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Server Essentials 2012 or Router to handle DHCP?


Stealth
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I’m a home user setting up Server Essentials 2012.

 

I will be running it as a domain and was wondering if Essentials or the router should handle the DHCP?

 

If it helps:-

 

a.) I have a dynamic IP address from my ISP and I used no-ip.com for DNS forwarding with my personal domain name.

 

b.) It’s my intention to also set up a Exchange Server on a separate box

 

c.) I want to host my own small website

 

d.) I would also like remote access into my network/PC’s

 

 

Steve

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Since WSE2012 is a Domain Controller, I would also use it as the DHCP. I realize it's not required, but I like the idea of centralizing the 2 functions. That's my 2 cents....

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I'm using my router for dhcp. However, I have the server's address in dhcp as the primary DNS server. The server has outside DNS forwarders.

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I just reread your first post (first time was on my smartphone, I don't think I got it all). Due to your setup being a little more complex than the average Home Server setup, I'd probably do DHCP from your S2012E box as Ikon said.

 

The remote access doesn't really matter either way, the website hosting doesn't either. What with doing an Exchange server though, I'd probably want integrated DNS/DHCP on the same box.

Edited by LoneWolf
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In general it is better to have the DHCP function running on a server (or more than one with a split scope), the main reasons being as others have said, it is more convenient to have it on the same box as the DNS functions but also the MS server based DHCP provides a large number of other options which can be very useful in a large deployment but it is debatable if they have much value in a home environment. If the 2012 Essentials box is going to be running 24/7 then it's probably a good idea to run the DHCP role on it (I'm sure it isn't installed by default, you will need to add it from the server manager).

 

Whichever way you go, it is absolutely essential (especially if you are also running Exchange) that you setup the DNS role properly on the server and make sure that all devices (and I can't stress this highly enough) have the server address as their one and only DNS server - the server itself can use root hints or DNS forwards for resolution (there seems to be considerable disagreement as to which is best) and as long as all this is in place it will have no effect on external inbound access as long as you have the firewall and port forwarding setup properly on the router.

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Also, running DHCP server on the server makes it really easy to set up Windows Deployment Services (more advanced, but great for installing windows over the network, booting any WinPE based image, such as Windows Defender Offline, ESET SysRescue, EaseUS Partition Manager/Data Recovery, or if you're willing to really hack it, WDSLinux, which is just PXE LINUX loaded by WDS).

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Oh one other thing while I remember - you need to install the DHCP role on the server from within server manager. If, when you do this you also happen to have DHCP running on your router or other device then the install will fail with a cryptic and typically unhelpful error message. What you need to do is either disable DHCP on the router first or disable the network card (or simply remove the cable) on the Essentials server. Once the role is installed you can then re-enable the network.

 

Now this could be problematic if you are trying to do this remotely - in my case my Essentials server is virtualised so I was able to disable the (virtual) network interface and still work on it from within the Hyper-V manager on the host machine.

 

Just a quick heads-up if you want to do it.

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