Confused about a basic concept

Bryan Harris bryanlharris at
Wed Jun 5 14:02:01 UTC 2013

Hi all,

I think I may be confused about a very basic DNS concept.  Sorry if this has been asked before.

1. I have a master and two slaves.
2. The master server is the SOA for my zone.  The SOA record points to the master server.
3. Each of the two slaves are authoritative for my zone.
4. There are 2 NS records for my zone.  The first NS = slave1 and the second NS = slave2.
5. The Master server is not listed in the NS records for my zone.
6. The master does not receive any queries from the clients.
7. The slaves receive queries from the clients.
8. The master -> slaves relationship is via tcp/53 (notifies & zone transfers)
9. The slaves -> clients relationship is via udp/53 (queries)

Is this correct so far?  I'm being told "our authoritative DNS servers should not receive any queries", as well as "DNS slaves respond to queries".  These statements seem like a conflict to me, but maybe I'm simply confused?

I don't see how a slave could respond to a query unless it's authoritative.  The only thing I can imagine is adding some more caching servers just for queries and have them forward+recurse to the authoritative slave servers (but they're not slaves themselves).  But even in that case, the authoritative servers would still need to respond to queries, no?  Otherwise how would the caching servers get any answers in the first place?
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