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2012R2E Domain Questions .local vs .remotewebaccess.com vs .com


kylejwx
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I am trying to get my head around how domains work, specifically when the Microsoft provided .remotewebaccess.com feature is used. 
 

I am using the Microsoft provided .remotewebaccess.com service for the "essentials" part of the server.  My server name is MiddleEarth and the domain is lotrcloud.local.    This makes lotrcloud.remotewebaccess.com my full remote access site.  

 

There are a lot of documentation examples that use something like contoso.com or servername.contoso.com.   I don't own the domain lotrcloud.com, but I am borrowing the lotrcloud.remotewebaccess.com from Microsoft so is that the same as actually owning my domain, with the exception of having to insert the .remotewebaccess part in the name?

 

What is the difference between having this setup as "domain".local vs. "domain".com? vs "domain".remotewebaccess.com?  

 

 

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To make sure you understand one major thing here:

 

Your domain's name is NOT the same thing as the DNS name for the website. These are two completely different (but yet similar) concepts, but they have absolutely nothing to do with each other here.

 

Your .remotewebaccess.com domain name has nothing to do with the server at all. Other than this is how you access the server from the outside world, via the web server. (and is name used for the SSL certificate). Your internal domain name has absolutely nothing to do with this. And as such, the remotewebaccess.com domain can be set to whatever you want.

 

The internal domain stuff (lotrcloud.local) is the internal and LOCAL DNS name used for resolution on the local network. All your domain joined computers will be ThisPC.lotrcloud.local. The server will be MiddleEarth.lotrcloud.local. 

 

As for the main difference you will see: every external DNS server will properly recognize your .remotewebaccess.com site (and resolve it to your external IP). However, only your local network will properly resolve anything on .lotrcloud.local. 

 

 

As for the contoso.com stuff, this is Microsofts "example" domain names. For the most part here, you don't want to use a "real" external domain name for the local network. It may cause issues, if you do so.

 

Sorry if I'm not explaining this right, but ... I may be too tired right now.

But again (and very basic), .remotewebaccess.com is the website. .lotrcloud.local is the local domain. Completely separate parts of the server.

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You might well be tired Chris but that's a spot-on definition of the differences between the internal (private) domain and the public one!

 

I do agree that it can be confusing if you are not familiar with the terms and concepts, especially when the same names seem to get used to refer to what look like different things.

 

John

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Glad to hear it. I was afraid that I was going to make things more confusing.

 

And yeah, it took me a long, long while to understand this difference myself. It wasn't until I started using SBS2011E instead of WHSv1 with the AD hack to really get this.

 

Domains are confusing for the uninitiated. :)

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Ok, thanks. that helps to clear things up a bit.  I may more questions on this topic in the future though.  :)

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Ok, why do articles like this http://www.mdmarra.com/2012/11/why-you-shouldnt-use-local-in-your.html?m=1

Argue for making a domain that is connected to your actual domain? They suggest using ad.contoso.com or internal.contoso.com.

 

 

Let's say I did want to go all in and purchase a domain such as lotrcloud.com and use ad.lotrcloud.com as my internal network. What impact would that have on my network?

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Check out the "Small Business Server" section. That pretty much sums it up.

 

If you know what you're doing, the risks involved, the issues associated with it, then feel free to use the external domain. 

But if you're not 100% aware of all the issues and such... 

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Question is, do you really want this much headache at home?  And yes, go back and read that article and insert WSE2012 (R2) everywhere you see SBS.

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Yup, exactly.  Server Essentials is absolutely the successor to SBS, and most points about SBS are usually applicable to Essentials.

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