One of the most important network services is DHCP. Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) is a client/server protocol which allows hosts to obtain necessary TCP/IP configuration information from a DHCP server, with IP address and other related configuration information (subnet mask, default gateway, name servers). From Microsoft Windows Server 2003 operating system, DHCP Server service is standard (optional) network component.

DHCP installation and configuration on Windows Server is pretty simple process, and can be done from GUI or PowerShell. As I said earlier, DHCP in optional role and before configuration need to installed :). The simplest and fastest way for installing DHCP is with PowerShell. You just need to run command

Install-WindowsFeature DHCP -IncludeAllSubFeature -IncludeManagementTools



After installation and before configuration, you need one step more. You need to authorize DHCP server in Active Directory. Starting with Windows 2000, Active Directory prevents rogue DHCP servers from running in domain environment. When a DHCP server running Windows 2000 or later starts, it first checks Active Directory to confirm its authorization to run. If the server has explicitly been authorized as a DHCP server, it is allowed to run. By default, the DHCP server checks its authorization every sixty minutes.



When DHCP is authorized, you can start with basic configuration – configuring DHCP scope. Creating functional DHCP scope, includes the configuration of the following parameters:

  • Scope name and description
  • IP address range and subnet mask
  • Exclusion and delays
  • Lease duration
  • Scope options – Default gateway, DNS servers, WINS servers


Now, you have configured and fully functional DHCP server in your AD environment.

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