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What's New in DHCP in Windows Server 2012

Published: June 29, 2012

Updated: June 29, 2012

Applies To: Windows Server 2012



Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) in Windows Server® 2012 provides new features and capabilities over previous versions. This document describes new deployment, manageability, and capabilities added to the DHCP Server role in Windows Server 2012.

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. For more information, see Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) Overview.

New functionality in DHCP Server for Windows Server 2012 includes the following.

  • DHCP failover: This feature provides the ability to have two DHCP servers serve IP addresses and option configuration to the same subnet or scope, providing for continuous availability of DHCP service to clients. The two DHCP servers replicate lease information between them, allowing one server to assume responsibility for servicing of clients for the entire subnet when the other server is unavailable. It is also possible to configure failover in a load-balancing configuration with client requests distributed between the two servers in a failover relationship. For more information about DHCP failover, see Step-by-Step: Configure DHCP for Failover

  • Policy based assignment: With policy based assignment, the DHCP the server evaluates DHCP requests against policies that you define. Policies are applicable for a specific scope with a defined processing order. Policies applicable at a scope can be configured at the scope or inherited from server wide policies. A single client request can match multiple policies, and policies can be associated with multiple address ranges. For more information about DHCP policy based assignment, see Step-by-Step: Configure DHCP Using Policy-based Assignment.

  • Windows PowerShell for DHCP Server: Windows Server 2012 provides task-oriented Windows PowerShell cmdlets for DHCP server management. The DHCP server configuration operations are implemented in Windows Server 2012 as Common Information Model (CIM) based cmdlets. Windows PowerShell uses object pipelining to eliminate the need for parsing and manipulation of text output. Windows PowerShell for DHCP Server includes 103 cmdlets, covering multiple aspects of DHCP server configuration and management.

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