Two DHCP / DNS Servers for Server 2012 home lab network

Hi all,

I’ve set up a Windows Server 2012 home lab. On the home lab, I’d like the Server 2012 machine to play the role of DHCP and DNS server. But I don’t want it to affect the rest of my home network (I want my Asus AC 68Urouter to be the DHCP / DNS server outside the virtual lab).

Is this possible? Or do I have to settle for one or the other.

Thanks in advance.
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Go-BruinsAuthor Commented:
From poking around in the router settings, I see maybe a couple of possibilities (please keep in mind that I'm a network noob):


JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
If you want to use 2 WAN connections, you can probably make it work. You can also try a VLAN so that your server is on a different LAN.

From a truly simple perspective, you need to settle on one or the other.
Go-BruinsAuthor Commented:
Thank you. From a "best practice" perspective, what would be better?

From doing some Googling, it seems VLAN isn't built-in with the Asus AC68U. Some have used aftermarket firmware to achieve it, but it's not something I want to do.

It seems other are plugging another router into the main router to create a separate LAN. Am I understanding this properly? Problem is, my Windows Server 2012 (and associated workstations) are VMware machines and thus cannot be physically plugged into the second router.
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Qlemo"Batchelor", Developer and EE Topic AdvisorCommented:
You could use a DHCP Vendor Class ID to have different settings on your single DHCP server for the lab. That's not the same, as you wouldn't use a second DHCP server, but anything else including DNS and IP scope can be separate.

Other than that, you need to keep the networks separate, as mentioned above - e.g. by using a VLAN on the switch for all lab traffic, or having a router between the networks. As long as you are on the same Ethernet (logical or physical), only one DHCP server may exist. The DHCP servers will communicate on start and one will take over.
Qlemo"Batchelor", Developer and EE Topic AdvisorCommented:
If your lab is completely on VMware, use the VM Switch with an own network, and no connection to outside. Your switches are usually configured as one Bridged, a Host-Only and another mode. The latter is correct, using its own DHCP server.

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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
A higher grade router like a Cisco RVxx router (e.g. RV325) supports VLAN's and may work for you.
Go-BruinsAuthor Commented:
So it should be done on the VMware side like this?

JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Yes. But the bridged connection just uses the HOST DHCP connection. You would want to disable DHCP Server on the guest server if I understand you correctly.
Salah Eddine ELMRABETTechnical Lead Manager (Owner)Commented:

You can use DNS suffix to separate the SCOPE used by the clients, machine with sufix1 will get DHCP address from DHCP1 and sufix2 will get it from DHCP2.

Refer to this for more details:

Best Regards.

Go-BruinsAuthor Commented:
Thank you all.
Qlemo"Batchelor", Developer and EE Topic AdvisorCommented:
Salah, I cannot see any reference to DNS suffixes determining which scope to use in the links provided, and never heard of that.
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Windows Server 2012

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