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Secondary DHCP Server

Posted on 2010-09-14
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
We currently had a Windows 2003 Server setup to be our Active Directory, DNS, and DHCP server.  We also have another Windows 2003 Server that is our primary file server.  Both are Virtual Machines running in an ESX4 cluster of 3 VMware hosts.

We recently promoted our file server to be a secondary Active Directory Domain Controller and also installed DNS on it so we now have a backup domain controller and DNS server.

Does it make sense to have the file server also be a backup/secondary DHCP server as well, or is that not necessary?  Or is it even possible?  What happens to the workstations that reboot if the DHCP server is down and there isn't another DHCP server to process the DHCP requests?

Thank you in advance for any insight provided.
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Question by:Chad_J_Lemmer
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by:Joshua_Peters
ID: 33678888
We have ours set up that way.  2 DHCP and 2 DNS at each location.
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by:Seth Simmons
ID: 33678901
It's better to have a second server.  You could split your scope of addresses between the two.  I do that here and works fine.  Having only one is a single point of failure for clients if it fails and they can't get an address.
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by:Chad_J_Lemmer
ID: 33678959
I've seen other solutions where you split the IP address ranges between 2 DHCP servers, using exclusions to control which server handles which IP ranges.

Is there a way to setup a fully redundant DHCP service on another server, like you can for the AD controller and DNS?  Or is splitting the IP ranges between server the only/best option?
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Joshua_Peters earned 63 total points
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I think it would be less work to split them. You could set it up as a cluster but that is a lot more work.
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by:Seth Simmons
Seth Simmons earned 62 total points
ID: 33678974
yes split them is the best idea.  dhcp are local databases, not ad integrated like dns
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by:Joshua_Peters
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