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DHCP Leases, Lease Length Policies and Management
(Page 1 of 4)
Of the three
address allocation methods supported by
DHCP, dynamic address allocation is by far the most popular and important.
The significance of the change that dynamic addressing represents to
how IP addresses are used in TCP/IP can be seen in the semantics of
how addresses are treated in DHCP. Where conventionally a host was said
to own an IP address, when dynamic address allocation
is used, hosts are said instead to lease an address.
The notion of a lease
conveys very accurately the difference between dynamic allocation and
the other types. A host no longer is strictly entitled to
a particular address, with a server merely telling it what the address
is. In DHCP, the server remains the real owner of all the IP addresses
in the address pool, and merely gives permission for a client to use
the address for a period of time. The server guarantees that it will
not try to use the address for another client only during this time.
The client is responsible for taking certain actions, as we will see
later in this section, if it wants to continue using the address. If
it does not successfully reacquire permission for using the address
after a period of time, it must stop using it, or risk creating an IP
address conflict on the network.
Key Concept: DHCPs most significant new feature is dynamic allocation, which changes the way that IP addresses are managed. Where in traditional IP each device owns a particular IP address, in DHCP the server owns all the addresses in the address pool, and each client leases an address from the server, usually only for a limited period of time.
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Version 3.0 - Version Date: September 20, 2005
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