Foundation Network Overview

Applies To: Windows Server 2008

The following illustration shows the components of a foundation network.

Foundation Network Components

Following are the components of a foundation network.


This deployment guide provides instructions for deploying a foundation network with two subnets separated by a router that has DHCP forwarding enabled. You can, however, deploy a Layer 2 switch, a Layer 3 switch, or a hub, depending on your requirements and resources. If you deploy a switch, the switch must be capable of DHCP forwarding or you must place a DHCP server on each subnet. If you deploy a hub, you are deploying a single subnet and do not need DHCP forwarding or a second scope on your DHCP server.

Static TCP/IP configurations

All of the servers in this deployment are configured with static IPv4 addresses. Client computers are configured by default to receive IP address leases from the DHCP server.

Global catalog and DNS server

Both Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) and Domain Name System (DNS) are installed on this server, providing directory and name resolution services to all computers and devices on the network.

WINS server (optional)

Installing Windows Internet Name Service (WINS) on your foundation network is optional. It is often difficult to determine whether applications and services require WINS for name resolution. In some cases, you might need WINS; in other cases, DNS might be the only name resolution service that you need on your network. Because WINS is low maintenance and is not processor-use intensive for medium and small networks, you can install WINS on the DHCP server in the event that applications or services need the service.

DHCP server

The Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) server is configured with a scope that provides Internet Protocol (IP) address leases to computers on the local subnet. The DHCP server can also be configured with additional scopes to provide IP address leases to computers on other subnets if DHCP forwarding is configured on routers.

NPS server (optional)

The Network Policy Server (NPS) server is installed as a preparatory step for deploying other network access technologies, such as virtual private network (VPN) servers, wireless access points, and 802.1X authenticating switches. In addition, installing NPS prepares your network for the deployment of Network Access Protection (NAP).

Client computers

Client computers running Windows Vista® and Windows XP are configured by default as DHCP clients, which obtain IP addresses and DHCP options automatically from the DHCP server.