A name server that maintains its own local Domain Name System (DNS) database of resource records. A primary name server has a master copy of resource records for each zone over which it has authority.
These records are stored locally on the name server in the form of a text file called the zone file. All changes to the resource records for a zone must be made on the primary name server.
Secondary name servers obtain their resource records from master name servers, which can be either primary name servers or other secondary name servers. The usual configuration when name servers are used within a TCP/IP internetwork for name resolution is one primary and one secondary name server, with the primary configured as the master name server for the secondary (which is sometimes called the slave name server). If Microsoft Windows NT is used for the DNS servers, the tool for configuring name servers is DNS Manager, a Windows NT administrative tool. In Windows 2000 the analogous tool is the DNS console.