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Configuring DHCP Servers and Clients

Together with Domain Name System (DNS), the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) serves as a basic foundation of a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 network infrastructure. In all but the smallest networks, DHCP provides hosts with an Internet Protocol (IP) configuration needed to communicate with other computers on the network. This configuration includes-at a minimum-an IP address and subnet mask, but it typically also includes a primary domain suffix, a default gateway, preferred and alternate DNS servers, WINS servers, and several other options. Without being able to provide clients with a reliable and automatic means of adopting such a configuration, you would quickly be overburdened as an administrator with the task of managing these configurations manually.

DHCP is an IP standard designed to reduce the complexity of administering these address configurations. By issuing leases from a central database, DHCP automatically manages address assignment and configures other essential settings for your network clients.