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DHCP on SBS 2008

Posted on 2013-12-19
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Last Modified: 2013-12-19
I want to use our sbs 2008 server as a file server only.  We use Google mail, so even though Exchange is running, we don't use it.  With this in mind, should I have the router maintain DHCP and turn it off on the server?  I'm thinking that if the server goes down, users will still be able to access the internet.  Thoughts?
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Question by:kdata
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John Hurst earned 500 total points
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That will work and I once did that for a very small client.

Nonetheless, servers are quite reliable normally and I prefer DHCP to come from the server if possible. I find that easier to manage.

However, your choice, and router-based DHCP will work also.

... Thinkpads_User
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by:John Hurst
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@kdata - Thanks and I was happy to help you with this.

... Thinkpads_User
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by:Lee W, MVP
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While it MAY work, it's likely to annoy the users.

Active Directory resolves service locations through DNS.  The client MUST point to the SBS server for DNS.  You CANNOT add a secondary DNS server that is your ISP because the way DNS works, that will often cause sporadic problems.  Misconfigured DNS often results in lengthy (MINUTES LONG logons and possible problems sporadically accessing the server).  So even if DHCP is served by the router, your DNS goes down and your users cannot access the internet.

While you can configure the router's DHCP to hand out the server as it's only DNS (you are using a BUSINESS CLASS router, right - not a $50 linksys or belkin or netgear, etc), if you have your lease times set to 24 hours (1 day), then you should never have a DHCP problem unless the machines are restarted.  The way DHCP works, if the DHCP server failed, ALL machines will STILL have an IP address for HALF the lease time OR MORE unless they are restarted.  And why would your server ever been down THAT long?  If it is, you've got more serious problems than the lease expiring.  (You could always set the IPs statically temporarily while the server is down...)

Bottom line, if you want redundancy in DNS/DHCP in a Windows network the most practical solution is a virtualized system that you can just move or restore to different hardware, else a second DC in the network.  But in both cases, you need some experience and knowledge of the technologies for the solution to work right and to ensure you don't destroy the network because you did something you thought you could but didn't know the ramifications (snapshop a VM based DC and restore it; restore an old backup, etc - basically, you could setup redundancy that work great until you destroy the network trying to restore something when you didn't understand what the restoration might do).
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