DHCP in Windows Server 2003
Dynamic – Means that clients IP address may change
Host – Indicates that this is a system for clients, e.g. XP machines
Configuration – A clue that you are in charge of the options, e.g. DNS Server
Protocol – The rules controlling the flow of packets between client and server
Tutorial for DHCP in Windows 2003
- Benefits of DHCP – How to save effort
- Strategies – Client and Server
- DHCP – Install and Configure Options
- Relay Agents
- APIPA – When all else fails
- DHCP – User Classes
- DHCP – Database, Backup, Reconcile and Audit
All clients and servers need an IP address on a TCP/IP network. How will you configure those dotty dot numbers on your TCP/IP property tabs? Manually, or automatically via DHCP? Let us investigate what advantages an automatic DHCP service has over the manual alternative.
- DHCP needs much less effort – manual configuration is boring and labour intensive. Above all, DHCP options give a sense of central control.
- Easy to update a default gateway or DNS server’s IP address. Manual changes would be a nightmare, you would have to visit every machine.
- No IP duplicate addresses. Provided you configure the DHCP scopes intelligently, there will never be another ‘Duplicate IP address’ problem to eat into your valuable time.
10 years ago, when I first saw DHCP, I thought that you would need one DHCP server on each subnet – wrong. What I now recommend as a default, is two DHCP servers for the whole company. For those subnets without a DHCP you configure a DHCP Relay Agent.
If you have two DHCP servers, then provide redundancy by splitting each scope so that each DHCP server gets a non-overlapping range. For example:
Server A: 10.10.56.1 to 10.10.56.120
Server B: 10.10.56.121 to 10.10.56.254.
Each scope has a class C Subnet Mask /24 (255.255.255.0)
SolarWinds’ Network Performance Monitor will help you discover what’s happening on your network. This utility will also guide you through troubleshooting; the dashboard will indicate whether the root cause is a broken link, faulty equipment or resource overload.
Perhaps the NPM’s best feature is the way it suggests solutions to network problems. Its second best feature is the ability to monitor the health of individual VMware virtual machines. If you are interested in troubleshooting, and creating network maps, then I recommend that you give this Network Performance Monitor a try.
Strategies for the Servers
What are you going to do about the IP addresses for the servers themselves?
- Configure static IP addresses, then EXCLUDE a range from the scope.
- Select static IP addresses, but use a different range.
- Choose DHCP configuration, even for file and print servers. (Except the DHCP server itself.)
- See what's new for DHCP Server in Windows 2012
- See PowerShell DHCP strategies.
If you try the strategy of DHCP address for file and print servers, consider a RESERVATION for each server. Slowly I am warming to this DHCP idea, the killer advantage is that you can set DNS and Router options even for the servers. Let me elaborate, if you set server IP addresses manually, but then you change the default gateway, you may forget to change the servers default gateway. The result would be a loss of what ever service the servers were providing. However, if the servers have a reserved IP address then they come under the umbrella of your scope options and so there would be no extra work, and no loss of service.
Kiwi CatTools is a free program for backing up configuration settings on hardware devices. Here is Guy’s challenge. If you download CatTools, then it will not only take care of backups, but also it will show you something new about the hardware on you network. I could give you a money back guarantee – but CatTools is already free! Thus, I just make a techie to techie challenge, you will learn more about your network if you:
DHCP is now a well established strategy for providing computers with IP addresses. However, it is full of surprises and hidden treasures, take the time to develop your DHCP tactics, then explore the properties of both the DHCP server icon and the scopes. I have a series of tutorials to help you.
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