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Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) | Computer Networks - Computer Science Engineering (CSE) PDF Download

Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP)
Ethernet addresses are configured into the network adaptor by the manufacturer, and this process is managed in such a way that these addresses are globally unique. This is clearly a sufficient condition to ensure that any collection of hosts connected to a single Ethernet will have unique addresses. IP addresses by contrast must be not only unique on a given internetwork, but also must reflect the structure of the internetwork. They contain a network part and a host part; the network part must be the same for all hosts on the same network.

Thus, it is not possible for the IP addresses to be configured once into a host when it is manufactured, since that would imply that the manufacturer knew which hosts were going to end up on which networks, and it would mean that a host, once connected to one network, could never move to another. For this reason, IP addresses need to be reconfigurable.
There are some obvious drawbacks in manual configuration by system administrator. So automated configuration methods are required. The primary method uses a protocol known as

Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP).
DHCP relies on the existence of a DHCP server that is responsible for providing configuration information to hosts. At the simplest level, the DHCP server can function just as a centralized repository for host configuration information. The configuration information for each host could be stored in the DHCP server and automatically retrieved by each host when it is booted or connected to the network. The configuration information for each host stored in a table that is indexed by some form of unique client identifier, typically hardware address.

To contact a DHCP server the host sends a DHCPDISCOVER message to a special IP address (255.255.255.255) that is an IP broadcast address. It will received by all host and routers on the network. DHCP uses the concept of a relay agent. There is at least one relay agent on each network, and it is configured with just one piece of information, the IP address of DHCP server. When a relay agent receives a DHCPDISCOVER message, it unicasts it to the DHCP server and awaits the response, which it will send back to the requesting client

Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) | Computer Networks - Computer Science Engineering (CSE)

Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) | Computer Networks - Computer Science Engineering (CSE)

The packet format is shown above. The message is sent using a protocol called the User Datagram Protocol (UDP). When trying to obtain the configuration information, the client puts its hardware address in the chaddr field. The DHCP server replies by filling in the yiaddr (your IP address) field and sending to the client.

The document Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) | Computer Networks - Computer Science Engineering (CSE) is a part of the Computer Science Engineering (CSE) Course Computer Networks.
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FAQs on Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) - Computer Networks - Computer Science Engineering (CSE)

1. What is DHCP and how does it work?
Ans. DHCP stands for Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol. It is a network management protocol that automatically assigns IP addresses to devices on a network. When a device connects to a network, it sends a DHCP request to a DHCP server, which then assigns it a unique IP address from a pool of available addresses.
2. What are the benefits of using DHCP?
Ans. Using DHCP has several benefits. Firstly, it simplifies network administration as it eliminates the need to manually assign IP addresses to devices. Secondly, it reduces the chances of IP address conflicts as the DHCP server ensures that each device gets a unique address. Additionally, DHCP allows for easy reconfiguration of IP addresses, making it flexible for network changes or additions.
3. Can DHCP assign other network settings besides IP addresses?
Ans. Yes, DHCP can assign other network settings besides IP addresses. In addition to IP addresses, DHCP can also assign subnet masks, default gateways, domain name servers, and other configuration parameters necessary for devices to connect to a network. This makes it a comprehensive protocol for managing network settings.
4. How can I configure a DHCP server?
Ans. Configuring a DHCP server depends on the specific operating system or network device being used. Generally, you need to install and enable the DHCP server software, define the range of IP addresses to be assigned, specify other network settings if desired, and activate the DHCP server. It is recommended to refer to the documentation or user manual of your specific DHCP server software or device for detailed instructions.
5. What happens if the DHCP server is unreachable?
Ans. If the DHCP server is unreachable, devices that are already connected to the network will continue to use their assigned IP addresses until the lease period expires. However, new devices attempting to join the network will not be able to obtain an IP address and may experience connectivity issues. It is important to ensure the DHCP server is always reachable or have a backup DHCP server in place to avoid such disruptions.
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