Solaris DHCP Administration Guide

Determining the Number of DHCP Servers

The data store option you choose has a direct effect on the number of servers you must have to support your DHCP clients. The following table shows the maximum number of DHCP/BOOTP clients that can be supported by one DHCP server for each data store.

Table 2–1 Estimated Maximum Number of Clients

Data Store 

Maximum Number of Clients 

Text files  




Binary files 


This maximum number is a general guideline, not an absolute number. A DHCP server's client capacity depends greatly on the number of transactions it must process per second. Lease times and usage patterns have a large effect on the number of clients that a server can support. For example, if leases are set to 12 hours and users turn their systems off at night and on at the same time the next morning, the server must handle transaction peaks each morning as many clients request leases simultaneously. The DHCP server can support fewer clients in such an environment compared to an environment with longer leases, or an environment that consists of constantly connected devices such as cable modems.

The section Choosing the Data Store compares data store options.