The DHCP server assigns a client an IP address taken from a predefined scope for a given amount of time. If anIP address is required for longer than the lease has been set for, the client must request an extension before thelease expires. If the client has not requested an extension on the lease time, the IP address will be consideredfree and can be assigned to another client. If the user wishes to change IP address then they can do so by typing"ipconfig /release", followed by "ipconfig /renew" in the command prompt. This will remove the current IPaddress and request a new one. Reservations can be defined on the DHCP server to allow certain clients to havetheir own IP address (this will be discussed a little later on). Addresses can be reserved for a MAC address or ahost name so these clients will have a fixed IP address that is configured automatically. Most Internet ServiceProviders use DHCP to assign new IP addresses to client computers when a customer connects to the internet -this simplifies things at user level.The above diagram diplays a simple structure consisting of a DHCP server and a number of client computers ona network.The DHCP Server itself contains an IP Address Database which holds all the IP addresses available for distribution. If the client (a member of the network with a Windows 2000 Professional/XP operating system, for example) has "obtain an IP address automatically" enabled in TCP/IP settings, then it is able to receive an IPaddress from the DHCP server.
Setting up a DHCP Server
This will serve as a step-by-step guide on how to setup a DHCP server.Installing the DHCP server is made quite easy in Windows 2003. By using the "Manage your server" wizard,you are able to enter the details you require and have the wizard set the basics for you. Open to "Manage your server" wizard, select the DHCP server option for the list of server roles and press Next.You will be asked to enter the name and description of your scope.Scope: A scope is a collection of IP addresses for computers on a subnet that use DHCP.