The DHCP Handbook / Edition 2

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The Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) provides a way to automate and manage the network configurations of devices that use the TCP/IP protocol suite. Without DHCP, network administrators must manually enter in IP addresses for each computer and network device and then manually change that address each time the device is moved to a different part of the network. The DHCP Handbook, Second Edition is a complete reference for understanding DHCP, deploying and managing DHCP services, and debugging problems with DHCP clients and servers. Chapters devoted to failover, authentication, Windows 2000, DHCPv6, and DHCP/DNS interaction reflect the recent updates to the standard and issues that are most pertinent to network planners and administrators. Throughout the book, the authors are careful to balance conceptual discussions of DHCP with detailed implementation examples and practical advice.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780672323270
  • Publisher: Sams
  • Publication date: 10/28/2002
  • Series: Kaleidoscope Series
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 588
  • Sales rank: 1,132,656
  • Product dimensions: 7.50 (w) x 1.70 (h) x 1.38 (d)

Meet the Author

The authors of this text, Ralph Droms and Ted Lemon, bring extensive expertise and experience with DHCP and IP networking to this book. In this text, the authors combine their insights to create a unique perspective on the theory and design of the DHCP specification, as well as the practical aspects of implementing a DHCP server and running a DHCP service.

Ralph Droms, Ph.D., organized the DHCWG with Phil Gross in 1989. He has chaired the working group since its inception and is a key contributor to the design and development of DHCP. Ralph is also editor of the DHCP RFCs and continues to participate in the evolution of DHCP. Since joining Cisco in 2000, Ralph has continued his work on DHCP and network management. Previously, he was a member of the Computer Science Department faculty at Bucknell University, where he guided students through the study of TCP/IP internetworking, operating systems, and computer architecture. Ralph has also been a member of the computer science faculty at Pennsylvania State University, and he was on the research staff at IBM and Burroughs (now Unisys).

As a consultant in network architecture and infrastructure design, Ralph has worked with large and small companies on a variety of TCP/IP issues, including network architecture, server strategies and configurations, and the use of DHCP, DNS, and other technologies in network management. Ralph served as co-director of the computer center at Bucknell, where he supervised the design and implementation of the campuswide multiprotocol network.

Ralph lives with his wife and two daughters in Westford, Massachusetts. You can reach him at

Ted Lemon first encountered DHCP while working as a network administrator at Digital Equipment Corporation in the early 1990s. In 1996 Paul Vixie of the Internet Software Consortium became concerned that there was no high-quality open-source implementation of DHCP, and he asked Ted if he would be willing to produce one. The ISC DHCP distribution was the result.

As part of the work of producing the ISC DHCP distribution, Ted has been active in the IETF DHCWG since 1996. Along with Ralph, Bernie Volz, and Jim Bound, Ted is working on a new version of DHCP for IPv6, as well as extensions to the DHCP protocol for IPv4.

One of the important ways that open-source projects are improved is through examination of user feedback for ways to do things better and for common problems that users have. Ted has had a great deal of experience helping people with common problems with the various aspects of DHCP. His motivation in working on this book has been to help people who need to use DHCP to learn what they need to know to install and manage a DHCP installation without sending him e-mail.

Ted currently works for Nominum, Inc., a leading vendor of DHCP and DNS solutions.

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Table of Contents


1. An Introduction to DHCP.

Configuring Devices on a Network. A First Attempt at Automating Device Configuration. The Benefits of DHCP. Assigning IP Addresses Using DHCP. Perceived Problems of DHCP. Address Allocation Policies.

2. An Example of DHCP in Operation.

Setting Up the GSI Network. Using DHCP to Configure Computers. Leases on IP Addresses in DHCP.

3. Configuring the DHCP Server.

Specifying the Basic Network Architecture. Required Configuration Parameters. Specifying Leases. Other DHCP Options. Extending a Lease and Moving Between Subnets. Other Configuration Information.

4. Configuring TCP/IP Stacks.

The TCP/IP Protocol Suite. The Physical Layer. The Data Link Layer. The Internet Layer. The Transport Layer. The Application Layer.


5. DHCP Client/Server Model.

DHCP Goals and Design Decisions. Related TCP/IP Protocols. The DHCP Client/Server Architecture.

6. The Format of DHCP Messages.

DHCP Message Format Overview. The Fixed-Format Section. The options Section. Examples of Message Formats. Design Constraints.

7. Transmitting DHCP Messages.

Using UDP for DHCP. Relay Agents. Reliable Delivery of DHCP Messages. Other Transmission Methods. Authenticated DHCP Messages.

8. DHCP Message Exchanges.

Client States. Working with Multiple Servers. Other Message Exchanges.

9. DHCP Options.

DHCP-Specific Options. Host Configuration Parameters Options. TCP/IP Stack Configuration Parameters. Service Parameter Options.

10. Failover Protocol Operation.

Failover Protocol Overview. Lease Handling with Failover. Failover Operational States. Binding Update Conflicts. Pool Rebalancing. Complex Failover Configurations.

11. DHCP-DNS Interaction.

The Domain Name System. DHCP and DNS. Dynamic Updates to the DNS Database. Dynamic Updates and DHCP. How the DHCP Server Updates the DNS.


