DNSCMD utility is a Windows command line tool that you can install and use on either a client or server to troubleshoot and configure DNS. The command is particularly useful when you are administering multiple servers, and where you need to alter DNS as part of a script.. You'll find DNSCMD command in the SUPPPORTTOOLSSUPPORT.CAB file in the Windows .NET Server or Windows 2000 Server CD. Just double click on the file, and then on DNSCMD.EXE to install it.
The DNSCMD /Info command returns information about your server. While much of the information listed is diagnostic in nature, this command does list the settings you would find in the DNS Server Properties dialog box. You'll find Server name, server version, the DS container for the AD listed. The Configuration section lists information about logging and debugging levels, retry and timeouts. You'll find information about both flags and aging in the lists.
You'll also probably want to explore the DNSCMD /Statistics command. This command offers you a lot of information about the operation of the DNS server(s). You can find when the service started, the level of its activity and types of queries asked, how many messages are forwarded up the DNS chain, notify messages, referrals from WINS, how much memory is in use, number of error, security statistics, and how many dynamic updates have occurred. You'll find this information quite valuable when you are trying to optimize
Barrie Sosinsky is president of consulting company Sosinsky and Associates (Medfield MA). He has written extensively on a variety of computer topics. His company specializes in custom software (database and Web related), training and technical documentation.
This was first published in January 2004