How to configure DHCP failover on Windows Server 2012 R2

Configuring the DHCP failover in your LAN is a simple operation to improve the reliability of the network.

There are two main ways to provide DHCP failover:

  • Load balancing
  • Hot standby

Load balancing allows to share the load between two or more DHCP servers while the Hot standby mode simply provide DHCP redundancy.

In this guide we adopted the Hot standby mode. The DHCP servers are two Windows 2012 R2 machine in the same domain (mandatory requirement).

The first step is to install the DHCP server role:

How to configure Dhcp Failover on Windows Server 2012 R2

How to configure Dhcp Failover on Windows Server 2012 R2

How to configure Dhcp Failover on Windows Server 2012 R2

How to configure Dhcp Failover on Windows Server 2012 R2

How to configure Dhcp Failover on Windows Server 2012 R2

Right-click on IPv4 from the left column and select New Scope, then name it:

How to configure Dhcp Failover on Windows Server 2012 R2

Specify the range of IP addresses that will be assigned by the scope. Note, we are configuring a scope for the Office network (IP range 192.168.5.xyz):

How to configure Dhcp Failover on Windows Server 2012 R2

You can add exclusions to the range of IPs:

How to configure Dhcp Failover on Windows Server 2012 R2

Default lease duration settings are fine:

How to configure Dhcp Failover on Windows Server 2012 R2

Choose Yes:

How to configure Dhcp Failover on Windows Server 2012 R2

Add the gateway IP address:

How to configure Dhcp Failover on Windows Server 2012 R2

Specify the DNS servers:

How to configure Dhcp Failover on Windows Server 2012 R2

You don’t need to specify a WINS server:

How to configure Dhcp Failover on Windows Server 2012 R2

Choose Yes:

How to configure Dhcp Failover on Windows Server 2012 R2

You’re ready to go!

How to configure Dhcp Failover on Windows Server 2012 R2

Right-click on Scope from the left column and select Configure Failover:

How to configure Dhcp Failover on Windows Server 2012 R2

Check Select all:

How to configure Dhcp Failover on Windows Server 2012 R2

Click Add Server to add the partner server:

How to configure Dhcp Failover on Windows Server 2012 R2

Select the failover mode, then specify the role of partner server (in our example Hot standby mode):

How to configure Dhcp Failover on Windows Server 2012 R2

Click Finish:

How to configure Dhcp Failover on Windows Server 2012 R2

Check if all the jobs are completed successfully:

How to configure Dhcp Failover on Windows Server 2012 R2

Right-click on Scope on the left column and select Properties, then open Failover tab:

How to configure Dhcp Failover on Windows Server 2012 R2

Review the failover configuration status:

How to configure Dhcp Failover on Windows Server 2012 R2

Repeat the operation on the partner server:

How to configure Dhcp Failover on Windows Server 2012 R2

Review the failover configuration status of the partner server

How to configure Dhcp Failover on Windows Server 2012 R2

You’re ready to test the Hot standby failover! Set the PCs of the LAN to obtain the IP address through the DHCP Server (in our example the master server is 192.168.5.103):

How to configure Dhcp Failover on Windows Server 2012 R2

Stop the DHCP service on the Master server:

How to configure Dhcp Failover on Windows Server 2012 R2

From the Windows prompt send the ipconfig /release command and then ipconfig /renew, if the failover works fine the IP address will be assigned by the server partner (in our example 192.168.5.104):

How to configure Dhcp Failover on Windows Server 2012 R2

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