Chapter BC10. Setting Up a DHCP Server

A long time ago when even I was young, the Internet (or the ARPANET as it was called in those days) was a small place with a limited number of hosts, all of which had fixed IP addresses and names that were maintained in a file that everyone shared with everyone else, and then added their own local modifications for any private, local hosts and networks. However, as the ARPANET grew and more and more hosts became networked, maintaining all of this information in a single file became not only impractical, but also silly. This led to a flexible, software-based service known as DNS (the Domain Name System), which provided a flexible mechanism for identifying the hostname associated with an IP address, and vice versa. (For more information about DNS, see Bonus Chapter 11, "Setting Up a DNS Server.")

Why begin a chapter on DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) by discussing DNS? Because DHCP and its predecessors were largely developed to address similar sorts of scalability and flexibility by providing a similarly flexible service that could dynamically provide various types of network-related information. When few hosts at a site are networked and those hosts are all located on the same subnet, assigning them static IP addresses and statically maintaining other IP-related information such as name-server identities ...

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