DNS zone: What is it and why is it important?

What is a DNS zone?

The DNS zone is a small yet crucial component of the Domain name system namespace. It is an organizational segment that allows DNS administrators to manage and have control over their networks. There are probably numerous DNS zones that are using the same DNS server as you. Thanks to these little administrative elements, it is easier and to manage the entire namespace.

Besides, the entire Domain Name System (DNS) exists because it is divided into such pieces.

For illustration, one particular DNS zone could be relevant for .net, domain.net, blog.domain.net, etc. However, in case we examine a precise subdomain as a website on its own, that is going to demand dedicated administration. For that reason, that subdomain is going to require its own individual zone.

In the DNS zone, you are able to create and store all of the various Domain name system records, such as A, AAAA, MX, TXT, etc. In addition, in the first Domain name system record for the zone – the SOA (Start of Authority) record we could find contact detail information about the Domain name system administrator and zone parameters like Refresh and Retry rate.

DNS zone types

Primary (Master) DNS zone – Thi is the primary source of information about the domain name. In this zone, the administrator has the important ability to read and/or write instructions and manage the domain name. Therefore, when you have to make necessary modifications and adjustments to your Domain name system data (the records), they should be performed exactly in this Primary (Master) zone. From it, all the updates or changes are going to be spread to the Secondary (Slave) DNS servers and the rest of the network.

Secondary (Slave) DNS zone – It is a simple read-only copy of the Primary (Master), and it contains all of the Domain name system data (records) you created there. Oftentimes you could notice it is also described as Slave or Backup zone. You should note that the records, such as A or AAAA records, MX records, etc., cannot be created directly to the Secondary zone. Instead, it receives all of the data from the Primary through a process named DNS zone transfer. 

Reverse DNS zone – The Reverse zone, such as the Forward (Primary), is an administrative piece of the domain name space that stores records. However, it serves exactly the opposite purpose, which is to link the IP addresses to the corresponding domain name. It comes in hand when you implement Reverse DNS. Additionally, this zone is restricted and contains only a few types of records – PTR, SOA, and NS.

Why is it important?

Thanks to the DNS zone, the administration of the entire Domain system namespace is way easier and more manageable. Moreover, by dividing it into such small elements, the Domain Name System (DNS) is providing decentralization and organization.

If you desire your domain name to function smoothly and correctly, you should point it to several servers, such as web servers, mail servers, and so on. For the purpose of achieving that, you should establish your DNS zone and add all of the different Domain name system record types that you need.

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