Changing Clustered IP Addresses & Configuring a DHCP or WINS Cluster

Hi Cluster Fans,

In Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2 we have simplified how easy it is to create and use a Failover Cluster.  For example, if we detect you are using DHCP in your datacenter, we will automatically assign the cluster as well as clustered applications and services a DHCP IP Address.  This just makes configuration even easier since environment defaults are used, so less information is needed! 

But what happens if you want to deploy just a single DHCP (or WINS) Server on your cluster?  The recommendation is to use a static IP Address, so that the DHCP Server can always be reached, without requiring it to request a DHCP IP Address from a DHCP Server.  If you use DHCP, you should always have multiple DHCP Servers in your environment for high-availability and redundancy, but even if you experience multiple simultaneous failures, you will still want them to come back online as quickly as possible by giving them statically assigned IP Addresses.  If you only had only a single DHCP server which was using a DHCP address, this DHCP server may never come up.

The following steps will show how to configure a DHCP server with a static IP Address when DHCP is detected in the environment.  First open the Windows Server 2008 R2 Failover Cluster Manager.  Then launch the High-Availability Wizard by selecting the action, Configure a Service or Application for High-Availability.  This wizard will ask just a few questions before giving you a clustered DHCP (or WINS) Server.  First it asks for the application, feature, role or service to make highly-available.  A DHCP Server is selected. 


Second it asks for a friendly name for the DHCP server, this is the Network Name.  If DHCP was not being used, a prompt for an IP Address would be show.



Finally shared cluster storage is selected.  After confirming the information, a highly-available DHCP Server is created in very few simple steps.



Since a DHCP IP Address was used for the DHCP Server, we want to give it a static IP Address.  First right-click the IPv4 Address and select Properties.  Currently a DHCP IP Address is selected for use.



This is easily changed to use a statically assigned IP Address, 



Now after applying the changes and exiting, the DHCP is using the statically assigned IP Address.



You can use this method to change any type of IP Address this quick, including IPv6 or other statically assigned IPv4 and IPv6 Addresses.

Symon Perriman
Program Manager II
Clustering & High-Availability