Monday, January 19, 2015

Microsoft DNS Logging Feature

Troubleshooting network problems can be a nightmare, especially if you don't know where to begin. Microsoft provides some tools that can help you in this situation. One feature that Microsoft built into almost every service is logging. Logging allows you to log the service activity and, thus, find out what's going on behind the scenes. 

A service that supports logging is the DNS service, which allows you to specify which messages you want to log. For instance, you may only want to log queries, updates, or answers.

Debug logging can be useful, but you shouldn't use it in day-to-day operations on production servers. Logging will have an impact on the performance of your servers, depending on how many options you select. So don't enable this option simply because you can, and once you do enable it, select as few options as possible.

To start debugging logging, open the DNS console by going to Start | Programs | Administrative Tools | DNS. In the console, right-click on your DNS server name and select Properties. Go to the Logging tab; you'll notice several debug logging options.

After enabling an option (e.g., queries), you'll have to wait quite a while for the DNS service to start logging. Microsoft left a bug in the user interface, so the system won't log anything if you select only queries or any other option. Before the logging will start, you have to enable logging of UDP or TCP (or both) protocols. Now the DNS service will log everything in the Dns.log file located in the %SystemRoot%\System32\dns folder.

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