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|System Administration Guide: IP Services Oracle Solaris 11 Express 11/10|
DHCP relieves you of some of the time-consuming tasks involved in setting up a TCP/IP network and in the daily management of that network. Note that in the Oracle Solaris implementation, DHCP works only with IPv4.
DHCP offers the following advantages:
IP address management – A primary advantage of DHCP is easier management of IP addresses. In a network without DHCP, you must manually assign IP addresses. You must be careful to assign unique IP addresses to each client and to configure each client individually. If a client moves to a different network, you must make manual modifications for that client. When DHCP is enabled, the DHCP server manages and assigns IP addresses without administrator intervention. Clients can move to other subnets without manual reconfiguration because they obtain, from a DHCP server, new client information appropriate for the new network.
Centralized network client configuration – You can create a tailored configuration for certain clients, or for certain types of clients. The configuration information is stored in one place, in the DHCP data store. You do not need to log in to a client to change its configuration. You can make changes for multiple clients just by changing the information in the data store.
Support of BOOTP clients – Both BOOTP servers and DHCP servers listen and respond to broadcasts from clients. The DHCP server can respond to requests from BOOTP clients as well as DHCP clients. BOOTP clients receive an IP address and the information needed to boot from a server.
Support of local clients and remote clients – BOOTP provides for the relaying of messages from one network to another network. DHCP takes advantage of the BOOTP relay feature in several ways. Most network routers can be configured to act as BOOTP relay agents to pass BOOTP requests to servers that are not on the client's network. DHCP requests can be relayed in the same manner because, to the router, DHCP requests are indistinguishable from BOOTP requests. The DHCP server can also be configured to behave as a BOOTP relay agent, if a router that supports BOOTP relay is not available.
Network booting – Clients can use DHCP to obtain the information that is needed to boot from a server on the network, instead of using RARP (Reverse Address Resolution Protocol) and the bootparams file. The DHCP server can give a client all the information that the client needs to function, including IP address, boot server, and network configuration information. Because DHCP requests can be relayed across subnets, you can deploy fewer boot servers in your network when you use DHCP network booting. RARP booting requires that each subnet have a boot server.
Large network support – Networks with millions of DHCP clients can use DHCP. The DHCP server uses multithreading to process many client requests simultaneously. The server also supports data stores that are optimized to handle large amounts of data. Data store access is handled by separate processing modules. This data store approach enables you to add support for any database that you require.