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DHCP Best Practice in Virtual Setup

Posted on 2013-11-21
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What is the best way to handle DHCP on my network. I have two physical domain controllers. I also have two Hyper V servers that run my virtual servers. Currently my router is temporarily handling DHCP.

The domain controllers are a primary and backup with DNS. If i install DHCP on one of those servers I can only do it on one.  I don't think DHCP replicates to the other dmc.

Or could I create a cluster and have DHCP failover some how if one goes down? I never heard of anyone clustering domain controllers because they automatically replicate.

Or would it be better to create a third domain controller that was virtual machine? What is the best way to do this. I also want to add NTP time adjustment for network. I figured where ever i put the DHCP I would put NTP.
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Question by:MEATBALLHERO
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Joseph Daly earned 668 total points
ID: 39666680
You could take a look at using a split scope between the two dhcp servers.

http://blog.thesysadmins.co.uk/configuring-dhcp-split-scope-in-server-2008-r2.html
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by:Seth Simmons
ID: 39666704
you didn't specify what version of windows you have
if 2012, you can do dhcp in failover cluster if you meet the system requirements for your servers

Step-by-Step: Configure DHCP for Failover
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh831385.aspx

in previous versions this was not possible; and you are correct, dhcp doesn't replicate since it's not AD integrated like DNS.  if you have earlier than 2012, then split scope as mentioned above is a good solution

as far as your time server goes, configure it on the domain controller that has the PDC emulator role

How to configure an authoritative time server in Windows Server
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/816042
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by:bbao
bbao earned 664 total points
ID: 39666715
> If i install DHCP on one of those servers I can only do it on one.  I don't think DHCP replicates to the other dmc.

DHCP does not work in the same way as DC. it does not replicate its scope to other DHCP servers.

> Or could I create a cluster and have DHCP failover some how if one goes down?

yes, you can. as a critical network services for LAN, DHCP failover should be considered. a DHCP cluster is an option, an easier way to do that is to use the 80/20 design rule for balancing scope distribution of addresses. see below the details.

DHCP Best Practices
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc780311%28v=ws.10%29.aspx

> I never heard of anyone clustering domain controllers because they automatically replicate.

DC can be clustered too. the clustered two nodes (or more) do not replicate AD info to each other as they are acting like a single computer. from the point of view of other client computers, they are a single server sharing the same IP address and server name.

a physical cluster is just a locally single computer.

> Or would it be better to create a third domain controller that was virtual machine?

DHCP services have no problem to be virtualised.

> What is the best way to do this.

Read the above official best practice.

> I also want to add NTP time adjustment for network. I figured where ever i put the DHCP I would put NTP.

NTP server can be assigned to the client computers by adding its DHCP options. see below DHCP Option 42 for details.

DHCP Tools and Options
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd145324%28v=ws.10%29.aspx
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Expert Comment

by:Kwoof
ID: 39666717
This is only available in Server 2008 R2 and Server 2012.  If you have older servers then you can accomplish in a similar fashion by putting having each server handle enough address for the whole network that are on the same subnet such as 10.0.1.1-250 on one server and 10.0.2.1-250 on the other, but with the same 255.0.0.0 subnet.
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Author Comment

by:MEATBALLHERO
ID: 39667204
I have 2008 Server R2 with SVC pack 1 and all updates
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by:Seth Simmons
Seth Simmons earned 668 total points
ID: 39667243
in that case splitting your scope is your best way to go for redundancy
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