This paper is a research on different aspects of Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP). The introduction provides background information on TCP/IP protocol suite and the need for Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP). This is followed by a section that defines and discusses Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP). Technical aspects of DHCP are also discussed in the paper as well as the kind of information provided by the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol server.
The methods used by Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol server to allocate IP addresses are discussed, followed by a conclusion that sums up the entire paper.
Introduction The current growth of the need for communication and information sharing has led to the increase in networking. This is what has led to the reception of the TCP/IP protocol suite into organizational networks. TCP/IP protocol suite is the fundamental communication standard of the internet. Prior to the introduction of TCP/IP protocol suite, organizations utilized different protocols and standards.
TCP/IP protocol suite has become the commonly used internet protocol in organizations as it makes it easy for them to communicate and share information effectively and utilize internet equipment for higher efficiency (Davis, 2006). The design of this suite needs that every network utilizing the protocol has a distinctive address that suits into the addressing system within the company. This means that all the addresses need to be members within a subnet. This subnet need to be developed from a group of logically connected computers.
One means of achieving this is moving the management of the IP addresses from the client networks to a central server. It was in response to this need that the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) developed DHCP (Droms and Lemon, 2002). Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP). Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) refers to a standardized communication protocol that is defined by RFC 1541. This is a networking protocol that permits dynamic distribution of IP addresses and configuration information from servers to clients (Mitchell, 2010).
With the use of the concept of dynamic addressing, a machine can have a new IP address every instant it joins the network. In some networks, the addresses can change even with the device still connected to the network. This is the protocol that allows network administrators efficiency in central management and automation in the assignment of IP addresses in a network. The work of the administrator is made easier since the software tracks the addresses rather than having the administrator manage the operation.
Its main purpose is to lessen the work of the network administrator particularly for large IP networks (Davis, 2006). By utilizing this protocol, any computer that requires to be connected to the internet, requires a distinctive IP address whose assigning is done when the connection is developed for a particular machine. This means that with the use of Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol, a machine can connect to an IP-based internet connection without the need for pre-configured IP address (Mitchell, 2010).
This is because Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol assigns distinctive IP addresses to machines, afterwards releasing and renewing the addresses as machine disconnect and re-connect the connection. This protocol is commonly used by internet service providers to make it easy for consumers to join the internet with minimal efforts. This is commonly used for dial-up users (Droms and Lemon, 1999). Technical aspects of DHCP Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol utilizes a client/server relationship to assign addresses, keep track of their utilization, and retrieve a prearranged list of IP addresses and other configuration data within a system.
Every organization possesses one or more Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol servers which have a range of programmed IP addresses, as well as some other start-up information or supplementary parameters. When the client system is booted, the system transmits a call for a Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol server to provide it with an IP address. In most ordinary cases, the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol server provides the client system with an IP address and a specific length of time for which the device may utilize the address. This specific period of time is usually referred to as a lease.
The lease varies depending on the length of time the client may require the internet connection. This is mostly crucial in education and other locations where users keep on changing (Droms and Lemon, 2002). Use of short leases, can allow Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol to dynamically configure connections where the number of devices to be connected is greater than the existing IP addresses. Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol can also provide support for static IP addresses for devices that require a fixed IP address, for example the web servers.
Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol utilizes the ports allocated by Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) and Bootstrap Protocol or BOOTP; 67/udp is for conveying information to the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol server while 68/udp is for relaying information to the client system. The working of Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol server is in four main stages: IP discovery, IP lease offer, IP request, and IP lease acknowledgement (Davis, 2006). Information provided by the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol server
Commonly, the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol server provides the client system with at least this fundamental information: IP address; Subnet mask and Default Gateway. There are other information that can be provided including Domain Name Service (DNS) server addresses and Windows Internet Name Service (WINS) server addresses. The Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol server is configured by the network administrator with the choices that are parsed out to the requesting system (Davis, 2006). Methods of assigning IP addresses
There are three common methods used by the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol server to allocate IP addresses. The first method is dynamic allocation. This is the assigning of a range of IP addresses to Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol by an administrator. In this kind of allocation, every client system has its IP software design in such a way that it can call for an IP address from the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol server when the connection is initialized. The requesting and granting process utilizes the concept of lease with a controllable duration (Droms and Lemon, 2002).
This makes it possible for the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol server to retrieve and then reallocate the addresses that are not reused. The second method is automatic allocation. In this method, there is permanent allocation of a free IP address by the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol server to a client system that sends a request. The range of allocation in this method is defined by the network administrator (Davis, 2006). This method is similar to dynamic allocation only that in this case, the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol server retains a table of IP addresses that have been assigned.
The purpose of this table is to as much as possible assign the same address that a machine previously had. The last method is static allocation. The allocation of addresses by the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol server is based on a table that has MAC address/IP address pairs. The allocations are carried out only for client systems that have MAC address in the table (Droms and Lemon, 1999). Conclusion From the research, it is evident that Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol is useful in moving the management of Internet Protocol addresses from distributed client networks to centrally controlled servers.
The centrally controlled servers retain important information eliminating the requirement for the client systems to retain static network information. Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol has saved administrators a lot of efforts and time in configuring and managing the networks. There is also reduction in the cost of ownership and operation of client systems. This has led to reduction of costs for organizations by moving management of network configuration from clients systems to a Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol server. The organizations are also allowed better control of their computing environment.
References: Davis, J. (2006). Telecommute Safely: Use Internet Technology to Keep Cost Down, Journal of Accountancy, Vol. 202. Droms, R. & Lemon, T. (1999). The DHCP Handbook: Understanding, Deploying, and Managing Automated Configuration Services. London: Macmillan Publishing Company. Droms, R. & Lemon, T. (2002). DHCP Handbook, The (2nd Edition), Atlanta, GA: Sams Mitchell, B. (2010). DHCP – Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol. Retrieved on July 6, 2010 from http://compnetworking. about. com/cs/protocolsdhcp/g/bldef_dhcp. htm