The DNS is to the Internet what water is to life. Nearly all information resources (host names) are resolved
to their Internet protocol (IP) addresses through DNS. Windows networking tried hard to avoid the
complexities of DNS, but alas, DNS won.
The alternative to
DNS, the Windows Internet Name Service (WINS) an artifact of NetBIOS networking over the TCP/IP
protocols has demonstrated scalability problems as well as a flat, nonhierarchical namespace that
became unmanageable as the size and complexity of information technology networks grew.
WINS is a Microsoft implementation of the RFC1001/1002 NetBIOS Name Service (NBNS).
It allows NetBIOS clients (like Microsoft Windows machines) to register an arbitrary
machine name that the administrator or user has chosen together with the IP
address that the machine has been given. Through the use of WINS, network client machines
could resolve machine names to their IP address.
The demand for an alternative to the limitations of NetBIOS networking finally drove
Microsoft to use DNS and Active Directory. Microsoft's new implementation attempts
to use DNS in a manner similar to the way that WINS is used for NetBIOS networking.
Both WINS and Microsoft DNS rely on dynamic name registration.
Microsoft Windows clients can perform dynamic name registration to the DNS server
on startup. Alternatively, where DHCP is used to assign workstation IP addresses,
it is possible to register hostnames and their IP address by the DHCP server as
soon as a client acknowledges an IP address lease. Finally, Microsoft DNS can resolve
hostnames via Microsoft WINS.
The following configurations demonstrate a simple, insecure dynamic DNS server and
a simple DHCP server that matches the DNS configuration.