DNS Resolution via VRF on Cisco IOS

For several years I’ve been using VRFs for all management functions.  This greatly improves security since all management functions can be locked down to a certain interface, and also recover-ability in the even of routing problems.  The downside I keep finding is certain things either don’t work, or require special work-rounds. Case in point: DNS resolution.

Per Cisco, VRF-aware DNS functionality has been supported for quite a while.  However, I’m completely stumped on how to actually use it.  Sample config on an 2921 router running IOS 15.5(3)M4:

ip vrf Mgmt-intf
 rd 12345:123
ip domain-lookup 
ip domain list vrf Mgmt-intf mydomain.com
ip name-server vrf Mgmt-intf

interface Port-channel1.123
 encapsulation dot1Q 123
 ip vrf forwarding Mgmt-intf
 ip address
ip domain-lookup vrf Mgmt-intf source-interface po1.123

Still no joy.  Really seems there was a goof here in enabling this feature.  I’ll complain to Cisco and hopefully it will be fixed by the time I die.


4 thoughts on “DNS Resolution via VRF on Cisco IOS

  1. Hi John,

    I experienced the same issue and finally found that it works in VRF using a Split DNS config with VRF aware views.

    Hope that helped.


    • Can you link to an example? I’m familiar with Split DNS & internal vs. external views in BIND, but not sure what that means in Cisco


  2. this is an example config:

    ip host vrf a view DNS-VIEW-VRF host1 x.x.x.x
    ip host vrf a view DNS-VIEW-VRF host2 y.y.y.y
    ip host vrf a view DNS-VIEW-VRF hostn n.n.n.n

    ip dns view vrf a DNS-VIEW-VRF
    domain name-server vrf a z.z.z.z
    domain name-server vrf a p.p.p.p

    ip dns view-list DNS-VIEW-VRF
    view vrf a DNS-VIEW-VRF-1

    interface X
    ip dns view-group DNS-VIEW-VRF


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