DHCP Hardware Requirements

Applies To: Windows Server 2008

A manually configured IP allocation scheme requires planning documents, lists of addresses to assign, and a method for recording addresses in use. This information must be updated and kept accurate for as long as the method is used; this includes keeping track of all network configuration changes that occur during the lifetime of the service.

If you intend to use an automated IP allocation scheme, you will need at least one computer that meets the hardware requirements of the operating system and the allocation software package you choose. Regardless of the software package, the service will be more responsive with the addition of RAM and a faster disk subsystem to the host computer.

The minimum hardware requirement for the DHCP service in Windows ServerĀ 2008 is a Class 1 server for both member and clustered DHCP server roles; the clustered servers require extra hardware for clustering. The following table provides the basic hardware requirements for this server type.

Component Type Component Configuration


Two processors, 700 megahertz (MHz) to 1.6 gigahertz (GHz).


256 megabytes (MB) to 2 gigabytes (GB). The minimum memory requirement includes the base requirement for Windows ServerĀ 2008 and an additional 128 MB for the DHCP service.

Local storage

  • Drive controller: SCSI 3

  • Hard disks: 30-36 GB

  • Hard disk bays: 2-4

Network adapter

Two 10/100 Fast Ethernet adapters supporting PXE (Pre-boot Execution Environment).

The following table provides the additional components required by the clustered DHCP servers.

Component Type Component Configuration

Network adapter

Three network adapter ports:

  • Two configured in a fault-tolerant NIC team.

  • One used for cluster heartbeat (single port network adapter).

Host bus adapters

Two host bus adapters configured for fault tolerance and connected to the SAN.

Local storage

RAID 1 (mirrored) drive hosting the operating system.

SAN attached storage

RAID 1 (mirrored) drive hosting the Quorum drive for the cluster set and the DHCP database drive.

The amount of RAM and hard disk specification (disk spindles/speed) are the critical hardware elements; processor speed is not as important.