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DHCP defined

Updated: January 21, 2005

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

DHCP defined

Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) is an IP standard for simplifying management of host IP configuration. The DHCP standard provides for the use of DHCP servers as a way to manage dynamic allocation of IP addresses and other related configuration details for DHCP-enabled clients on your network.

Every computer on a TCP/IP network must have a unique IP address. The IP address (together with its related subnet mask) identifies both the host computer and the subnet to which it is attached. When you move a computer to a different subnet, the IP address must be changed. DHCP allows you to dynamically assign an IP address to a client from a DHCP server IP address database on your local network:

Simple DHCP network

For TCP/IP-based networks, DHCP reduces the complexity and amount of administrative work involved in reconfiguring computers.

The Microsoft® Windows Server 2003 family provides an RFC-compliant DHCP service you can use to manage IP client configuration and automate IP address assignment on your network.

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