Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP)

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Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP)

Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) provides essential information, like IP address, subnet mask and default gateway, to the client devices on your network. These configuration details are essential to communicate over the network. Using DHCP is an essential management tool for any enterprise network.  DHCP is also essential to supporting Wi-Fi connectivity, mobile devices, and for many security mechanisms, like Network Admission Control (NAC).

Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) is the mechanism a DHCP Server uses to assign IP addresses, default gateways and other network parameters to client devices when they show up on a network, or move between networks. A client PC will broadcast to find a DHCP Server and obtain (or confirm) it’s IP Address and configuration details. DHCP also tracks the clients on the network, and their Ethernet and IP Address allocations. Better solutions keep track of those allocations over time, for security and auditing purposes.

Network security mechanisms – Firewall Rules, Access Lists, Network Admission Control (NAC) and more – often require that your network has tight control and enforcement of IP Addresses and options, configured centrally via authorized DHCP Servers. Your network security team needs visibility and control into DCHP. Network Forensics depends upon identifying what client devices had what IP address and when. This brief video from Cisco highlights the interaction … specifically around integration of Cisco ISE and the Infoblox Platform.


Configuring DHCP by itself, into a DHCP Server, on a server or a router can be easy. But determining what pool of addresses to assign to a DHCP server is just the beginning. DHCP, by itself, without tight integration to IP Address Management and DNS can be a major problem on anything but the smallest networks. In many environments, you need dynamic updates to DNS to keep name-to-address mapping information synchronized. Here’s a great example of the benefits and efficiencies that come from an integrated solution.

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