In this guide, I will show you step by step instructions for installing and configuring a Windows DHCP server.
What is a DHCP Server?
A DHCP server (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) is a server that automatically assigns IP addresses to computers and other devices on the network. Without a DHCP server, each device on the network would need to be manually configured with an IP address.
Why is a DHCP server needed?
Every device on the network needs an IP address to access network resources such as the internet, applications and even making phone calls. With a DHCP server this entire process is automated and can be managed from a centralized server. When mobile devices move from one office to another it may require a new IP address. DHCP handles this automatically providing a new IP addresses when the device moves to another location. Without a DHCP server there would be an overwhelming amount of manual configuration assigning IP addresses to devices on the network. A DHCP server is a huge time saver.
Recommended Tool: SolarWinds IP Address Manager
How to Install DHCP Server
These guide was created using Windows Server 2016. The steps should be similar for other server versions.
Step 1: Open Server Manager
Click the start button then click the Server Manager
Step 2: Add roles and features
On the server manager dashboard click “Add roles and features” This will start the add roles and features wizard
Click next on the before you begin page.
Step 3: Select Role-based or feature-based installation
Make sure “Role-based or feature-based installation is selected and click next
Step 4: Select destination server
On this page choose the server you want the DHCP service installed on. In this example I’ll be choosing the local server.
Step 5: Select server roles
On this page you want to select the DHCP server roles and click next.
When you select the roll you will get a pop up asking to add features that are required for DHCP server. Click add features
Back on the select server roles page click next
Step 6: Feature, DHCP Server
On the features screen click next
On the DHCP server click next
Step 7: Confirmation
On the confirmation page you can select to automatically restarted the server if required.
On 2016 server it does not require a restart.
Click install and the install will start.
You will get a install progress page, it will say install succeeded when complete.
That completes the install of the DHCP role. Move onto the next section for steps on configuring the DCHP server.
Configure DHCP Server
If you followed the steps above you should now have the DHCP service installed.
But.. It still needs to be configured.
Step 1: Server Manager
In the server manager dashboard you will see a yellow notification at the top left.
Click on it
Now click on “Complete DHCP configuration”
Step 2: Post-Install configuration wizard
On the description screen click next
On the authorization page use AD credentials if the server is joined to the domain.
Choose “Skip AD authorization” if the DHCP server is standalone and not joined to the domain.
You will see a summary page of the configuration steps
Now you can open the DHCP management console to configure DHCP scopes and other options.
To access the DHCP management console click start -> Windows Administrative Tool -> DHCP
The DHCP management console
The next steps are to configure a new scope, configure scope options and ensure clients can access the DHCP server. I’ll cover these steps in another post.
Recommended Tool: SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor
This utility was designed to Monitor Active Directory and other critical services like DNS & DHCP. It will quickly spot domain controller issues, prevent replication failures, track failed logon attempts and much more.
What I like best about SAM is it’s easy to use dashboard and alerting features. It also has the ability to monitor virtual machines and storage.