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Updated: January 21, 2005

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


Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) is an IP standard designed to reduce the complexity of administering address configurations by using a server computer to centrally manage IP addresses and other related configuration details used on your network. The Microsoft® Windows Server 2003 family provides the DHCP service, which enables the server computer to perform as a DHCP server and configure DHCP-enabled client computers on your network as described in the current DHCP draft standard, RFC 2131.

DHCP includes Multicast Address Dynamic Client Assignment Protocol (MADCAP) which is used to perform multicast address allocation. When registered clients are dynamically assigned IP addresses through MADCAP, they can participate efficiently in the data stream process, such as for real-time video or audio network transmissions.

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