I’ve been dealing with DNS for a pretty long time. It’s always been a key component of keeping Active Directory and all the clients on your network happy and connected. But for the life of me I can never seem to remember which is which when it comes to recursive or iterative DNS queries. It’s like a trivia question that has just gone wrong in my brain.
Today at work, I was was asked one of those “Hey, do you know who would do X?” questions by a colleague and as I was hunting down the answer, I realized it was just like DNS queries!
Simply put, if you ask your manager a question and he/she comes back with the complete answer, you have just performed a RECURSIVE query. You asked and someone else took on the responsibility of locating the correct answer.
If you ask your manager a question an he/she comes back with a referral directing you to ask a different person, that is an ITERATIVE query. You are responsible for walking the tree of your organization, theoretically getting closer and closer to the answer with each query you make. Iterative starts with I and “I” do the work to find the answer.
Sometimes it just takes a real life example to make concepts stick. However if you want technical details go here: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc961401.aspx