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  • What are your needs and requirements?
    Since you already have Active Directory , what’s wrong with using windows DHCP?
    It has the most configuration options.

    If not usually you can also get DHCP from network decides such as your firewall.
    Maybe look into pfSense

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  • Neally Thank you for responding so quickly! We intend to generate a backup for our present Active Directory. In essence, I'm hoping to make a clone of the present AD. We're seeking for an open source DHCP server for the clone DHCP server because we require an additional licence for the clone and want to save costs.

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  • Please let me know which DHCP server you would use if you did not want to utilise the Windows DHCP server. I am looking for alternatives to the Windows DHCP server.

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  • Use your router?

    Use your firewall?

    I'm confused though, are you looking for a backup DHCP in case yours goes down, if so just backup the system and restore it in the event of a failure or at least backup the DHCP configuration.

    If you're looking for a failover, there is no better way to do this than within Windows. If you start mixing systems between vendors your output is going to be messy and that's if it works at all.

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  • WhoisAD wrote:

    Can someone recommend a good Windows supported DHCP server that works with Active Directory?

    What do you mean by Windows supported?

    What is your definition of works with Active Directory?

    A DHCP hands out IPs to devices, it can be anything that supports DHCP, but when you have AD, it should be done by a Windows server for the most compatability.

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  • dhcp server is literally included with linux, if you don't have it installed then just 'yum install dhcp'

    https://tecadmin.net/install-dhcp-server-in-ubuntu/

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  • I'm curious why you want to do this?

    Is there a reason you want to stand up another box/VM on your network for this instead of using what is likely built into your firewall?

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  • Confused as to why you would want to go this route and how it would "back up AD" unless you are wanting to emulate AD and DHCP in an open source fashion. If you are sticking with Windows you can put DHCP on any Windows member server, setup failover, etc. Not getting what the goal ultimately is.

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  • Hi, are you concerned about the cost of buying a Windows Server License?

    Spinning up a Secondary DC server with a Failover DHCP is still a better option that mixing other systems. This way you can recover easily than tinkering across different Software.

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  • How about backing up the hourly auto backup file from %SystemRoot%\System32\DHCP\backup to another location if you're just looking to backup the configuration for no cost?

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  • Do you actually need this?  What about just leaving the DHCP lease time set to the default of 8 days? 

    If you do this you have at least 4 days before your current leases expire.  Can you not restore a backup of your domain controller in 4 days?

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  • Your questions and comments make me think you misunderstand the role of a DHCP server in the context of Active Directory. 

    A "free" DHCP server, open source or not, doesn't make Active Directory work. DNS, with appropriate entries in the zone files, is FAR more important in "making AD work" than is DHCP. 

    Worst comes to worst, you can statically configure all your hosts on a network and have AD work properly with a correctly configured DNS server. DHCP is for ease of use and automation, in contrast.

    Your goal seems to be to have a backup for your Active Directory Domain Controller, without spending another $700 for a Windows Server license. You can't get there from here. 

    You should have a DC on each of two physical servers as a best practice for fault tolerance and redundancy. When I say physical, I really mean the DC's should be virtual machines on a hypervisor host, two each. I haven't run DC's on bare metal in a decade, but even my test environment has two DC VM's. 

    I wish you well on your project, but the task and constraints you describe make it a no-go in my view.

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  • WhoisAD wrote:

    Neally Thank you for responding so quickly! We intend to generate a backup for our present Active Directory. In essence, I'm hoping to make a clone of the present AD. We're seeking for an open source DHCP server for the clone DHCP server because we require an additional licence for the clone and want to save costs.

    I would recommend, as others have said, having a second DC in a VM on another physical server (A server standard license includes license for 2x Virtual Server Standard OSEs) with DHCP enabled and configured in a split-scope/failover setup, theres plenty of documentation on this and I have had this sort of setup for about 5 years since having server 2016 as my DCs.

    Step-by-Step: Configure DHCP for Failover | Microsoft Docs

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  • To futher on what m@ttshaw suggested, this is the article that I used to setup a DHCP failover system, if this is in fact part of what you are attempting to achieve.

    https://www.madboa.com/geek/dhcp-failover/


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  • If you want something which has full Active Directory capabilities as well as DCHP and network capabilities, then maybe something like Zentyal Server is what you are looking for. https://zentyal.com/

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  • Welcome to Spiceworks and its community, a community of IT professionals for IT professionals with a focus on SME. And please don't forget to read the recommendations of our field guides, especially those on getting started and on pos(t)ing good questions, including the helpful references found at the bottom of its web page.

    As others have already mentioned, Linux is an open source operating system which has DHCP service available too. This applies usually also to embedded Linux editions as used in many routers or firewalls. I've used ISC DHCP server already before starting to use Linux. If is available as open source or with a commercial license. Another alternative is Open DHCP server.

    But I don't get how your request relates to Windows nor AD. DHCP server works regardless of client operating system, and regardless if operated in a NIS, an AD, a work group or other network environment.

    Noobmaster wrote:

    We intend to generate a backup for our present Active Directory.

    I can't see what's the relation between AD, AD backup and DHCP server. Please clarify.

    • Do you run AD without a Windows server?

    Sure, that's possible too. Samba offers such an AD implementation. It provides a subset of what Windows server offers. For simple AD setups for small organizations without a Windows server, this might be sufficient.

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  • Noobmaster wrote:

    In essence, I'm hoping to make a clone of the present AD. We're seeking for an open source DHCP server for the clone DHCP server because we require an additional licence for the clone and want to save costs.

    Since DHCP service usually runs alongside Active Directory services, there is no cost-saving if you keep using AD but try to replace just the DHCP server. You still need a license.

    You can replace Microsoft Active Directory with open-source analogs like SAMBA. Still, that kind of configuration may result in various caveats, especially if used as a direct clone or replacement of an existing Active Directory. Have you considered switching to AzureAD instead https://www.starwindsoftware.com/blog/deploying-azure-active-directory?

    Welcome to the Community!

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