Why would DHCP be a bad idea? RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • Just wondering...

    Let's say that I have multiple PCs, all linked together in a home network, with a rather large family needing 6 PCs (I need 5 and my girlfriend 1  )

    My wireless router thingy has only 4 ports, so I need another switch (hubs are too slow) to connect all PCs. It could be possible to have the wireless one assign IP addresses to all systems, but I'd like to have a DHCP server to do that so I can hand out the addresses I want.

    I know, Home Server is aimed at Home users, but... How many more advanced users, notably the ones who have multiple systems, will want to use the Home Server? My guess, a lot. As the codebase is there, why not leave the code in it?

    My suggestion: by default, WHS should have 2 possibilities:

    - No DHCP server detected, so WHS will enable DHCP

    - DHCP server detected, WHS does nothing.

    This shouldn't be that hard to do...

    And for the more advanced users: the (command-line?) possibility to configure DHCP (and maybe others, like DNS etc.)

    My .02

    Monday, March 26, 2007 9:29 AM

All replies

  • Well, since WHS is intended for homes with a broadband connection and multiple PCs, I would guess that the assumption is that most such homes already have a DHCP server running. Almost every broadband router can do DHCP. Most of them provide the service by default (you have to turn it off if you don't want it). And multiple DHCP servers on the same network can cause a number of difficult-to-diagnose problems.

    If you really want WHS to act as a DHCP server, right now the capability is still there. It's based on SBS, so just about anything that's built into Windows Server 2003 is also built in to WHS. It's possible that Microsoft will remove the capability for RTM, of course.
    Monday, March 26, 2007 11:31 AM
  • I agree. If you have a home network, you're probably going to have a router, and in that case, you're almost certainly going to have DHCP enabled by default.
    Monday, March 26, 2007 9:28 PM
  • Why would you not be able to "hand out" the addresses you want if the "wireless router thingy" was the DHCP server?

    Every broadband router I've seen allow you to define the network address, DHCP lease pool and do DHCP reservations.

    Monday, March 26, 2007 9:49 PM
  • I think you may be incorrectly assuming that the router can't hand out addresses to devices on the other side of your additional switch.  This isn't the case, so you can simply add the switch and the DHCP will be taken care of.


    In my house, my eight-port router handles all the DHCP for 10-12 PCs, three gigabit switches, two 100Mb switches, three WiFi access points, two network-attached printers and a Roku streaming device.  There are four switches downstream from the main router (one of them actually another router with DHCP disabled), and everything works beautifully.



    Tuesday, March 27, 2007 10:09 AM
  • I've got to agree that DHCP and DNS should be left in for the advanced users - simply because they're better solutions than what most routers provide.


    For example, I have a fairly complex home network, where we have two internet connections. We currently get around this by having a centralized PC handling DHCP and DNS, and simply making one internet gateway the "default" for the network, and adding reservations for PCs that use the second gateway. I haven't come across any consumer router with DHCP options this advanced. The caching DNS server is also handy, not just for slightly quicker DNS over time, but local PC name resolution is far better, and Windows File & Print Sharing is so much more reliable with a local dynamic DNS server.


    I agree that these options probably shouldn't be the default, but leaving them in for the final release will at least make a PC or two on my network more redundant, and my power bill will no doubt thank me for it.

    Tuesday, March 27, 2007 1:33 PM
  • I think that judging from wireless routers after what, five years or more, of constant warnings about the importance of wep or better protection, that most networks are still wide open. It should be safe to say that the average user isn't even aware that a router can be logged onto at all. How will they even know what a dhcp server is. That said, I think at the very least there should be a proper help tab on the WHS website and desktop shortcut explaining certain networking scenarios or some sort of step by step diagrams that helps average home users. The idea that someone would want to control or view all aspects of the network from the home server console, including DHCP seems reasonable.
    Wednesday, March 28, 2007 2:15 AM
  • I think that a lot of these "advanced" things can be configured at installation, since most people would be buying the integrated (ssuch as HP) solution.  If they do an OEM version, they can include some more options for users.


    Comments on this idea?

    Wednesday, March 28, 2007 2:01 PM
  • I can't speak for the US, but here in the UK, for certain types of cable connection (I'm looking at you NTL / Virgin), this is simply not the case. The router provides one address and that's it. Something needs to provide DHCP and a WHS device with two NICs - one for the cable modem and one for the LAN - would be ideal.


    Look at Smoothwall and their Red / Orange / Green ideas.

    Wednesday, March 28, 2007 5:40 PM
  • The DHCP in home routers / wirless things is in MHO rather low key.


    As people want more fomr their network, there should be at the least the option to have DHCP / DNS / BOOTP done by the WHS.

    Thursday, March 29, 2007 4:14 PM
  • Wireless isn't good enough yet. Plus gigabit networking is cheap. It seems to me that people will be looking to buy an all in one solution. They should be able to plug their internet connection in one socket and their home network connection in another and it 'just work'.
    Thursday, March 29, 2007 5:05 PM
  • I installed dhcp on WHS B2 but it won't allow leasing of ip unless dhcp is been authorized by Active Directory. Of course, this requires Active Directory which isn't in the installable programs options. A typical scenario in 2003 SBS would be 1 static nic card and 1 nic card for dhcp ( as an example) with AD running which has authorized DHCP to lease ips. Anyone have any suggestion I'd be happy to try them out and report back. BTW, to install the dhcp option I had to use the first disk from my 2003 SBS to copy some files in. I've been trying to put some sort of server in that could use the wan IP allocated to my Motorola surfboard modem (non-static), in this case by Comcast. I thought WHS might do the trick. Again, any ideas of suggestions would be appreciated.



    Thursday, March 29, 2007 5:37 PM
  • See if this works.


    Sunday, April 8, 2007 6:01 AM
  • I greatly prefer DHCP/DNS on the server - not because they preform any better (they do) this mostly due to Network/Hardware Issues - if your router goes out (which they do, more frequently then your computer hardware, AND it will most likely happen at night when Best buy is closed, between paychecks) then you lose your network - I think if WHS is the "Core" of the home "Network" then it should do all the network tasks
    Wednesday, April 11, 2007 4:51 AM