I know that DHCP assigns IP addresses, but does it also assign a MAC address?

Is this a commonly used paradigm for cluster/cloud computing?

Perhaps DHCP could be used to dynamically assign a new IP address and a new MAC address to every machine in a cluster, perhaps a hadoop cluster, is it so?

Please forgive me if this question is a bit daft I'm still getting accustomed to these concepts and the correct terminology.

1 Answer 1


DHCP only assigns IP addresses. Not only can it not assign MAC addresses, you NEED a MAC address in order to use DHCP. (It's the address used for the lower layer ethernet protocol.) Essentially, to get an IP address, you send a broadcast request, and the response is sent to your MAC address.

MAC addresses are usually assigned in hardware, by the manufacturer. (although they can be modified via software) In the case of virtual machines, the MAC address will get assigned by the HyperVisor suite.