Windows server: DHCP failover configuration

Windows Server 2012R2  Windows Server 2016  Windows Server 2019


Since Windows 2012, the DHCP role includes a high availability feature: DHCP failover.

DHCP failover can be configured in two ways: active / active or active / passive. In the first case, the two servers operate simultaneously and share the load between them, in the second case the second will take over in case of failure of the “master” server.

In this tutorial we will see how to set up a high availability DHCP service.


  • At least two Windows 2012 servers in an Active Directory domain with the DHCP role installed.
  • Both DHCP servers must be authorized in the Active Directory.
  • Scope must be configured

Configuring DHCP High Availability

The manipulations below are to be done on the server that has the configured range.

From the DHCP console, right click on IPv4 1 and click on Configure failover 2 to launch the wizard.

Configuration du basculement DHCP

Select the scopes 1 and click on Next 2.

Choisir les étendues

Select the partner server for the failover 1 then click on the Next button 2.

Sélection du serveur partenaire

Configure the mode 1, activate / deactivate the authentication of the message 2 and click on Next 3.

Configuration du basculement

Load balancing: both servers are active.

Backup server: the second server takes over in the event of failure of the first.

Click on Finish 1 to configure the switchover.

Valider la configuration

A confirmation window appears, click on Close 1.

Basculement DHCP configuré

Back on the console, right click on IPv4 1 and click on Replicate failover ranges… 2.

Forcer la réplication

A window appears with the result of the replication, click on Close 1.

Résultat réplication

Validate DHCP failover configuration

DHCP Scope Statistics

It is possible to see the distribution using range statistics.

Right click on the range 1 and click on Show statistics … 2.

Affichage des statistiques DHCP

Statistics are available for both servers.

Statistique DHCP

Replication of reservations

Open the DHCP console on the partner server and check for the presence of reservations 1.

Vérification réplication réservation