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DHCP Clustering in windows Server 2012 & Migrating DHCP Database

from Windows Server 2003 to 2012 DHCP Server.

White Paper
Sreejith
Application Technology

DHCP Clustering in windows Server 2012

Abstract
This document explains about how to configure DHCP Clustering in windows Server
2012 whichensures high availability of DHCP Services.
This document also helps in migrating DHCP database from environments which have
windows Server 2003 running to windows Server 2012.

About the Domain


Dynamic Host Configuration protocol Service assigns IP Address to clients which will
help workstations to communicate in the LAN. DHCP Cluster will ensure that Clients
will get the service all the time without any downtime.

CONTENTS
INTRODUCTION ........................................................................................................................................ 3
DHCP FAILOVER OVERVIEW.................................................................................................................4
DHCP Deployment Steps...4
DHCP Failover Terminology..........................................10
DHCP DATABASE MIGRATION FROM 2003 OS TO 2012 OS .........................................................11
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ........................................................................................................................12
REFERENCES ............................................................................................................................................12

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DHCP Clustering in windows Server 2012

Introduction:
Using

Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) Server service, the process of


configuring TCP/IP on DHCP clients is automatic. For ensuring High availability of the
service, we can configure DHCP Clustering in Windows Server 2012 Server.
DHCP Clustering will ensure that if one Server goes down, other server will be serving
DHCP Service for clients.

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DHCP Failover Overview:

DHCP failover in Windows Server 2012 is a new feature that enables two Microsoft
DHCP servers to share service availability information with each other, providing DHCP
high availability. DHCP failover works by replicating IP address leases and settings in
one or more DHCP scopes from a primary DHCP server to a failover partner server.
All scope information is shared between the two DHCP servers, including active leases.
This enables either DHCP server to assume responsibility for DHCP clients if the other
server becomes unavailable.
Prerequisites for configuring DHCP Failover.
Both DHCP servers in a DHCP failover relationship must be running Windows
Server 2012 or a later operating system
Both computers participating in a DHCP failover relationship must have the
DHCP Server role installed and running.
DHCP servers can be on the same network or on different networks. The network
connection between DHCP failover partners must be uninterrupted. Both of the
servers must be able to communicate properly
At least one IPv4 DHCP scope must be configured on the primary DHCP server.

Deploying DHCP Failover:

Right Click the Scope on which we want to configure Failover. Then click
Configure Failover

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DHCP Clustering in windows Server 2012

Select all the scopes which we would need to configure for Failover as shown
below.

Set a Relationship name which should identify the Scope details, Maximum
Client Lead Time, Mode and State Switch over Interval. After specifying all these
parameters, click next and add the partner server details as given below

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Select the partner Server & click next.

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Verify the settings and Click Finish. DHCP Scope Failover is completed.

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DHCP Failover Terminology:


Maximum client lead time: The maximum amount of time that one server can extend a
lease for a DHCP client beyond the time known by the partner server. It also
determines the amount of time that a server in a failover relationship will wait in
partner down state before assuming control over the entire IP address range.
Reserve percentage: In a failover relationship configured in hot standby mode,
administrators can specify a percentage of the address range of the scope as
reserved for the hot standby server. A number of addresses, in proportion to the
percentage value configured, are assigned to the hot standby server. The hot
standby server will use these addresses to service new clients after the primary
server goes down, during the time interval before the standby server assumes
control over the entire IP address range of a scope.
State switchover interval:

If automatic state transition is enabled, a DHCP server in


communication interrupted state will automatically transition to partner down state
after a defined period of time. This period of time is defined by the state switchover
interval.

Hot Standby Mode:

In hot standby mode, two servers operate in a failover relationship


where an active server is responsible for leasing IP addresses and configuration
information to all clients in a scope or subnet. The partner server assumes a standby
role, with responsibility to issue leases to DHCP clients only if the active server
becomes unavailable. Hot standby mode is ideal for scenarios where the failover
partner is only intended to be used temporarily when the active server is
unavailable.
Load Balance Mode:Load balance mode is the default mode of deployment. In this
mode, two DHCP servers simultaneously serve IP addresses and options to clients on
a given subnet. DHCP client requests are load balanced and shared between the two
DHCP servers. The default load balancing ratio between the two servers is 50:50, but
this can be customized to any ratio from 0 to 100%. This is done based on an
algorithm which uses Mac Address of workstations for serving IP Address.

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DHCP Database Migration from 2003 DHCP to 2012 DHCP Server
Overview:
For migrating environments running with windows Server 2003 DHCP Server, we
would need to export the live DHCP Database first. Backup and restore of DHCP
database wont be successful in this scenario.
We can use Netsh utility for exporting the DHCP live database. Post exporting the
database, we need to copy the database on to the destination server and has to
import it back. Below are the commands for doing the same.
Migration Steps:
On the Windows 2003 DHCP server, navigate to a command prompt and type the
command in the below order

Type Netsh and hit enter


Type DHCP and hit enter
Type server \\Name or IP Address from command prompt.
Then type export c:\w2k3DHCPdb all
Then copy paste the exported data to windows 2012 Server on which we would need
to import it. Once copying is done, please follow the below commands for importing
the database.
Before executing the below steps, please ensure Destination server must have DHCP
Role installed and the windows Server 2003 is not reachable in network.

On the designated DHCP server, stop the DHCP Services.

Delete the DHCP.mdb file under c:\windows\system32\DHCP folder.

Start the DHCP Service and execute the below commands

Navigate to command prompt and type Netsh and hit enter

Type DHCP and hit enter

Type server \\Name or IP Address and hit enter

Type import c:\w2k3DHCPdb

Close the command prompt when completed.

Restart the DHCP Services.

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DHCP Clustering in windows Server 2012

We would be able to see all the data which was available on windows Server
2003 Server

Conclusion:

1. Windows Server 2012 Failover feature helps administrators in ensuring high


availability of DHCP Service for clients.
2. Using Netsh utility we can migrate the DHCP Database from windows Server
2003 Server to 2012 DHCP Server without any down time for end users.

Acknowledgements

Thank to Trivandrum IS team for helping in doing the DHCP Configuration and also in
preparing the document.

References

[1] Microsoft Site (Technet)


[2] https://nzmct.wordpress.com/2012/10/16/dhcp-resiliency-in-windows-server-2012/

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