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BOOTP and DHCP

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Outline:
BOOTP and DHCP
Configuration Information Bootstrap Protocol (BOOTP): Efficiency Enhancements Message Format Bootstrap Procedure Specific Areas of the Message Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol DHCP Message Format: Difference Between BOOTP and DHCP DHCP Functionality Configuration and Compatibility Issues Address Leasing in DHCP Problems and Concerns of DHCP Acceptance of a New Standard
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Configuration Information:
Most computers using TCP/IP need updated configuration information when they start up (boot). Examples of that type of information include: Default gateway Default file server and domain name server IP address and subnet mask. Etc.
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Configuration Information:
Two protocols are commonly used to supply the client with this information: BOOTP (Bootstrap Protocol) DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol)

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Bootstrap Protocol (BOOTP):


BOOTP (Bootstrap Protocol): Is a protocol that allows a diskless workstation to determine its IP address (and other information) without using RARP. BOOTP is a client / server program where a BOOTP agent requests bootstrap information from designated BOOTP servers. It uses UDP and IP, so it can be implemented in an application, thus client / server.
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Bootstrap Protocol (BOOTP):


RARP has three drawbacks: Lower-level, requiring direct access to hardware (difficult access for the average application programmer). RARP only supplies IP address and not other possible information. Cannot be used on networks that dynamically assign hardware addresses. BOOTP handles these inefficiencies.
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BOOTP Efficiency Enhancements:


BOOTP is more efficient because a single message contains many startup items including: IP addresses. Address of default gateway to use. Address of bootstrap image server. Vendor-specific hardware information and subnet masks.

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BOOTP Efficiency Enhancements: Handling Service Problems


It places all responsibility for reliable communication of the BOOTP message on the client program. Since the BOOTP configuration information must be transferred quickly, clients are often connectionless. BOOTP handles connectionless service problems by: Requiring UDP to use checksums.
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BOOTP Efficiency Enhancements: Handling Service Problems


Requests and replies are sent with the DONT FRAGMENT bit set (for clients that have too little memory for reassembly). Constructed to accept multiple replies and only processes the first one (handles duplicates). Using time-out and retransmission techniques.

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BOOTP: Message Format


The BOOTP Message Format contains fixed length fields, where bootstrap requests and replies use the same format. BOOTP and DHCP protocols also share the exact same format with the exception of the OPTION FIELD (same as VENDOR-SPECIFIC AREA in BOOTP).

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0
OP

16

24

31

HTYPE HLEN HOPS TRANSACTION ID SECONDS UNUSED CLIENT IP ADDRESS YOUR IP ADDRESS SERVER IP ADDRESS ROUTER IP ADDRESS CLIENT HARDWARE ADDRESS ( 16 OCTETS ) . . . SERVER HOST NAME ( 64 OCTETS ) . . . BOOT FILE NAME ( 128 OCTETS ) . . . VENDOR-SPECIFIC .AREA ( 64 OCTETS ) . .
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BOOTP: Message Format


OP (8-bits): Operation requested (Request or Reply). HTYPE (8-bits): Hardware type (Ethernet = 1). HLEN (8-bits): Length of the hardware address in octets (Ethernet = 6).
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BOOTP: Message Format


HOPS (8-bits): Allows bootstrapping across multiple gateways. TRANSACTION ID (32-bits): A number the client uses to match requests with replies. SECONDS (16-bits): Number of seconds since the client started to boot.
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BOOTP: Message Format


Client IP Address (32-bits): Client that knows its IP address, places it here. Your IP Address (32-bits): If client IP address is zero in request, it is placed here in the response. Server IP Address and Router IP Address (32-bits each): Filled in if the client already knows these addresses.

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BOOTP: Message Format


All other fields are filled by the client with as much information about the server as it knows. A client pads the fields with zero if it does not know.

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Bootstrap Procedure:
Two-step Bootstrap Procedure: BOOTP provides the client with information needed to obtain a bootstrap configuration image. The client uses the Trivial File Transfer Protocol (TFTP) to obtain the image from the specified server.

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Bootstrap Procedure:
Separation of configuration and storage allows: Memory images to be stored on machines that are not BOOTP servers And for administrators to configure sets of machines to act independently or exactly the same.

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BOOTP: Specific Areas of the Message


Client Hardware Address (16-octets): If the clients hardware address can be manually configured, it will be included in this area. Server Host Name (64-octets): Filled in by the client if it knows the servers name. If not, the server will respond to a request and fill in this field.
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BOOTP: Specific Areas of the Message


Boot File Name (128-Octets): Allows the use of generic names to request specific boot images. A database maps this simple name to a specific machine architecture name.

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BOOTP: Specific Areas of the Message


Vendor-Specific Area (64-Octets): Magic cookie is contained in the first 4 octets. It defines the format of the remaining items found within the vendor-specific area.

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BOOTP: Specific Areas of the Message


Form of the Magic Cookie: <1-octet TYPE, optional 1-octet LENGTH, multi-octet VALUE> Ex. <99.130.83.99> (specifies the standard format) Extensions are added to BOOTP to allow for different configuration fields and values.

