Best Practice for DHCP Handling

Posted on 2009-02-09
Last Modified: 2012-05-06
Currently our network is setup to have the router handle DHCP, however, I am running Windows Server 2008 and is setup to run as a DHCP server.  We have had some connectivity issues with the router, however, resetting the router always solves the connection problems.
I have considered purchasing a new router, however I was wondering if I should set it up for the Server to handle DHCP or leave it to the router to handle DHCP?  Is one better than the other and if so why?
Question by:technik13
    LVL 58

    Accepted Solution


    You should run DHCP on your server, and not the router. Routers do not provide as much granular control as the DHCP service on a Windows Server, and as such, you will find your router's DHCP scopes are not configured per the usual best practices.

    Deploy DHCP on your Windows Server and disable it on the router. Create your scope and set your DNS servers in the Scope Options. Once the power of DHCP on a server is made available to you, you will never regret this move.

    If the router requires rebooting on regular occasions, it is however likely the router is on its way out - so don't be surprised if that does need replacing at some point anyway.

    LVL 9

    Assisted Solution

    First you should only have one DHCP server per network, otherwise you will get duplicate addresses assigned.  Second, Windows likes to have total control over you network, so it is much cleaner to have the windows server act as you DHCP server.  Just disable DHCP on the router and you should be fine.
    LVL 16

    Assisted Solution

    As tigermatt says the server probably gives you more features for DHCP, although without knowing what kind of router you are using that's just a guess. My Cisco gives lots of options, but it isn't the internet or WAN facing router. We actually use 3 different DHCP servers for various reasons . . .  you will only get duplicate IP addresses handed out if you misconfigure the DHCP server. If you want to use a primary and a backup for example, just split the range.

    Good luck,

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