DHCP Server

The DHCP Server (DHCPServer) service allocates IP addresses, and it enables advanced configuration of network settings (such as setting for DNS servers and WINS servers) to DHCP clients automatically. DHCP uses a client/server model. The network administrator establishes one or more DHCP servers that maintain TCP/IP configuration information and provide the information to client computers. The server database includes the following:

  • Valid configuration parameters for all client computers on the network.
  • Valid IP addresses that are maintained in a pool for assignment to client computers, plus reserved addresses for manual assignment.
  • Duration of the lease that is offered by the server. The lease defines the length of time that the assigned IP address is valid.

DHCP is an IP standard that is designed to reduce the complexity of address configuration administration. It uses a server computer to centrally manage IP addresses and other related configuration details for your network.

DHCP includes the Multicast Address Dynamic Client Allocation Protocol (MADCAP), which is used to perform multicast address allocation. When registered client computers are dynamically assigned IP addresses through MADCAP, they can participate efficiently in the data stream process, such as for real-time video or audio network transmissions.

With a DHCP server installed and configured on your network, DHCP-enabled client computers can obtain their IP addresses and related configuration parameters dynamically each time they start and join the network. DHCP servers provide this configuration in the form of an address-lease offer to the client computers.

If the DHCP Server service stops, the server no longer issues IP addresses or other configuration parameters automatically. This service is only installed and activated if you install the DHCP server role.

This service is available on a Server Core installation of Windows Server 2008 R2 in addition to the Standard, Enterprise, and Datacenter editions of Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2.

The following table identifies the application protocols, network protocols, and ports that are used by the DHCP Server service:

Application protocol Network protocol Ports
DHCP Server UDP 67

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