12. Theory of the Operation of a DHCP Server.

Address Allocation Strategy. Allocation and Renewal in Response to a DHCPREQUEST Message. DHCP Message Handling. Abandoned Lease Address Reclamation.

13. The Microsoft DHCP Server.

Installing the Microsoft DHCP Service. Managing DHCP Servers. Configuring DHCP Servers. Controlling the Windows DHCP Server.

14. The ISC DHCP Server.

Obtaining the ISC DHCP Server. Prerequisites to Operation of the ISC DHCP Server. Configuring the ISC DHCP Server. Invoking the ISC DHCP Server. Server Operation.

15. Configuring a DHCP Server.

Configuring a DHCP Server to Be Authoritative. Configuring an Individual Subnet. Supporting Multiple Network Segments. Configuring Multiple IP Subnets on Each Network Segment.

16. Client Identification and Fixed-Address Allocation.

Identifying Clients. Static Allocation. Mixing Static and Dynamic Allocation. Automatic Allocation. Access Control.

17. Setting Up a Reliable DHCP Service.

Determining Your Level of DHCP Service Reliability. Specific Failures in DHCP Service. Improving Reliability by Using Long Leases. Setting Up a Secondary DHCP Server. Problems with Setting Up Redundant Servers.

18. Configuring a Failover Server.

Types of Failover Relationships. Setting Up Failover Service for the First Time. Configuring the ISC DHCP Server to Do Failover. Operating a Failover Pair. Issues Specific to the ISC DHCP Failover Implementation.

19. Tuning a DHCP Service.

Network Device Configuration and Address Assignment Strategies. Configuring Lease Lengths. Monitoring the Server.

20. Programmable DHCP Server Customization.

Differentiating Between Clients. Controlling Address Allocation. Client Class Options. Lease Events. Lease Variables.

21. DHCP Clients.

The Theory of DHCP Client Operation. The Microsoft DHCP Client. The dhcpcd DHCP Client. The pump DHCP Client. The ISC DHCP Client. The Apple MacOS X DHCP Client.

22. Setting Up DHCP in a Small Office.

Small Office Network Architectures. IP Address Translation. Running a DHCP Server and Client on the Same Computer. Running the DHCP Server on Your Firewall. Problems with DSL Routers. Configuring an Integrated Router/Server. Configuring a WAN Port. Configuring a LAN Port and Small Network Services.

23. Updating DNS with DHCP.

Overview of Updating DNS with DHCP. The Motivation for Doing DNS Updates from DHCP. The Domain Name Update Policy. Name Clashes. DNS Update Security. Configuring the Servers. DNS Record Removal. Debugging Problems with DNS Updates.

24. Debugging Problems with DHCP.

The Debugging Process. Connectivity Problems. When the Server Does Not Respond. Server DHCPNAK Message Behavior. Incorrect Option Values. The Uniqueness of Client Identifiers. Dual-Boot Client Systems. Duplicate IP Addresses. When a Client Fails to Get a Reserved IP Address.

25. DHCP for IPv6.

An Introduction to IPv6. The Motivations for DHCPv6. The Design of DHCPv6.


Appendix A. Microsoft DHCP Server Examples.

Examples 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, and 3.4. Examples 3.5 and 3.6. Example 3.7. Examples 3.8 and 3.9. Example 3.10. Example 3.11. Examples 12.1 and 12.2. Example 13.1. Examples 14.1 through 14.6. Example 14.7. Example 14.8. Example 14.9. Examples 14.10 and 14.11. Example 14.12. Example 14.13. Example 14.14. Examples 14.15 through 14.17. Examples 15.1 and 15.2. Examples 15.3 through 15.7. Example 15.8. Example 15.9. Example 15.10. Examples 15.11 and 15.12. Example 15.13. Example 15.14. Example 15.15. Example 15.16. Example 15.17. Example 15.18. Example 15.19. Example 16.1 and 16.2. Example 16.3. Example 16.4. Example 16.5. Example 16.6. Examples 16.7 and 16.8. Examples 16.9, 16.10, and 16.11. Example 17.1 . Example 18.1 through 18.9. Example 19.1. Examples 20.1 through 20.14. Example 22.1. Example 22.2. Example 22.3. Example 22.4. Examples 22.5 through 22.7. Examples in Appendixes.

Appendix B. ISC DHCP Server Configuration File Reference.

How to Use This Appendix. File Organization. The shared-network Declaration. The subnet Declaration. The range Declaration. The host Declaration. The pool Declaration. The class Declaration. The subclass Declaration. The group Declaration. The option space Declaration. The include Directive. The key Declaration. The zone Declaration. The failover peer Declaration. Programming Statements. Expressions. Parameter Statements. Statements That Define Values to Send to Clients. The option Definition. The Standard DHCP Options.

Appendix C. The DHCP Message Format.

The fixed-format Section. The variable-format Section.

Appendix D. DHCP Options Summary.

Appendix E. Bibliography and Other Resources.

Web Resources for DHCP. RFCs Related to DHCP. Other RFCs of Interest. Additional Reading.

Appendix F. DHCP Server and Operating System Versions.

Choosing a DHCP Server. ISC DHCP Server Operating System Dependencies.

Appendix G. Glossary.


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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2003


    dhcp is very intresting subjet for me. it is a subjet under internet technologies and tools ,which is my favorate paper .

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