Why You Must Manage and Protect Your DHCP Server Overzealously

In the networking world, internet protocol (IP) addresses are so crucial that one cannot connect to any network without one. It is also important to understand that the way a network administrator configures their dynamic host control protocol (DHCP) server has a huge bearing on the performance of the network. While some people pay too much attention to the cabling layout of the network, it is worth pointing out that the infrastructure must work in unison with the DHCP server to achieve optimum results when it comes to network connectivity.

What Are The Important Aspects To Look Out For When Managing DHCP Servers?

The DHCP server is responsible for leasing addresses to all devices that connect to the network. As a result, anything wrong on the setting up of this server could easily result in the entire network failing to work. Below are some vital points to look out for:

  1. The DHCP server starting and ending IP address pool
  2. Manage IP address reservations
  3. Keep your static IP addresses well monitored

Determining the first address that your server can lease is important as it will give you an opportunity to determine the number of devices that can go into your network segment at any point in time. Depending on the number of devices, you can consciously determine your subnet mask.

Devices that host shared resources should always have static IP addresses. This is important because it gives the network administrator an easy time when it comes to connecting other users to the said resource. If you have a shared resource whose address keeps changing, the network or systems administrator will have a hard time running around to reconnect users each time the DHCP server leases new addresses.

Tips on Managing Static IP Addresses

The first thing a systems administrator should ensure is that static IP addresses do not get leased to other devices on the network besides the chosen device. This means that the network administrator must make sure they reserve such addresses besides making sure they are either above or below the DHCP server’s lease range.

Depending on the type of router or DHCP server you are using, you could as well bind certain addresses to the media access control (MAC) identity of the device. This way, you can be sure that no other device can take up the said address because MAC identities are never shared between devices.

As an administrator, you might also have to perform regular network scans on the network just to know what devices are connected to your system. This practice helps in weeding out devices that might have wrong addresses that can create conflicts and restrict your network’s performance. Wrong addresses are most commonly attributed to portable machines that connect to different networks when their owners move from one office to another. Each time you scan your network and detect wrongly configured devices, you must take action by correcting them and also advising their owners or users on the importance of ensuring their devices are correctly configured for better connectivity.