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DHCP Configuration and Operation
The big news in DHCP
is dynamic address allocation, and the
concept of address leasing. It is in fact
this new functionality that makes DHCP significantly more complex than
its predecessor. BOOTP is a simple request/reply protocol because a
server only needs to look up a client's hardware address and send back
the client's assigned IP address and other parameters. In contrast,
DHCP clients and servers must do much more to carry out both parameter
exchange and the many tasks needed to manage IP address leasing.
In this section I delve into the
nuts and bolts of how DHCP operates. I begin with two background
topics. The first provides an overview of the responsibilities of clients
and servers in DHCP, and shows in general terms how they relate to each
other. The second discusses DHCP configuration parameters and how they
are stored and communicated.
The remaining five topics illustrate
the operation of DHCP in detail. The first of the five describes the
DHCP client finite state machine, which will give you a high-level
look at the entire client lease life cycle, including address
allocation, reallocation, renewal, rebinding and optionally, lease termination.
This theoretical description is then used as the basis for several topics
that explain the actual processes by which DHCP client lease activities
occur. These show the specific actions taken by both client and server
and when and how DHCP messages are created and sent. The last of the
five topic describes the special mechanism by which a device not using
DHCP for address allocation can request configuration parameters.
Note: If you are going to read this section, I strongly recommend reading the first three topics in sequence. Then, if you plan to read any of the following four Process topics, start with the first one on allocation, as it contains a number of important notes that apply also to the topics that follow it.
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The TCP/IP Guide (http://www.TCPIPGuide.com)
Version 3.0 - Version Date: September 20, 2005
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