Some details on DHCP

The Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) is an important protocol from an operation viewpoint since most IP networks contain DHCP servers that allocate IP addresses. Network administrators know that there are sometimes problems with DHCP, but networking textbooks such as Computer Networking: Principles, Protocols and Practice rarely discuss DHCP in lots of details.

In a recent blog post, Markku Leinio provides many practical details on the operation of the DHCP protocol. He starts with a simple scenario using one DHCP relay and one DHCP server and explains the different packets that are exchanged. The blog post also contains pointers to packet traces for students willing to dig into more details. Two follow-up blog posts explore load-balancing with two DHCP servers and two DHCP relays.

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Written on June 14, 2023