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Functional DHCP Solution Design

Networks get larger over time, unless a company is in the process of going out of business. One of the greatest challenges you face as a network administrator and architect is how you assign and manage your IP addresses and related IP addressing information, such as WINS and DNS Server address assignments. Historically, this was a complex affair where system administrators and their assistants would manually assign IP addresses to workstations through the network. This manual approach was error prone, and forced administrators to try to figure out which machine had what IP address, and what IP addresses were still available.
Because of the increased complexity of modern TCP/IP-based networks, automation is the best solution for assigning and managing IP addresses. This is the job of the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol Server (DHCP Server). The DHCP Server assigns and manages all the IP addressing information for network clients in your organization and greatly simplifies your job as a network administrator and architect.
At the end of this module, you will be able to:

Question: What are the primary components of the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol Server (DHCP Server)
The primary components of a Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) server are:
  1. IP address pool: The DHCP server maintains a pool of available IP addresses that can be assigned to clients. The size of the IP address pool depends on the size of the network and the number of clients that need to be supported.
  2. Lease database: The DHCP server maintains a lease database that keeps track of which IP addresses have been assigned to clients and how long the lease is valid. This ensures that IP addresses are not assigned to multiple clients and that they are released when they are no longer needed.
  3. Configuration parameters: The DHCP server provides configuration parameters to clients, including IP address, subnet mask, default gateway, DNS server, and other network settings. These parameters are sent to clients when they request an IP address from the DHCP server.
  4. DHCP messages: The DHCP server uses DHCP messages to communicate with clients and to manage the assignment of IP addresses. DHCP messages include discovery messages, offer messages, request messages, and acknowledgement messages.
  5. Client requests: The DHCP server receives requests from clients for IP addresses and other configuration parameters. The server assigns IP addresses and sends configuration parameters to clients based on the requests it receives.
  6. DHCP Relay Agent: In some cases, the DHCP server may be located on a different subnet than the clients. In these cases, a DHCP Relay Agent is used to forward DHCP messages between the client and the DHCP server.

Overall, the primary components of a DHCP server work together to manage the assignment of IP addresses and other network configuration parameters to clients on a network, providing a centralized and automated way to manage network resources.

Module Objectives

  1. Recognize DHCP as a solution for the IP-configuration needs of an organization
  2. Identify DHCP configuration features supported by the DHCP service
  3. Describe how the DHCP service integrates with other services in Windows® 2000
  4. Describe how to design a DHCP service in a non-routed LAN environment
  5. Describe how to place DHCP Relay Agents and Servers in a routed network
  6. Describe how a DHCP Server services non-Microsoft hosts
In the next lesson, you will learn which decisions you will need to make in order design a functional DHCP solution.