If your network devices require connectivity with devices in networks for which you do not control name assignment, you can assign device names that uniquely identify your devices within the entire internetwork using the domain name server (DNS). DNS uses a hierarchical scheme for establishing host names for network nodes, which allows local control of the segments of the network through a client-server scheme. The DNS system can locate a network device by translating the host name of the device into its associated IP address.
On the Internet, a domain is a portion of the naming hierarchy tree that refers to general groupings of networks based on organization type or geography. Domain names are pieced together with periods (.) as the delimiting characters. For example, Cisco is a commercial organization that the Internet identifies by a com domain, so its domain name is cisco.com. A specific host name in this domain, the File Transfer Protocol (FTP) system, for example, is identified as ftp.cisco.com.
Name servers keep track of domain names and know the parts of the domain tree for which they have complete information. A name server may also store information about other parts of the domain tree. To map domain names to IP addresses in Cisco NX-OS, you must first identify the host names, then specify a name server, and enable the DNS service.
Cisco NX-OS allows you to statically map IP addresses to domain names. You can also configure Cisco NX-OS to use one or more domain name servers to find an IP address for a host name.
A name server handles client-issued queries to the DNS server for locally defined hosts within a particular zone as follows:
An authoritative name server responds to DNS user queries for a domain name that is under its zone of authority by using the permanent and cached entries in its own host table. If the query is for a domain name that is under its zone of authority but for which it does not have any configuration information, the authoritative name server simply replies that no such information exists.
A name server that is not configured as the authoritative name server responds to DNS user queries by using information that it has cached from previously received query responses. If no router is configured as the authoritative name server for a zone, queries to the DNS server for locally defined hosts will receive nonauthoritative responses.
Name servers answer DNS queries (forward incoming DNS queries or resolve internally generated DNS queries) according to the forwarding and lookup parameters configured for the specific domain.