Host configuration

Frank Sweetser fs at WPI.EDU
Mon Feb 11 22:42:40 UTC 2008

michael at wrote:
> Todd Snyder wrote:
>> Good day,
>> I realize this perhaps isn't the ideal spot for this question, but I
>> know of no other ideal spot, so I'll try.
>> There is much power in the use of DHCP - being able to centralize and
>> change key network configs dynamically is ideal.  However, that
>> functionality is lost the minute you want to use static ip addresses.
>> Now, I realize you could assign a static IP on the dhcp server, so a
>> server always gets the same one, but that isn't ideal for a data centre.
> Why isn't this ideal for a data center?
> Many of us have very large data centers that are managed via DHCP 
> exactly as you described without issues.

Well, at a minimum, it's quite difficult to manage your DHCP server
infrastructure that way =)

Personally, my preference would be to use static IP configuration, and then
leave all of the other buttons and knobs up to a more flexible configuration
management system, such as GPOs on Windows, or puppet or bcfg on *nix systems.
 This has the advantage that you can easily manage far more than you can with
DHCP alone (config files, package installation, services, etc), and they also
tend to handle server outages much more gracefully.

By setting servers up to not require DHCP, this also makes your service
dependencies simpler.  There's nothing quite so much fun as creating a
circular service dependency between two servers, where neither one may be
turned on until the other is fully booted...

Frank Sweetser fs at  |  For every problem, there is a solution that
WPI Senior Network Engineer   |  is simple, elegant, and wrong. - HL Mencken
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