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Domain Name System (DNS) is the default name resolution service used in a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 network.
In this environment, DNS namespaces mirror the Active Directory forests and domains used by an organization.
Network hosts and services are configured with DNS names so that they can be located in the network, and they are also configured with DNS servers that resolve the names of Active Directory domain controllers.
Windows Server 2003 DNS is also commonly deployed as a non-Active Directory, or standard, Domain Name System solution, for the purposes of hosting the Internet presence of an organization, for example.
DNS originated in the early days of the Internet when the Internet was a small network established by the United States Department of Defense for research purposes.
The host names of the computers in this network were managed through the use of a single HOSTS file located on a centrally administered server.
Each site that needed to resolve host names on the network downloaded this file.
As the number of hosts on the Internet grew, the traffic generated by the update process increased, as well as the size of the HOSTS file.
The need for a new system, which would offer features such as scalability, decentralized administration, support for various data types, became more and more obvious.
The Domain Name System introduced in 1984 became this new system.
With DNS, the host names reside in a database that can be distributed among multiple servers, decreasing the load on any one server and providing the ability to administer this naming system on a per-partition basis.