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5.1 Introduction

Creating zone data and configuring a name server is only the beginning. Managing a name server over time requires an understanding of how to control it and which commands it supports. It takes familiarity with other tools from the BIND distribution, including nsupdate, used to send dynamic updates to a name server.

This chapter includes lots of recipes that involve ndc and rndc, programs that send control messages to BIND 8 and 9 name servers, respectively. These programs let an administrator reload modified zones, refresh slave zones, flush the cache, and much more. The list of commands the name server supports seems to grow with each successive release of BIND, so I've provided a peek at a few new commands in BIND 9.3.0 for the curious.

Several recipes describe how to drive the nsupdate program to send dynamic updates. In the brave new world of dynamic zones, an administrator may have to make most of the changes to zone data using dynamic update, rather than by manually editing zone data files. The recipes cover sending plain vanilla dynamic updates (Section 5.20), setting prerequisites in a dynamic update (Section 5.22), and sending TSIG-signed dynamic updates (Section 5.23).

Finally, the chapter covers a few common administrative processes, such as setting up and failing over to a backup master name server, migrating from one domain name to another, and measuring a name server's performance.

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