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DNS&BIND Fundamentals

A comprehensive introduction to DNS and BIND.

Course description

DNS & BIND Fundamentals is a comprehensive introduction to DNS and BIND. In-depth lectures cover DNS concepts in detail, as well as how DNS is implemented in today’s Internet. Practical experience is gained through many hands-on labs, which each student runs on his or her own server, which we provide.

Recently, we have added four new sections on DNS Cookies, Response Policy Zones (RPZ), Response Rate Limiting (RRL) and dnstap. Many new labs have been added, including several problem solving and debugging labs along with additional quizzes.

Nothing is taken for granted, and the first lab begins by downloading, compiling, and installing BIND. Students create BIND configuration from scratch for both authoritative and recursive servers. They create zone files from scratch for authoritative masters. DNS tools such as, dig, rndc named-checkconf, & named-checkzone, are taught in depth and used extensively in the labs.

Attending DNS&BIND Advanced (DNSB-A) in the same week as DNSB-F is the most popular registration option. If that is appealing, register just once for the combined course, DNS & BIND Week (DNSB-W), which is less expensive than attending DNSB-F and DNSB-A independently.

While, implementation details are specific to BIND, the course’s theory, and the practical skills gained in the labs, are applicable to all DNS systems.

Topics include:

  • —  The DNS Namespace (Basic DNS Theory)
  • —  Domain Names, Labels and Nodes
  • —  The root, TLDs, and Lower Level Domains
  • —  Zones and Zone Types
  • —  Delegation
  • —  Name Resolution and Referrals
  • —  The DNS Message (DNS Data)
  • —  Name Servers (Authoritative Masters, Authoritative Slaves, RDNS (Recursive Resolvers)
  • —  Caching & Negative-Caching
  • —  Stub Resolvers
  • —  Forwarding, Forward Zones, and Stub Zones
  • —  Master File Format, Shortcuts, & Directives
  • —  Registrants, Registrars, Registries, Registry Operators
  • —  Classes, Resource Record Types, and Resource Records (minimally, the following are covered in detail: SOA, NS, A, AAAA, MX, SRV, TXT, PTR, CNAME)
  • —  Pseudo Resource Records (e.g. ANY, AXFR, IXFR, OPT, etc)
  • —  Setting Up and Accessing Remote Name Servers
  • —  Downloading, Compiling and Installing BIND
  • —  BIND Configuration Files (minimally): named.conf, rndc.conf, rndc.keys
  • —  BIND Management Tools (minimally): named-checkconf, named-checkzone, rndc, rndc-confgen
  • —  Generating and Reading BIND Log Files
  • —  dig, its Output, & the problems with nslookup
  • —  DNS Debugging & BIND Debugging
  • —  Common DNS Misunderstandings
  • —  BIND Configuration for Course Topics

Prerequisites (recommended)

The labs require working on the command-line in a Linux/Unix shell. Without familiarity with basics such as cd, ls, cp, cat, and using a text editor, a participant will face difficulties. While experience is strongly recommended, advanced command-line skills are not needed. For text editing, the labs offer a variety of text editors: nano, joe pico emacs mg and vi/vim are available.

Material requirements

A participant must bring a computer (laptop) which is able to connect to our network. The connection can be with an Ethernet port or via Wi-Fi. In all cases, the computer must have an SSH client (Linux systems and Macs already do. For Windows, PuTTY is free and recommended). The computer must be able to get an IP address via DHCP. A computer with a physical keyboard is strongly recommended. If Wi-Fi cannot be provided for whichever reason, the participant is responsible for accessing the network via a cabled connection, possibly with a USB-Ethernet dongle.

Other information

In some courses, due to time required for other topics and participants’ interests, a topic may be reduced or skipped, or another added. The decision is made by the instructor with input from the participants.

This is DNS&BIND training, Men&Mice products are not included in the course.

Men&Mice is the exclusive training partner of the ISC, which develops the most widely used DNS software, BIND.