[This post comes to us courtesy of Rituraj Choudhary from Microsoft Commercial Technical Support]
Windows Server 2012 Essentials is enabled to run on a network with the DHCP Server service running on the router. This blog post describes the method to configure DHCP Role on the Windows Server 2012 Essentials, if you prefer so.
The first step in this process is to assign a Static IP to the server.
At this point, stop and disable the DHCP Server service running at the existing computer or device. Please note that during the process of migration the network clients will not be able to obtain IP address; if you have business critical servers on the domain, assign them a Static IP.
Let’s now install the DHCP Server role on the Windows Server 2012 Essentials.
To complete the DHCP deployment, click on Complete DHCP configuration on the Post-deployment Configuration under the Notification icon.
The DHCP Post-Install configuration wizard is quite straight forward.
Here is the final status that you should see on the Server Manager.
It is now time to configure the DHCP Server.
Your server is now ready to lease out new DHCP addresses to the network clients.
There is a service named as Windows Server LAN Configuration that gets installed on a computer when it joins Windows Server 2012 Essentials. The purpose of this service is to detect the presence of the Windows Server 2012 Essentials, which by default, has a DHCP Server assigned IP.
To explain, let’s say you have a laptop which is joined to a Windows Server 2012 Essentials domain. When this laptop is taken to a different network, it gets a new IP assigned by the new network’s DHCP Server to connect to this network and the internet. When the laptop comes back into its home domain, it again gets a new IP from the DHCP Server (Router) on the Windows Server 2012 Essentials domain. The Windows Server LAN Configuration service now comes to play; it detects the presence of Windows Server 2012 Essentials on the domain, obtains the IP of the server, and overwrites the DHCP Server assigned DNS Server address for the client, which helps this laptop resolve Active Directory.
After rehoming the DHCP Server at the Windows Server 2012 Essentials, it would have a Static IP. This DHCP Server IPv4 Scope Options would also carry the DNS Server information (which is the Static IP of the Windows Server 2012 Essentials). At this point, the services of Windows Server LAN Configuration is not required, and may be turned off. Leaving it turned on does not harm either.