a specific domain. This way you could tell the DNS server to always go to a specific DNS server for specific domain names.

The new way is just a new section that has been created under the server section called Conditional Forwarders.

One of the things that you will find different in Windows Server 2008’s DNS is how it displays Conditional Forwarders. Previously you needed to view the Forwarders tab in the DNS server’s properties.

Conditional Forwarder

Conditional Forwarder

You just place the DNS domain name in the top section and the IP address of the DNS server that is authoritative for that domain below. Notice you also can store this Conditional Forwarder in Active Directory if you want. It is NOT the default. Behind that drop down is the amount of time the DNS server will wait before it times out…which is 5 seconds by default.

Hopefully that helps you figure out how DNS Conditional Forwarders are set up in Windows Server 2008.

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