Designing DHCP Services

As mentioned in the previous section, DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) can be used to dynamically allocate IP addresses to clients as needed. Including DHCP in your network design can greatly decrease the amount of time required for configuring and debugging individual clients.

DHCP is an extension of the simpler BOOTP protocol, which is generally used by diskless workstations that boot using a disk image stored across the network. DHCP’s key advantages in a network design include the following:

  • IP addresses are assigned automatically rather than requiring manual configuration for each client, reducing administrative costs.

  • IP addresses can be managed from a central location.

  • When not all nodes are used concurrently, DHCP can allow a group of IP addresses to serve a larger number of nodes than the number of IP addresses.

DHCP assigns IP addresses using a lease , which grants a client the address for a specific length of time. The client must request a renewal of the lease before the lease time expires; Windows clients automatically request a renewal after 50% of the lease time has elapsed.

Any Windows 2000 computer can act as a DHCP client, and Windows 2000 Server can be configured to act as DHCP server. The DHCP Client Service is automatically configured on Windows 2000 computers and runs whether you are using DHCP or not. Windows 95/98/Me and NT, Unix, and Macintosh machines can also act as DHCP clients.

DHCP is relatively simple to use, but your network ...

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