DHCP Performance Monitoring in Windows 2003

DHCP Performance Monitoring

If you really want to get a feel for your DHCP server, then I recommend creating a performance log and monitoring the DHCP traffic to and from your server.

I have two confessions to make.

1) I love performance monitoring, I rarely miss a chance to create logs, add counters and then analyze what is happening on the network.  Performance monitor not only troubleshoot problems, but also teaches you about how DHCP works.

2) While DHCP monitoring is fascinating, it is more important to analyze the big 4 objects: memory, processor, disk and network.  That said, why not add these network counters when you monitor those ‘big 4’ counters.

I have selected the key counters to monitor DHCP activity.  In addition for checking for bottlenecks, these counters will help to reinforce your DHCP knowledge.

Performance Counter

DHCP Server Object

How it helps

Packets Received / sec

Surge of activity could alert you to a problem on the network

Requests / sec

Detect ‘rush hour’

Active queue length

Value of greater than 2 could indicate a bottleneck.

Duplicates dropped /sec

Could mean that more than one Relay Agent is forwarding requests.

Acks /Sec

Discovers /Sec

Releases /Sec

General interest

See Also Memory Monitoring

Guy Recommends:  A Free Trial of the Network Performance Monitor (NPM)Review of Orion NPM v12 v12

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.

Download your free trial of SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor.


Monitoring DHCP traffic will help you learn about the DHCP process.  Performance logs will either confirm that your server is healthy, or else alert you to network bottlenecks.


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