Configure Forward and Reverse lookup Zones in DNS

configure forward lookup zone windows server 2016

In our previous article we learned how to configure DNS. As we all know that DNS (Domain Name System) is destined to maintain al the servers and web applications hosted in the organization. If you see closely DNS can be divided in to more than one domain as per the business requirement. You can also divide your DNS in to one or more zone to store name and address of computers or Web applications. A zone on DNS is an authoritative source for information about each entry in that zone. The 2 important zones are Forward lookup Zone and Reverse lookup Zone.

Why we need to know Forward and Reverse lookup Zones in DNS?

In SharePoint-2013 we can create web application with custom URL using “Host Header “option. As soon as you create a web application using host header SharePoint admin has to request the domain controller admin to add the URL in Forward Lookup zone.

You can’t access the site collections in that web application without this entry.

Let us learn how to create and configure these 2 zones.

Configure the Forward Lookup Zone:

Configure Forward and Reverse lookup Zones in DNS
Configure Forward and Reverse lookup Zones in DNS

Step 1: Log on to Domain controller server and open DNS as part of tools in Server Manager

Step 2: Expand the DNS server to configure Forward Lookup Zone.


how to configure forward and reverse lookup zones in dns
how to configure forward and reverse lookup zones in dns

Step 3: Select the forward Lookup zone and click on New Zone option

what is forward lookup zone and reverse lookup zone
what is forward lookup zone and reverse lookup zone

Step 4: Select the Primary zone and click on Next.

difference between forward lookup zone and reverse lookup zone
difference between forward lookup zone and reverse lookup zone

Step 5: Follow the below screens to complete the configuration.

reverse dns lookup
reverse dns lookup
what is forward lookup zone and reverse lookup zone in dns
what is forward lookup zone and reverse lookup zone in dns
forward dns lookup command
forward dns lookup command

Step 6: Now you should be able to see the new host added in Forward lookup Zone.


update reverse lookup zone dns
update reverse lookup zone dns

Configuring the Reverse Lookup Zone:

configure forward lookup zone
configure forward lookup zone
configure forward lookup zone server 2012
configure forward lookup zone server 2012
configure forward lookup zone server 2012 r2
configure forward lookup zone server 2012 r2
configure forward lookup zone windows server 2012
configure forward lookup zone windows server 2012

Step 1: Select the Reverse Lookup Zone and click on New Zone option

Follow the below screen shots to configure the reverse Lookup Zone.

how to create a new zone on a dns server in windows server 2012
how to create a new zone on a dns server in windows server 2012

After the above step click on finish in the configuration wizard.
Now add the pointer in Reverse Lookup Zone.

create forward lookup zone windows server 2012
create forward lookup zone windows server 2012

Click on browse to select the host name to create the pointer.


create reverse lookup zone server 2012 r2
create reverse lookup zone server 2012 r2
how to create forward and reverse lookup zones
how to create forward and reverse lookup zones
configure forward lookup zone server 2016
configure forward lookup zone server 2016

Once you configure the Forward and Reverse Lookup zones you can test them with the below approach:

configure forward lookup zone windows server 2016
configure forward lookup zone windows server 2016

In the above example we are resolving the details in 3 different ways to ensure that Forward and Reverse lookup zones are working seamlessly.
– nslookup with only hostname
– nslookup with fully qualified name
– nslookup with IP Address as well

If you notice closely we got the same result set as output, this ensures that zones got configured accurately.
Hope this helps, happy administration in SharePoint !!!!

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About Krishna Vandanapu

I am Krishna.Vandanapu a SharePoint architect working in IT from last 12 years, I worked in SharePoint 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016 and Office 365. I have extensive hands on experience in customizing SharePoint sites from end to end. Expertise in SharePoint migration tools like Sharegate, Doc Ave and Metalogix. Migrated SharePoint sites from SharePoint 2007 to 2010 and 2010 to 2013 several times seamlessly. Implementing CSOM with Microsoft best practices. Spent quality time in configuring SharePoint application services like User Profile, Search, Managed Meta data services etc. Now exploring SharePoint Framework and SharePoint 2019

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