recursion for reverse/ zones

Todd Snyder tsnyder at
Thu Dec 11 21:38:47 UTC 2008

Good day,

We are working on an odd issue.  I can provide more detail as necessary,
but don't want to fill this email with snips of useless stuff.  All
IP's/names provided are made up, as they don't matter in this problem as
far as I can tell.  This is more a functional question than a specific
operating question.

We have 2 servers acting as a slave for the zone "".  The
master(s) for this server are 2 Windows AD servers.  Our servers (all
bind9.4 of some variety) are doing zone transfers fine, and we're
getting whatever is in the zone.

We've run in to a couple IP's that when we dig them on these slaves,
they are timing out.  They are in a specific location, which we have
determined are firewalled differently.  

For example, we are doing a dig for against these 2
different locations.  In one location, we get an answer quickly.  In the
other, it times out.  The problem in our case is that in one location,
the slave we're querying can't reach anything but the masters.

What we've figured out is that the zone doesn't contain
EVERY 10. address we thought, but is missing some.  In this case, our
slaved zone doesn't have  But, instead of the slave server
(which should be authortative) returning an "I don't know" error, it
appears to be doing a recusive query.  Against what, we're not 100% sure
of yet.  Well, we know which server, because DIG tells us, but we aren't
sure why that one.

When I look at the zone, there are approximately 20 NS
records for other AD servers.  My speculation is that the slave we're
querying is recusively looking to one of the servers returned in the
additional section?  This behaviour seems odd to us, and therein lies my

Does doing a reverse lookup (dig -x) cause the queried server to behave
differently than a forward lookup?  My slave server is technically
authoritative for the zone, but it is still recusively
going to another server to find an answer.  Why?  Is this because we
have defined the zone as instead of creating/slaving
more specific zones (ie:  How can we control
this behaviour?  

Thank you for any light you can shed on this - we're confident we know
what is going on, but we can't figure out why the server behaves
differently for reverse zones than it would for forward zones.



Todd Snyder
Data Networks Tools
Always On, Always Connected. 

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