Product Documentation

Configuring DNSSEC for a Zone for Which the NetScaler ADC Is a DNS Proxy Server

Aug 31, 2016

The procedure for signing a zone for which the Citrix® NetScaler® ADC is configured as a DNS proxy server depends on whether or not the ADC owns a subset of the zone information owned by the backend name servers. If it does, the configuration is considered a partial zone ownership configuration. If the ADC does not own a subset of the zone information, the NetScaler configuration for managing the backend servers is considered a zone-less DNS proxy server configuration. The basic DNSSEC configuration tasks for both NetScaler configurations are the same. However, signing the partial zone on the NetScaler ADC requires some additional configuration steps.

Note: The terms zone-less proxy server configuration and partial zone are used only in the context of the NetScaler appliance.
Important: When configured in proxy mode, the ADC does not perform signature verification on DNSSEC responses before updating the cache.

If you configure the ADC as a DNS proxy to load balance DNSSEC aware resolvers (servers), you must set the Recursion Available option while configuring the DNS virtual server. If a DNSSEC query arrives with Checking Disabled (CD) bit set, the query is passed on to the server with the CD bit retained, and the response from the server is not cached. In releases prior to 10.5.e build xx.x, the ADC unset the CD bit before passing it to the server and also cached the server response.

Configuring DNSSEC for a Zone-Less DNS Proxy Server Configuration

Updated: 2014-08-27

For a zone-less DNS proxy server configuration, zone signing must be performed on the backend name servers. On the NetScaler ADC, you configure the ADC as a DNS proxy server for the zone. You create a load balancing virtual server of protocol type DNS, configure services on the ADC to represent the name servers, and then bind the services to the load balancing virtual server. For more information about these configuration tasks, see Configuring the NetScaler as a DNS Proxy Server.

When a client sends the ADC a DNS request with the DNSSEC OK (DO) bit set, the ADC checks its cache for the requested information. If the resource records are not available in its cache, the ADC forwards the request to one of the DNS name servers, and then relays the response from the name server to the client. Additionally, the ADC caches the RRSIG resource records along with the response from the name server. Subsequent requests from DNSSEC-aware clients are served from the cache (including the RRSIG resource records), subject to the time-to-live (TTL) parameter. If a client sends a DNS request without setting the DO bit, the ADC responds with only the requested resource records, and does not include the RRSIG resource records that are specific to DNSSEC.

Configuring DNSSEC for a Partial Zone Ownership Configuration

Updated: 2014-08-27

In some NetScaler configurations, even though the authority for a zone lies with the backend name servers, a subset of the resource records that belong to the zone might be configured on the NetScaler ADC. The ADC owns (or is authoritative for) only this subset of records. Such a subset of records can be considered to constitute a partial zone on the ADC. The ADC owns the partial zone. All other records are owned by the backend name servers.

A typical partial zone configuration on the NetScaler ADC is seen when global server load balancing (GSLB) domains are configured on the ADC, and the GSLB domains are a part of a zone for which the backend name servers are authoritative.

Signing a zone that includes only a partial zone on the ADC involves including the partial zone information in the backend name server zone files, signing the zone on the backend name servers, and then signing the partial zone on the ADC. The same key set must be used to sign the zone on the name servers and the partial zone on the ADC.

To sign the zone on the backend name servers

  1. Include the resource records that are contained in the partial zone, in the zone files of the name servers.
  2. Create keys and use the keys to sign the zone on the backend name servers.

To sign the partial zone on the NetScaler ADC

  1. Create a zone with the name of the zone that is owned by the backend name servers. When configuring the partial zone, set the proxyMode parameter to YES. This zone is the partial zone that contains the resource records owned by the ADC.

    For example, if the name of the zone that is configured on the backend name servers is example.com, you must create a zone named example.com on the ADC, with the proxyMode parameter set to YES. For more information about adding a zone, see Configuring a DNS Zone.

    Note: Do not add SOA and NS records for the zone. These records should not exist on the ADC for a zone for which the ADC is not authoritative.
  2. Import the keys (from one of the backend name servers) to the ADC and then add them to the /nsconfig/dns/ directory. For more information about how you can import a key and add it to the ADC, see Publishing a DNS Key in a Zone.
  3. Sign the partial zone with the imported keys. When you sign the partial zone with the keys, the ADC generates RRSIG and NSEC records for the resource record sets and individual resource records in the partial zone, respectively. For more information about signing a zone, see Signing and Unsigning a DNS Zone.