How DHCP Works

Now that we know why using DHCP is desirable, if not essential, let’s take a look at how it actually works. When you install the Microsoft DHCP Server, a DHCP Server database is created. This database contains two types of information. First, it contains static configuration data supplied by the administrator using DHCP Manager. These static data include the range of IP addresses available to the DHCP Server for assignment to DHCP clients, and various DHCP options set by the administrator. The DHCP Server database also maintains dynamic configuration data that is modified continuously by the interactions between the DHCP Server and its clients, for example, those IP addresses that are currently in use and to which clients they are assigned.


Although this chapter focuses on the Microsoft DHCP implementations for both server and client, the Microsoft DHCP Server also supports third-party DHCP clients and third-party DHCP servers also support Microsoft DHCP clients. Basic DHCP functionality is provided by any combination of DHCP server and client. The availability of extended DHCP functions is determined by which DHCP options are supported by both the DHCP server and the DHCP client being used.

Windows NT, Windows 95, and LAN Manager 2.2c provide native Microsoft DHCP support. To use Microsoft DHCP on Windows 3.11 for Workgroups clients, install the 32-bit TCP/IP VxD from the file TCPIP32B.EXE, which is available free from Microsoft. To use Microsoft DHCP on MS-DOS ...

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