I am deploying an intranet application to a business. The relationship is very casual at this point (no hard feelings that they have to test the app by navigating to an IP address). They also own an external domain, call it www.widgets.com. I have access to the host's control panel and access to the DNS records.

What I'd like to do is point 'mysubdomain.widgets.com' to an IP address that will resolve internally to the businesses server where the application is hosted. I am currently under the impression that i've done that successfully but when we try to access the app via the subdomain we created, it does not resolve.

In the control panel at the hosting company I created an A record for the subdomain like so:

mysubdomain.widgets.com. 14400 IN A

I am able to run a tracert to that subdomain from an external network and get back as the first IP. DNS appears to be working! However when I attempt to do this from within the business's network, not only does the IP not resolve, but I don't even get a response. Rather than a timeout which is what I would expect, I get a message saying the machine cannot be contacted.

I am sure there's something obvious I'm missing here but as I am not primarily as system administrator this is all pretty uncharted territory for me. I understand the high level, but that's about it. Anyone have any suggestions as to diagnostics or something I could try to debug the problem?


Best practice for this situation is to configure the subdomain on the DNS server hosted in your network, and make sure that this DNS server is setup as DNS server for all clients (usually through DHCP)

That way, the domain only works inside your company.

Alternatively, you could edit your own hosts file and setup the pointer there. Note, this will localize the domain to your pc only. If you have only a few pc's and it is for development purposes only, that would be the best thing to do. If it is company wide, use the company's DNS server instead.

  • I had thought about doing that, but they don't have a DNS server - this is a very small company. There are only about 12 computers in the building. I wish there was a way to do DNS on the router but that appears to be a "feature" that is only available for very expensive routers. The other option was of course setting a hosts file entry for every PC, but considering it's only 12 machines its not that big a deal. – Iofacture Jul 11 at 21:47
  • Also, I have AD on the server where the app is hosted. But my inexperience with AD weighted against there only being 12 people to manage - well, I think I will wait to do that. If all the machines were domain joined I could use the server as DNS and get the same thing. I was just making sure there wasn't something else I was missing. – Iofacture Jul 11 at 21:49
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    If you have AD (or Windows Server in general) you can already use the domain controller as a DNS server, regardless of whether its clients are domain members or not. (Although they don't need to as long as the subdomain is properly delegated from the parent domain.) – grawity Jul 12 at 5:09
  • Thank you grawity I did not realize the DNS features of AD could be used independently of the domain - I will look into that. thank you! – Iofacture Jul 13 at 20:04

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