In the simplest configuration, AI uses DHCP to provide the IP address, subnet mask, router, name service server, and the location of the AI server to the client machine. The DHCP server can be configured to run on the same machine as the AI server, which is the easiest configuration to manage. If the DHCP server is on a separate machine, you might have to manually update the DHCP server when you add new clients.
Although you can configure a SPARC client so that the client can locate the AI server without DHCP, you cannot do so for x86 clients. If you don't want to run DHCP, see Installing an x86 Client for alternate ways to install an x86 client. Also see Installing a SPARC Client for instructions for now to use the OBP to provide the needed information for a SPARC client to use an AI server without DHCP.