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DHCP options

Updated: January 21, 2005

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

DHCP options

DHCP provides an internal framework for passing configuration information on to clients on your network. Configuration parameters and other control information are carried in tagged data items stored within protocol messages exchanged between the DHCP server and its clients. These data items are called options.

Most standard DHCP options are currently defined in Request for Comments (RFCs) published by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). The full set of standard DHCP options are described specifically in RFC 2132, "DHCP Options and BOOTP Vendor Extensions."

All DHCP options mentioned in RFC 2132 are predefined for you to configure and use at any DHCP server running Windows Server 2003 . If needed, you can also use the DHCP console to define new DHCP options at each server.

Even though most DHCP servers can assign many options, most DHCP clients are typically designed to request or support only a subset of the full RFC-specified standard options set.

How options are applied

Options can be managed using different levels assigned for each managed DHCP server, including:

  • Server options  These options are applied for all scopes defined at a DHCP server.

  • Scope options  These options are applied specifically to all clients that obtain a lease within a particular scope.

  • Class options  These options are applied only to clients that are identified as members of a specified user or vendor class when obtaining a lease.

  • Reservation options  These options apply only for a single reserved client computer and require a reservation to be used in an active scope.

For more information, see Setting Up Options.

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