DHCP Scopes

Applies To: Windows Server 2008

A Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) scope is the consecutive range of possible IP addresses that the DHCP server can lease to clients on a subnet. Scopes typically define a single physical subnet on your network to which DHCP services are offered. Scopes are the primary way for the DHCP server to manage distribution and assignment of IP addresses and any related configuration parameters to DHCP clients on the network.


The following is a list of all aspects that are part of this managed entity:

Name Description

DHCP BOOTP Configuration

The Bootstrap Protocol (BOOTP) is a host configuration protocol developed before Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP). DHCP improves on BOOTP and resolves its limitations as a host configuration service.

The BOOTP service can request Internet Protocol (IP) addresses for BOOTP clients from the DHCP server. If the DHCP server cannot provide IP addresses, the BOOTP service might not function correctly.

DHCP Client Option Configuration

Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) uses options to pass additional Internet Protocol (IP) settings to DHCP clients on a network. Examples of DHCP options include:

  • The default gateway IP address
  • The Domain Name System (DNS) server IP address
  • The DNS domain name

You can configure options for an entire server, a scope, or for a single reserved client. If the server does not recognize the options sent by the client, it ignores the options.

DHCP Lease Availability

Internet Protocol (IP) addresses are leased by the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) server to its clients. Each lease has an expiration date, which the client must renew if it is going to continue to use that IP address. The DHCP server cannot issue leases to clients if the number of available IP addresses in the scope is insufficient.

DHCP Scope Configuration

Before Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) clients can use a DHCP server for dynamic Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) configuration, you must define and activate scopes for your DHCP clients. A scope is the full, consecutive range of possible Internet Protocol (IP) addresses for a subnet. The IP addresses in a scope defines a single subnet on which DHCP services are offered. DHCP servers use scopes to manage network IP address distribution and the configuration of DHCP options.

DHCP Infrastructure