DHCP failover is a feature of the Microsoft DHCP server that allows you to configure two servers as a failover pair. When one server in the pair fails or becomes unavailable, it can automatically hand over DHCP lease management to its partner. This ensures that your network clients have uninterrupted access to network resources and services provided by DHCP servers.
Of course, you can only reap the benefits of DHCP failover if you know how to get it working in the first place. In this post, we’ll provide you with detailed instructions on how to set up DHCP failover on a Windows server.
Before you get started, note the following to set up DHCP failover:
To install the DHCP server role on Windows Server 2022, do the following:
The DHCP Server service is now installed on your computer as part of this wizard.
To configure DHCP failover, you must first create a failover relationship. To do this:
You will also need to create a DHCP scope on your server. To do so:
In Server Manager, select the DHCP server, right-click and select “Activate Scope.” This will activate the scope on your primary DHCP server. It will not start on your secondary DHCP server because you don’t want to use that one for failover.
To add a primary server to the failover cluster:
In Failover Cluster Manager, add the secondary server to the failover cluster.
Once you’ve configured the failover relationship and tested it, you can evaluate the state of your DHCP servers. You should see that:
Split scopes and load balance scopes come in handy when you have an extensive network. They allow you to split the range of IP addresses for DHCP into two or more ranges, each with its own settings. You can then define how these ranges interact with each other by assigning policies like “override” or “prefer” to one or more of them.
Load balance scopes are similar to split scopes but use a round-robin algorithm instead of a manual configuration. The round-robin algorithm ensures that each client gets an equal amount of time on the network so that none are left waiting in line when it comes time to get their IP address assigned.
After you’ve successfully configured DHCP failover, you can use the following commands to verify and manage your settings.
DHCP failover is a great way to ensure your network remains up and running despite server failures. When properly configured, DHCP servers can detect each other’s presence and automatically switch over to the secondary server if the first one fails.
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