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
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:
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 :
Yes I want to activate the SCOPE:
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 192.168.226.131 from my DHCP
Great, now I’m going establish another DHCP and here we will replicate all data from the old DHCP.
Select DHCP and go ahead:
Insert the correct credentials:
Well, the DHCP is now created, but as you can see there are no pools:
Right click on “IPv4 ” and select the “Configure Failover…“
This is my first DHCP server
and it is my Partner “192.168.226.132”
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)
In this figure, you can see that all pools and other configuration replicated automatically. ( Amazing isn’t it?!)
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.
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.