Microsoft TechNet Article Windows 2000 DNS contains the following introduction:

The designers of the Microsoft ® Windows® 2000 operating system chose the Domain Name System (DNS) as the name service for the operating system. Windows 2000 Server includes an IETF standard-based Domain Name System Server. Because it is RFC compliant it is fully compatible with any other RFC compliant DNS servers. Use of the Windows 2000 Domain Name System server is not mandatory. Any DNS Server implementation supporting Service Location Resource Records (SRV RRs, as described in an Internet Draft "A DNS RR for specifying the location of services (DNS SRV)") and Dynamic Update (RFC2136) is sufficient to provide the name service for Windows 2000–based computers1. However, because this implementation of DNS is designed to fully take advantage of the Windows 2000 Active Directory™ service, it is the recommended DNS server for any networked organization with a significant investment in Windows or extranet partners with Windows-based systems. For example, while conventional DNS Servers use single-master replication, Windows 2000 DNS can be integrated into Active Directory service, so that it uses the Windows 2000 multi-master replication engine. (Note that the Active Directory supports multi-master replication.) In this way, network managers can simplify system administration by not having to maintain a separate replication topology for DNS.

DNS in Windows 2000 provides a unique DNS Server implementation that is fully interoperable with other standards-based implementations of DNS Server. Some special interoperability issues are discussed later in this paper.

The purpose of this document is to assist network architects and administrators in planning the Windows 2000 Active Directory service DNS deployment strategy. It covers the design, implementation, and migration issues that need to be considered when rolling out a scalable and robust DNS solution as a global name service.

While this paper assumes familiarity with DNS it provides a quick overview of the DNS basics in "DNS Fundamentals". The Windows 2000 implementation of DNS supports various new features (as compared to Windows NT® 4.0 operating system) described in "New Features of the Windows 2000 DNS." It includes the description of Active Directory integration and incremental zone transfer (IXFR), dynamic (including secure) update and Unicode character support, enhanced Domain Locator, caching resolver service and DNS Manager. It provides the detailed overview of the name resolution process. It also describes the support for secure DNS management. It includes an overview of the various issues associated with designing namespace for the Active Directory. It includes integration of Active Directory with existing DNS structure and migration to the Windows 2000 implementation of DNS, design of the private namespaces and necessary DNS support.