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DHCP supports three different mechanisms for IP address allocation:

Manual allocation: the server's administrator creates a configuration for the server that includes the MAC address and IP address of each DHCP client that will be able to get an address: functionally equivalent to BOOTP though the protocol is incompatible.

Automatic allocation: the server's administrator creates a configuration for the server that includes only IP addresses, which it gives out to clients. An IP address, once associated with a MAC address, is permanently associated with it until the server's administrator intervenes.

Dynamic allocation: like automatic allocation except that the server will track leases and give IP addresses whose lease has expired to other DHCP clients

How can i configure the automatic allocation on Windows 2000 or XP DHCP server?

i can think of setting the lease to unlimited period, but i m not sure if the computer shutsdown gracefully it will make the ip address available to other machine.

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What have you tried so far? –  Kara Marfia Feb 8 '10 at 20:07
    
i can think of setting the lease to unlimited period, but i m not sure if the computer shutsdown gracefully will the ip address available to other machine –  Kazoom Feb 8 '10 at 20:08

2 Answers 2

For Windows DHCP server:

Lease Duration: Required to specify the duration for which address assignments are good. If the Unlimited box is checked, then address assignments never expire; otherwise, specify the lease duration in number of days, hours, and minutes in the Limited To section.

This is as much support for Automatic DHCP allocation as you can get out of Windows DHCP server.

However, odd network problems can occur in an automatic DHCP network if you don't fully understand the consequences. Think carefully about the various scenarios that can occur (server down while client powers on, for instance). For this and other reasons, Automatic is rarely a good choice.

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what would happen if i set ulimited lease and client powers on and server is down? –  Kazoom Feb 9 '10 at 0:06
    
the DHCP server still needs to be there, otherwise your client will get an APIPA address. If it's an important server, stick with static IP's. –  Nick Kavadias Feb 9 '10 at 7:40

Set the Lease Duration for DHCP client to unlimited. This is how an automatic allocation is performed (at least that's how I read the RFC). Once an IP is leased, it the DHCP server cannot realocate that IP until the exipration of the lease. Windows (and every other OS I can think of) does not perform a DHCP release on shutdown.

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