Master/Slave vs Primary/Secondary

Discussion in 'DNS Server' started by Spin, Aug 20, 2008.

  1. Spin

    Spin Guest


    I've been around a bunch of guys recently who are using the terms
    Master/Slave and Primary/Secondary interchangeably. People are referring to
    a Master DNS server as a Primary server and a Slave as a Secondary. But
    given that there are also Primary and Secondary Zones, this mixing of terms
    when referring to the DNS servers is unfortunate. What's the proper way to
    refer to a "Master" DNS server (holding one or more Primary Zone(s) and
    perhaps Secondary zones as well?
    Spin, Aug 20, 2008
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  2. Spin

    Spin Guest

    Answered my own question.

    What is the difference between Master/Slave and Primary/Secondary?

    "Most people equate Master with Primary and Secondary with Slave. In
    reality, the two are not quite the same. Primary name servers are the
    default name server (the first server that will be queried) based on how you
    have configured your domain's NS records with your registrar. Secondary name
    servers are the backup if the primary name server fails. Master and slaves
    refer to a management arrangement used within DNS servers to propagate
    information changes from one server to another."
    Spin, Aug 21, 2008
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  3. Read inline please.

    This article is not entirely correct.

    You should read rfc1996.2.1

    A Master name server is an Authoritative server that holds the Primary
    (Source) zone a Slave server is an Authoritative server that holds a
    Secondary zone.
    The Servers listed at your registrar can in fact, both be Slave servers as
    in the case of having a Hidden Master. The Primary Master name server is the
    server listed on the SOA in the MNAME field, there are cases when this
    server is hidden from access (Stealth), except by Slave servers holding
    Secondary zones, from which get their zone data from.
    In actuality, Primary and Secondary are zone types, not server types. A
    Primary zone is the writable copy of the zone, and Secondary is a Read only
    copy of a zone. A given name server can have both Primary and Secondary
    zones on them. Therefore, calling a server the Primary server is not
    entirely correct, because the server may also have Secondary zones on it.
    Many people also interchange Primary and Secondary with Preferred and
    Alternate servers. A Preferred and Alternate are the order in which the
    servers are configured on a DNS Client, and either of these may or may not
    hold any zones at all.

    Best regards,
    Kevin D. Goodknecht Sr. [MVP]
    Hope This Helps

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    Kevin D. Goodknecht Sr. [MVP], Aug 21, 2008
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