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As a newbie to SP / AD, could someone give me a bit of advice..

I need to set up a Sharepoint site, primarily for collaboration with people working in other countries. Our network doesn't have a domain, all the PCs are just in a workgroup. I know that Sharepoint needs AD for user control but does AD definitely need a DNS server?

We would like Sharepoint to be accessible on (via externally-hosted DNS) but does AD have to have a DNS server in order to function correctly? I can set up a company.local domain or a sub-domain of on our internal DNS server and allow the Sharepoint/AD server to update it. Then, I assume I can set up host-headers or whatever so that the sites are accessible on the main URL..?

I suppose the main question is does AD definitely need DNS and, if so, can I point it at it's own little domain that nobody else will see?

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You can use another authentication method for SharePoint. Have you looked at that option?

And AD needs DNS.

MS SharePoint Authentication

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AD does not need to run the DNS server, unfortunately it is a bit long winded and I am not having any luck finding the links, but you can use an external DNS server with AD. – BloodyIron May 3 '12 at 15:53
I'm not opposed to configuring a DNS server so that we can use AD authentication - I'm just wondering if anything other than the Sharepoint server itself needs to see it. Will an internal companyname.local domain do or does it need to be a proper, externally-resolvable domain? – Gaspode May 4 '12 at 13:32

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