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explaination of DSN and DHCP

Posted on 2004-09-28
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Last Modified: 2010-03-18
I'm a programmer. I'm writing code to find out if the DNS information for a NIC was pulled from DHCP.

Basically this is what I know:
DNS - service that runs on a server that converts a name to an IP, right?
DHCP - service that runs on a server that hands out IP addresses, right?

I'm looking for an in depth explaination that I can go from that will help me. How are DNS and DHCP related?

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Question by:apm825
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Expert Comment

by:tapkep
ID: 12178459
You are right about DNS. DHCP assigns not only IP address, but also default gateway, DNS server etc.

You can get technical information
about DNS - http://www.dns.net/dnsrd/rfc/
about DHCP - http://www.bind9.net/rfc-dhcp
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by:apm825
ID: 12183134
Not sure what RFCs are, but is there anything else out there a little easier to read/understand?
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by:tapkep
ID: 12187729
RFC stands for "request for comments". For example:
RFC 3696 (Informational)
    Application Techniques for Checking and Transformation of Names by J. Klensin
    Summarises the syntax of valid DNS names, email addresses, and URLs, so that programmers can correctly apply local checking of input.

If you are looking for in-depth information, RFCs are what you are looking for.

If you need only concepts of how it works, read:
http://www.networkclue.com/internet/DNS/
http://www.tcpipguide.com/free/t_TCPIPDynamicHostConfigurationProtocolDHCP.htm

http://www.tldp.org/HOWTO/HOWTO-INDEX/networking.html#NETDNS
http://www.tldp.org/HOWTO/DHCP/index.html
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NJComputerNetworks earned 500 total points
ID: 12200651
Just some thoughts for you instead of reading technical articles...

DHCP is a service that can be configured to run on Windows servers.  When a DHCP Client (computer, printer, etc) boots onto the network, a broadcast is sent out looking for a DHCP server.  The DHCP server then responds and establishes communication with the client.  Without going into much detail about how this communication works, the server eventually assignes an IP address to the client machine.  The DHCP server has something called DHCP SCOPES.  A DHCP scope is a range of IP addresses that the DHCP server can hand out.  Along with the IP address, other IP properties are handed out to the client like (DNS address, gateway address, WINS address, etc).  

The client receives the IP address and now can communicate with other devices on the network using TCP/IP.

DNS is a service that also runs on a Windows server.  The job of this service is to resolve HOST names to IP addresses.  Every computer has an IP address.  But these IP addresses are hard to remember xx.xx.xx.xx.  So, a Host name is also given to the computer.  The host name (computer1) is related to the IP address.  

This relationship of IP address to host name is recorded by the DNS server.  It keeps a database of all of the HOSTS on the network.  The DNS server knows the ip address to HOST name relationship.

When a client want to know what IP address is assigned to COMPUTER1, the client will query the DNS server.  The DNS server will use the DNS database to respond with the correct IP address.

Computer1 = xx.xx.xx.xx

The client needs the IP so that it can communicate with the remote PC over TCP/IP.

DHCP and DNS are not really related.  However, the DHCP server can tell clients where the DNS server is located on the network.  This way when a client receives an IP address from the DHCP server, it also gets the DNS primary servers IP address.


You can run IPCONFIG /all from the client workstation to see this information...

-hope this helps a little

Joe Poandl MCSE

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