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Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) Overview


Applies To: Windows Server 2012

This topic provides overview information about the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) Server role in Windows ServerĀ® 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2. Also see the following topics:

Role description

DHCP is an Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) standard designed to reduce the administration burden and complexity of configuring hosts on a TCP/IP-based network, such as a private intranet. Using the DHCP Server service, the process of configuring TCP/IP on DHCP clients is automatic.

Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2 provide several enhancements to the DHCP Server service.

Practical applications

DHCP in Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2 provide the following:

  1. Safe, easy and reliable: Valid configuration parameters for all clients on the network can be dynamically provided. DHCP clients renew their leased address allocation automatically in the background. With DHCP failover, a new feature in Windows Server 2012, DHCP servers can provide a highly resilient DHCP service that allows the DHCP client to extend the lease on its current IP address by contacting another DHCP server on the enterprise network.

  2. Flexible assignment: DHCP supports a large and extensible set of client configuration parameters. With client reservations, it is possible to reserve a specific IP address for permanent use by a DHCP client. A new feature in Windows Server 2012 called policy based assignment allows for even greater flexibility.

  3. DHCP integration with DNS enables DNS resource records to be dynamically updated for new computers and devices, or when IP addresses of existing devices change on the network.

New and changed functionality

Server Manager information

Installation of the DHCP Server role can be performed using Server Manager. The following features and tools are installed automatically when you install DHCP Server:

Feature or Tool


Remote Server Administration Tools

DHCP Server Tools are required to manage the DHCP Server role, but do not have to be installed on the same server. The DHCP Management console is installed automatically when you install DHCP Server unless you choose to cancel installation of Remote Server Administration Tools.

See Also

Step-by-Step: Configure DHCP for Failover Step-by-Step: Configure DHCP Using Policy-based Assignment