JSI Tip 6108. Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol for Windows 2000 Server white paper.

The Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol for Windows 2000 Server white paper contains:


The Windows® 2000 Server operating system network includes an enhanced implementation of Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP), an open, industry standard that reduces the complexity of administering networks based on TCP/IP. This white paper discusses integrating DHCP with domain name system (DNS), enhanced monitoring and statistical reporting for DHCP servers, new vendor-specific options and user-class support, multicast address allocation, and rogue DHCP server detection--benefits that free administrators up from having to configure all the computers by hand.

TCP/IP is the global network protocol of choice, especially for corporate intranets adopting Internet technology, and each TCP/IP network must be assigned a unique IP address. However, configuring and administering TCP/IP network clients has traditionally been time-consuming and costly. This is why Microsoft, as a member of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), was an early advocate for having dynamic IP addressing technology and worked closely with other IETF members to create the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) solution, which frees network administrators from having to configure all of the computers by hand.

DHCP is open and standards-based, as defined by IETF Requests for Comments (RFCs) 2131 and 2132. DHCP can automatically configure a host while it is booting on a TCP/IP network, as well as change settings while the host is attached. This lets all available IP addresses be stored in a central database along with associated configuration information, such as the subnet mask, gateways, and address of DNS servers.

DHCP makes life easier for network administrators--especially on large networks. Without dynamic address assignment, clients have to be configured one by one. IP addresses must be managed to avoid duplicate use. Changes must be applied to clients by hand. Configuration information is not centralized; and it is difficult to get a view of all client configurations.

In contrast, DHCP provides benefits including the following:

  • DHCP is based on open IETF standards.
  • Dynamic assignment of IP addresses allows address reuse through leases.
  • Automatic pushdown of configurations to clients allows configuration changes to be applied transparently.

For Windows 2000 Server, the Microsoft DHCP server has been enhanced with powerful new features, including:

  • Integration of DHCP with DNS.
  • Enhanced monitoring and statistical reporting for DHCP servers.
  • New vendor-specific and class ID option support.
  • Multicast address allocation.
  • Rogue DHCP server detection.
  • Windows Clustering for high availability (after IETF release of the server-to-server communications protocol).
  • Improved DHCP Manager.

These features, together with the robust functionality inherited from previous versions of Microsoft DHCP Server, make it a compelling solution to the networking needs of corporations today.

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