A DHCP server is an almost indispensable element of all networks. Its role is to dynamically assign IP addresses and other parameters to devices in a network, using the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP). Thanks to a DHCP server, network operators don’t have to perform this mundane task manually, which frees up their time and reduces the number of configuration errors.
Smaller number of errors
Effective IP pool use
Automated network configuration
Simply put, the alternative to having a DHCP server is to manually assign and keep track of IP addresses. With large networks that quickly becomes unmanageable. Nor does it make much sense.
The server frees up network operators’ time so that they can focus on the real challenges of their work. As it reduces the need for manual intervention, it also decreases the number of human errors that would naturally occur. On top of this, because the IPs are assigned dynamically, the IP pool is used more effectively, which is especially important in depleted IPv4 networks.
Easier network management
Yes, you can let routers or other network equipment handle the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol if your network is small enough. However, there are a few considerations you need to account for.
Most importantly, it is easier to manage one DHCP server than a set of separate servers located on routers. This gives you better visibility into your network and greater flexibility.
Additionally, a DHCP server is a safer option if its architecture ensures high availability. Then, if one node goes down, the other can quickly take over, having little to no impact on the clients.
Finally, there’s the matter of overhead. After all, handling DHCP requests is yet another task for the router to perform that puts an unnecessary strain on its performance and may negatively affect the network.