resource record

Definition of resource record in The Network Encyclopedia.

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What is Resource Record?

An individual entry in a Domain Name System (DNS) database that contains information about domain names in the DNS.

How It Works

Resource records are individual records (lines) in a text file called a zone file, which is located on a DNS server. You can edit this zone file with a simple text editor, but Microsoft Windows NT and Windows 2000 platforms offer a GUI-based administrative tool that simplifies the creation and management of resource records on a Windows NT or Windows 2000 DNS server. A typical resource record consists of a series of fields separated by spaces.

The most common type of resource record is the address record, or A record, which maps the IP address of a TCP/IP to its DNS name. Other common types of resource records include CNAME, NS, PTR, SOA, and SRV. The following table describes some important types of resource records that you can create in the standard implementation of DNS as defined by Request for Comments (RFC) 1035 and later.

Possible DNS Resource Records

Record Type Description
A (address)
Maps the IP address to the host name
CNAME (canonical name)
Creates an alias for a host name
HINFO (host information)
Specifies information about the host, such as operating system and CPU type
MX (mail exchanger)
Indicates a Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) host (mail forwarder)
NS (name server)
Indicates a DNS name server that is authoritative for the domain
PTR (pointer)
Points to another location in the DNS namespace
SOA (start of authority)
Indicates the name server that is authoritative for the domain
SRV (server)
Locates a host that can provide a specific network service

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