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To use DHCP on server 2016 essentials or on the router?

SBS 2011 standard to Windows Server 2016 Essentials migration
Microsoft's docs recommend to move the DHCP funtion to the router.
Is there a good reason for this as opposed to moving it to the 2016 server?
Has anyone had favorable/unfavorable results either way?
If on 2016, can the existing scope/parameters be moved easily from SBS?
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Shabarinath RamadasanInfrastructure Architect


DHCP can be configured on the router but depends on your specific requirements.

Windows Server DHCP may be easy to manage from my perspective.

If you want to move the existing scopes to the new DHCP - use powershell to export the existing scopes and scope options into CSV. Use the same CSV to import the scope to the new DHCP. Once the scope is available, test it out first. Reduce the lease duration. Cutover on a weekend.


Infrastructure Architect

Now its much more simpler with Export-DHCPServer and Import-DHCPServer commandlets.

But needs to be validated against the SBS Server as some commandlets may not work on lower versions.



Paul MacDonaldDirector, Information Systems

You'll get much more control on your server than you will on your router.  

If you need (or will need) greater control, stick with Microsoft's DHCP service.  

If you want simplicity (and don't require much control), the router will suffice.
Jackie Man IT Manager
Distinguished Expert 2019

Microsoft's docs recommend to move the DHCP funtion to the router.

Is there a good reason for this as opposed to moving it to the 2016 server?

We have DHCP on our physical firewall, not router nor server.


Have a look at the above link for a lengthy discussion.

The main purpose of DHCP on the firewall is simple. If your server is DOWN, how you can troubleshoot without going to the server room and how your users can get Internet access.

For example, recently, one of our DC and file server (which is on hyper-v) is DOWN, our users still could have access to the Internet and emails on Office 365 while I could RDP to the hyper-v host from my desktop PC to fix the problems. If your DHCP is on your DC and it is DOWN, users will not be able to DO anything until you have fixed the problem.

Of course, your physical firewall has to be in HA mode so that it will automatically do failover when there is a problem.
DP230Network Administrator

Agree with @Jackie, DHCP server on Router/Firewall is more stable since the devices less likely are rebooted than Servers


Thanks all - I like the control I have over DHCP in Windows server - servers rarely if ever go down outside of maintenance needs, and the router or firewall could just as likely fault.