DHCP was designed from the start to simplify network management. It has some significant advantages, such as the following:
■ Configuration of large and even medium sized networks is made much simpler. If a DNS server address changes or some other change is necessary to the client, the administrator doesn't have to physically touch each device in the network to reconfigure it with the new settings.
■ Once you enter the IP configuration information in one place—the server—it's automatically propagated to clients, eliminating the chance that a user will misconfigure some parameters and require you to fix them.
■ IP addresses are conserved because DHCP assigns them only when a client requests one.
■ IP configuration becomes almost completely automatic. In most cases, you can plug in a new system (or move one) and then watch as it receives a configuration from the server.
Unfortunately, there are a few drawbacks with DHCP:
■ DHCP can become a single point of failure for your network. If you only have one DHCP server and it's not available, clients won't be able to request or renew leases.
■ Not all DHCP client implementations work properly with Windows Server 2003's DHCP server.
■ If the DHCP server contains incorrect information, it will automatically be delivered to all of your DHCP clients, meaning you may have to visit each machine and reconfigure it.
■ If you want to use DHCP on a multi-segment network, you must either put a DHCP server or relay agent on each segment or ensure that your router can forward Bootstrap Protocol (BOOTP) broadcasts.
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