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Design Options for DHCP Availability and Fault Tolerance

Updated: November 10, 2008

Applies To: Windows Server 2008

A highly available DHCP solution must account for all possible points of failure, including servers, routers, and WAN links. You can increase the fault tolerance and availability of your DHCP design by using one or more of the following, depending on your needs and hardware cost considerations:

In larger networks, the administrative overhead associated with planning and supporting split scopes as the sole fault tolerance solution is often a strong argument against their deployment. A better solution is to deploy several clustered DHCP servers with a few split scopes as a secondary backup; failure of an individual server is covered by the cluster, and there is protection against DHCP database errors through multiple clusters.

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