Core Network Companion Guide: Deploying IP Addressing for Branch Offices

Applies To: Windows Server 2012

The Windows Server 2012 Core Network Guide provides instructions for planning and deploying the core components required for a fully functioning network and a new Active Directory® domain in a new forest.

This guide explains how to configure IP addressing in branch offices, including how to install and configure a DHCP server and how to manually configure IP addresses on computers and other devices.

This guide contains the following sections.


This guide is available at the following locations.

Prerequisites for using this guide

This is a companion guide to the Windows Server 2012 Core Network Guide. To configure branch office IP addressing with this guide, you must first do the following.

  • Deploy a core network in your main office by using the Core Network Guide, or already have the technologies provided in the Core Network Guide installed and functioning correctly on your network. These technologies include TCP/IP v4, DHCP, Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS), DNS, NPS, and Web Server (IIS).



    The Windows Server 2012 Core Network Guide is available in the Windows Server 2012 Technical Library (

    The Core Network Guide is also available in Word format at the Microsoft Download Center (

  • Establish a site-to-site VPN connection between your main office and the branch office where you plan on configuring IP addressing.

  • Deploy a Read-Only Domain Controller (RODC) in the branch office so that domain joined computers are authenticated with the user accounts that are stored in Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS).

  • Deploy a Domain Name System (DNS) server in the branch office so that computers can use DNS to resolve host names to IP addresses.

About this guide

This guide is designed for network and system administrators who are installing and configuring a new branch office that contains one or more client computers and one or more server computers.

This guide is intended to be used to deploy IPv4 addressing in domain-based branch office environments.

It is recommended that you review design and deployment guides for each of the technologies used in this deployment scenario to assist you in determining whether this guide provides the services and configuration that you need.

Network hardware requirements

To successfully deploy branch office IP addressing, you must deploy network hardware, including the following:

  • Ethernet, Fast Ethernet, or Gigabyte Ethernet cabling

  • A hub, Layer 2 or 3 switch, router, or other device that performs the function of relaying network traffic between computers and devices.

  • Computers that meet the minimum hardware requirements for their respective client and server operating systems.

  • A VPN server that provides connectivity to the Internet, as well as site-to-site connections to your main office and to any computing resources in public or private clouds.

What this guide does not provide

This guide does not provide instructions for deploying the following:

  • Network hardware, such as cabling, routers, switches, and hubs

  • Additional network resources, such as printers and file servers

  • Deployment and configuration of Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6)

  • Internet connectivity

  • Remote access

  • Wireless access

  • Client computer deployment


Client computers running Windows® 8, Windows® 7, and Windows Vista® are configured by default to receive IP address leases from the DHCP server. Therefore, no additional DHCP or Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) configuration of client computers is required.

Technology overviews

Following are technology overviews for TCP/IP and DHCP.


TCP/IP in Windows Server 2012 is the following:

  • Networking software based on industry-standard networking protocols.

  • A routable enterprise networking protocol that supports the connection of your Windows-based computer to both local area network (LAN) and wide area network (WAN) environments.

  • Core technologies and utilities for connecting your Windows-based computer with dissimilar systems for the purpose of sharing information.

  • A foundation for gaining access to global Internet services, such as the World Wide Web and File Transfer Protocol (FTP) servers.

  • A robust, scalable, cross-platform, client/server framework.

TCP/IP provides basic TCP/IP utilities that enable Windows-based computers to connect and share information with other Microsoft and non-Microsoft systems, including:

  • Windows Server 2012

  • Windows 8

  • Windows Server 2008 R2

  • Windows 7

  • Windows Server 2008

  • Windows Vista

  • Windows Server 2003 operating systems

  • Windows XP

  • Internet hosts

  • Apple Macintosh systems

  • IBM mainframes

  • UNIX systems

  • Open VMS systems

  • Network-ready printers, such as HP LaserJet series printers that use HP JetDirect cards


For TCP/IP-based networks, DHCP reduces the complexity and amount of administrative work that is required to configure the network connection properties, including IP addresses, subnet masks, and other options, of computers and other devices on your network.

DHCP is an IP standard for simplifying the management of host IP configuration. The DHCP standard provides for the use of DHCP servers as a way to manage dynamic allocation of IP addresses and other related configuration details for DHCP-enabled clients on your network.

DHCP allows you to use a DHCP server to dynamically assign an IP address to a computer or other device, such as a printer, on your local network. Every computer on a TCP/IP network must have a unique IP address, because the IP address and its related subnet mask identify both the host computer and the subnet to which the computer is attached. By using DHCP, you can ensure that all computers that are configured as DHCP clients receive an IP address that is appropriate for their network location and subnet, and by using DHCP options, such as default gateway and DNS servers, you can automatically provide DHCP clients with the information that they need to function correctly on your network.