The Server List Management feature of the Windows 2000 domain name resolver improves performance and adaptability of the resolver by monitoring how quickly the name servers on the list respond to queries.
Here is a sample scenario where the client computer has a single NIC and 3 DNS servers in its' search order:
"When a name is queried, the query is sent only to the first DNS server. If that DNS server does not respond to the name query within one second, then it is placed at the bottom of the list, and the next server is queried for the name. The first server remains at the bottom of the list unless the other servers above it also fail to respond to a name query within one second. When this happens, the other servers also are rotated to the bottom of the list, below the first server, or until the TCP/IP protocol binds once more to the adapter by way of a restart or some other such operation."
NOTE: While first server remains at the bottom of the list, name resolution will fail for names that can only be resolved through that server.