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DHCP Reservations vs Static IP addresses

Posted on 2009-05-13
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Last Modified: 2012-05-06
We are running on windows 2003 and have DHCP on two Domain controllers (each have half of the address ranges) We also have DNS with a primary and secondary.

Currently we only reserve a handful of ip addresses for certain boxes, but we have been toying with the idea of moving to static ip's for all our machines (due to some applications not handling reporting very well like our Cymphonix box.)

My question is what is best, placing static ip addresses on the individual machines or have DHCP hand out reserved ip's for the entire company. We have about 100 boxes. Any thoughts or ideas on this would be appreciated.
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Question by:chemdry
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13 Comments
 
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by:drewha1969
drewha1969 earned 166 total points
ID: 24379052
I would say assign them on the DHCP servers.  Since you are planning on assigning all the machines static IPs, then at least the administration would be simplified by having it all done on the server.  It would be easy to add/remove/update machines addresses by remoting into the server and changing the DHCP configuration.  It seems like it would be a hassle to go to each machine to manually assign.  Just my opinion.
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by:Hypercat (Deb)
Hypercat (Deb) earned 166 total points
ID: 24379064
There are pros and cons to both approaches.  Pros for using DHCP rservations are that it's easy to make changes.  If you have to change the DNS server or gateway addresses, etc., it's easy to change the scope options and all DHCP clients will be automatically updated. You might run into problems, however, using DHCP reservations with two different DHCP servers.  I'm not sure exactly how that would work and if you might run into an issue where a machine would get a random dynamic address from a different server.  
Pros for using static IP addresses would be that you can do away with DHCP entirely and don't have to worry about possible conflict resolution. The major con would be that you have to touch each machine to set the IP configuration and then again if anything needs to be changed.
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by:mickeymclean
ID: 24379096
Initial thought:  IP Reservations via MAC addresses is centrally managed.  Static IP's for each node would $uck configuring.   That would be my choice.  Another plus would be tightened security on your network.
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by:drewha1969
ID: 24379121
I think the question is where he should be managing the static IPs.  Individually on each machine or on the server...
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by:chemdry
ID: 24379172
I'm thinking DHCP is the way to go,  hyper there shouldn't be any conflict since we copy the reservations from our "main dhcp" to the secondary (i can't believe Microsoft doesn't have a way to do this, have to use our own script.).

I wanted to throw this out there since it's always a good idea for discussion before implementation. I always thought DHCP was the way to go, but wasn't sure on the impact of everyone turning their machine on at 8, what's the network hit, the load time etc. I know most of these are pretty small factors but wanted to see if anyone's experience was different. Good answers so far.
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by:chemdry
ID: 24379189
plus static what suck for our laptop users when they leave the building, you'd have to have a little bat or vba program to configure their network.
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by:drewha1969
ID: 24379233
Reserving IPs on the DHCP server is basically assigning static IPs...  It is just where you choose to implement it.
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MariusSunchaser earned 168 total points
ID: 24386306
Hi there.
I designed a couple of networks so far, and I have to warn you that manual IP or even DHCP reservation for all your network is not the way to go. I would advise you to ask the software providers to deal with those problems of their application with DHCP.
Also, be VERY carefull how you manage those DHCP servers. If you don't know exactelly what you doing, keep only 1 DHCP in your network, because as you know DHCP works on brodcast, and you will never know which client chooses which server, and you could have serious problems. Even if you choose to have 2 DHCP server, implement the 80/20 rule by the book. 50/50 is not the way to go.
You should ask yourself these questions:
1. What is the estimaded network growth in the next 2 years? (You have now 100 computers, but what would you do if your company expands with another 100 computers? Your time is precious. Think that you will have to manually update your DHCP server.)
2. Imagine what trouble will give you simple projects like changing all the NICs in your company for GBit, for example, or deciding to buy wireless sticks for 2 departments. What will you do? Keep track of each stick's MAC and make reservations?
4. How do you handle visitors that connect to your network? Go to each laptop and get the MAC to make reservation?

Think the big picture. DHCP is the way to go.
But if you took an informed decision, and you think that going static IP's for a 100 workstations company, then go with DHCP reservations.
Walking to each and every user's office to manually change the IP is the worst nightmare.
Bottomline, deal with the problem at the root. Don't change your network policy and design because troublesome software. Insist that software is properly written and configured.
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Expert Comment

by:Johneil1
ID: 24425230
Are these servers? Servers and work stations? what is your environment first!!!!
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by:chemdry
ID: 24425488
Thanks for the post Marius.

Basically this is what i was thinking.

Both DHCP servers will have the reservations for all of our corporate computers, this will leave a pool of ip address that can be handed out dynamically to guests (we don't allow wireless nor will we). The remaining pool of ip's that can be handed out will be divided between the two DHCP's at 80/20 (which we are doing now, not sure why i said 50/50 :) ).

Johniel1 did you even read my post, i told you what our environment is.
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Author Closing Comment

by:chemdry
ID: 31581191
Thanks for you help, Any ideas on lease duration or if it even matters for the static ips?
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Expert Comment

by:Johneil1
ID: 24425871
sorry i missed it.
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by:MariusSunchaser
ID: 24426679
Well, good luck with your new implementations.
Lease duration matters if you make a reservation for a static IP and configure the IP to obtain its IP from the DHCP server.
If you configure the equipment manually with an IP and make the reservation for it, the lease doesn't matter, because the server didn't give the IP.
Don't worry if you see the reservations showing as "inactive" in the DHCP server.
Read this post of mine about this matter:
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Networking/Protocols/DHCP/Q_24408395.html
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