Install DHCP and configure Fail Over Cluster?

Hi Everyone,

This tutorial is going to be very, very interesting.

I’m going to show you how to configure a new DHCP in addition to how to configure the FAILOVER CLUSTER between two DHCP servers.

One of the newest features Microsoft has released on Widows Server 2012 is the failover cluster inbetween DHCP servers on Windows Server 2012.

As we know about Windows Server 2008R2 we can establish two DHCP servers which divide the same IP from the same pool, the maximum we could do is create split DHCP.

But, what does this phrase, failover custer, mean?

Basically it means that we can create a DHCP server and configure all pools and other configuration and then create another new server (Windows Server 2012), in the new server once we install the DHCP service we will be able to specify existing DHCP server  and then the new DHCP server will replicate all Pools and configuration from old DHCP server , it gives us two DHCP servers in UP status and both of them will be active and if one of the DHCP servers fails, automatically the second DHCP will be the hero and hold your environment on his shoulders.


So, we can start with establishing and configuring a new DHCP server:

Go to “Add Roles and Feature ” and add DHCP role.


Click on the flag and “Complete DHCP Configuration”


Insert username and password (with permission * DHCP Administrator  * should be enough) and continue with NEXT


DHCP created, now we have configured it:


Click on New Scope and  select IPv4

Fail Over Cluster DHCP 2012

Pool Name and description


Here you need to configure the IP Address Range, Subnet, Length:


If you have any exclusion for printers, server, etc…  We have set it in this window:

Fail Over Cluster DHCP 2012

I decided to leave it as it as – default settings: Lease Duration


Configure DNS and Default Gateway:


My LAB GW IP is:


My Domain Controller IP is :

Fail Over Cluster DHCP 2012

Yes I want to activate the SCOPE:


Finished :


The first check it to verify your DHCP is running and working now, run some basic commands like IPconfig / release and renew… And make sure the DHCP is working. I got from my DHCP

Fail Over Cluster DHCP 2012

Great, now I’m going establish another DHCP and here we will replicate all data from the old DHCP.

Fail Over Cluster DHCP 2012

Select DHCP and go ahead:

Fail Over Cluster DHCP 2012

Configure DHCP

Fail Over Cluster DHCP 2012


Fail Over Cluster DHCP 2012

Insert the correct credentials:

Fail Over Cluster DHCP 2012

Well, the DHCP is now created, but as you can see there are no pools:

Fail Over Cluster DHCP 2012

Right click on “IPv4 ” and select the “Configure Failover…

Fail Over Cluster DHCP 2012



Remember this?

This is my first DHCP server

and it is my Partner “


Now we need to configure cluster settings.

The relationship name “XXXX”

Maximum Client Lead Time: 1


You can select “Load balance ” which means that both of the servers will be as “Active” mode and in addition, you can select “Hot standby” which means that one server will be Active and the second one will be passive and of course in crisis situation, the passive will wake up

Local server 50 % and partner server

Insert Shared secret (Password)

Fail Over Cluster DHCP 2012

Finish :

Fail Over Cluster DHCP 2012

Fail Over Cluster DHCP 2012

In this figure, you can see that all pools and other configuration replicated automatically. ( Amazing isn’t it?!)Fail Over Cluster DHCP 2012

Now let’s check if it’s working.

On my client notice to my virtual machine, the DHCP 1 is down and DHCP 2 is up, and my client still receives IP addresses from DHCP2.

Fail Over Cluster DHCP 2012

I really recommend implementing this feature in your organization, maybe just bring it up with your manager or IT members.

Do not forget that if we are talking about different VLAN we have to enable the Realy, IP Helper.