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Vendor-Specific Information Items:


Item Type Padding Subnet Mask Time of Day Item Value Code Length 0 1 2 4 4 Contents of Value Zero - used only for padding Subnet mask for local network Time of day in universal time End of item list
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End

255

Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP):


Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) Designed to: Supply hosts with configuration parameters. Lease dynamically allocated IP addresses. Interoperate with BOOTP (acts as an enhancement to BOOTP). The original definitions for DHCP can be found in RFC-1531, RFC-1533, and RFC-1534
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Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP):


DHCP supports three mechanisms for IP address allocation: Automatic - assigns a permanent IP address. Dynamic - the IP address is assigned for a limited time. Manual - a network administrator assigns the address and DHCP conveys the address to the host.
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DHCP Message Format:


The frame format is based on BOOTPs to capture the BOOTP relay agent behavior. This is also to promote the interoperability of existing BOOTP clients with DHCP servers. The only two fields that differ are: Flags (16-bits) = Not Used in BOOTP Options (Variable) = Vendor-Specific area has been extended beyond 64 bytes to handle more options.
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0
OP

16

24

31

HTYPE HLEN HOPS TRANSACTION ID SECONDS FLAGS CLIENT IP ADDRESS YOUR IP ADDRESS SERVER IP ADDRESS ROUTER IP ADDRESS CLIENT HARDWARE ADDRESS ( 16 OCTETS ) . . . SERVER HOST NAME ( 64 OCTETS ) . . . BOOT FILE NAME ( 128 OCTETS ) . . . OPTIONS ( .VARIABLE ) . .
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Difference Between BOOTP and DHCP:


Two primary differences between BOOTP and DHCP: A client can be assigned an IP addresses for a fixed time-lease and then that address can be reassigned again at a later time. DHCP provides the mechanism for the client to acquire ALL IP configuration parameters it needs to be fully functional.
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DHCP Functionality:
How it works: A client needing an IP address sends a DHCPDISCOVER broadcast message over the network which contains the clients MAC address (hardware).

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DHCP Functionality:
Any DHCP server (may be several offers) can respond with a DHCPOFFER unicast message to the clients MAC address offering an: IP address Subnet mask IP address of the DHCP server Expiration time of the lease.

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DHCP Functionality:
Client selects an offer by sending a DHCPREQUEST unicast message to the appropriate DHCP server and accepts the offered configuration information.

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DHCP Functionality:
The DHCP server responds with a DHCPACK unicast message to the client and officially assigns the address to the client node. It then provides DNS and/or WINS (Windows Internet Name Service) server addresses, the default gateway IP address, etc.

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What is WINS?
Windows Internet Naming Service (WINS): Microsoft has its own domain name service for use on many of its TCP/IP networks. WINS is not an official Internet name service, but is commonly used with many LANs. WINS, in part, allows a client node to identify and connect to another windows machine. Windows 95, NT, and Windows for Workgroups all use WINS servers.
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Image source: Internetworking with TCP/IP vol I (1995 Prentice Hall, Douglas Comer)

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Configuration and Compatibility Issues:


DHCP currently: Does not handle the registration of newly configured hosts with the DNS Nor is it intended for use in configuring routers. DHCP must provide service to existing BOOTP clients, to ensure their interoperability and coexistence.

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Configuration and Compatibility Issues:


Administrators setup scopes (ranges) of IP addresses available on each subnet for dynamic allocation by DHCP. Configuration options are defined either globally or per scope as appropriate.

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Configuration and Compatibility Issues:


When the DHCP service assigns IP addresses and configuration options to a client, it does so based on the scope of the subnet on which the client resides. This can differ for each network in an autonomous system.

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Address Leasing in DHCP:


Deciding efficient lease times is a key issue for DHCP: Choosing times which are too short can cause unneeded overhead on a machine, the network, DHCP servers, and possibly administrators. Choosing times which are too long can waste valuable IP addresses (to be used with other machines) and disrupt routers which try to send packets to an unused address.
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Address Leasing in DHCP:


The lease renewal process used with DHCP begins when 50% of the lease period has expired. This occurs long before the lease expires, which gives the machine and the user time to request and allocate another.

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Problems and Concerns of DHCP:


Dynamic configuration is highly desirable for large corporate environments. Name registration problems still haunt DHCPs wide-spread acceptance, but the issue is currently being investigated. This will probably change with the acceptance of IPv6.

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Acceptance of a New Standard:


The IETF has defined several RFC documents which detail the DHCP protocol. Changes are also being made to handle the current short-comings of DHCP. Many vendors (AT&T, Microsoft, etc.) currently support or plan to support DHCP.

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Questions
BOOTP and DHCP
What advantages does DHCP provide over traditional RARP or BOOTP protocols? What is an optimal lease time-period when choosing an IP address to use through DHCP? To what advantage does it serve DHCP to use the same message format of BOOTP? Why? What are some types of vendor specific information that may be included in a BOOTP message? Lesson 23 - (41 of 42) Does your TCP/IP stack support DHCP?

Reference Materials
BOOTP and DHCP
RFC1534: Interoperation between DHCP and BOOTP: (http://www.cis.ohio-state.edu/htbin/rfc/rfc1534.html) DHCP FAQ: (http://web.syr.edu/~jmwobus/comfaqs/dhcp.faq.html) RFC1541: Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (http://www.cis.ohio-state.edu/htbin/rfc/rfc1541.html) RFC1532: Clarifications and Extensions for the Bootstrap Protocol (http://www.cis.ohio-state.edu/htbin/rfc/rfc1532.html) Internetworking w/ TCP/IP vol 1, 3rd Edition: D. Comer.
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