Hi folks,

As you know, there is an onboard DHCP server in the K2000. It is not clear to me from the documentation and admin guides whether it has to be configured for all network DHCP clients, or only KACE-managed clients. Here are some samples:

(From the onboard Help guide):
Directing network boots to the appliance:
Before you can capture and deploy images, install operating systems, or recover systems from the appliance, you must direct network boot requests to the appliance.
Configure the DHCP server to direct PXE requests and a NetBoot server to direct BSDP requests to the K2000 appliance or RSA in remote sites.

(From the onboard Help guide):
Directing PXE requests from the appliance:
Before you configure this setting ensure that the appliance is the only DHCP server on the network and you configure the router to forward DHCP request to the appliance.

(From the Administrator’s Guide):
Step 4 - Configuring Your DHCP Server
Your DHCP server needs to direct the clients to the KACE K2000 Appliance Series appliance for the next boot code, so that the clients can use PXE to start from the network.
This occurs when two DHCP option values are set on the DHCP server.

DHCP Option Setting
Option 66: TFTP server name Set this option to be the IP address of the KACE K2000 Appliance
server.
Windows 2003 Server-specific configuration
To configure the DHCP Server on the Windows 2003 Server, perform the following
steps:
1. Start the DHCP manager by selecting the DHCP option from the Admin Tools
sub-menu of the Programs menu.
• If you want to allow all the clients to network boot, select Server Options, then right-click and select Configure Options.
• If you want to restrict network booting to a specific Scope, expand the Scope in the DHCP manager and select Scope Options.
Right-click and select Configure Options.
2. In the option configuration window, select the General tab.
3. Select the Option 066 check box, and enter the IP address of the KACE K2000
Appliance as the value.
4. Select the Option 067 check box, and enter kbox2000.0 as the value.

I have not been able to find out how many clients the KACE DHCP server can support in terms of number of concurrent connections, multiple concurrent DHCP lease requests, answering lease requests while deploying OS and software, etc. The documentation for this device is unclear and seems to contradict itself or is ambiguous regarding critical procedures. KACE tech support (from the main website) failed to answer the phone when I called, and I haven't yet found any load simulation tool that will tell me how much the KACE DHCP can handle.

Thanks for your help with this matter.
Joe Smith, Jr.
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Everything you've quoted from the Administrator's Guide is referring to a stand-alone DHCP server (i.e. not using built-in DHCP capability of K2000).

To summarize all of the info you've posted: if you want to PXE boot to the K2000 device, whatever DHCP server you are using has to be properly configured to point to the K2000 for PXE. You can only have 1 PXE server on a segment - and you can only have 1 DHCP server on a segment. In other words, if you already have DHCP on your network, you will have to disable it in order to use the DHCP server built-in to the K2000. If you don't you will have problems. If you want to keep an existing DHCP server, you just have to specify options 66 and 67 appropriately on your existing DHCP server.

As for the capabilities of the built-in DHCP server - it appears as though the only configuration options are starting and ending points for the pool. I'm assuming you can make the available pool as large as you'd like. Concurrent connections have nothing to do with DHCP, because the server just hands out leases. I've never heard of a concurrent connection (multiple clients asking for leases) problem with any DHCP server.
Answered 07/29/2011 by: airwolf
Tenth Degree Black Belt

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-2
Thanks for your quick reply. Unfortunately, it was non-responsive to most of my concerns. Let's take another look:

"I have not been able to find out how many clients the KACE DHCP server can support in terms of number of concurrent connections, multiple concurrent DHCP lease requests, answering lease requests while deploying OS and software, etc. The documentation for this device is unclear and seems to contradict itself or is ambiguous regarding critical procedures. KACE tech support (from the main website) failed to answer the phone when I called, and I haven't yet found any load simulation tool that will tell me how much the KACE DHCP can handle." [Emphasis added.]

I should point out that the K2000 documentation is inconsistent, riddled with errors, and ambiguous or unclear throughout. In addition, the device seems to be a little lightweight to serve as a DHCP server and push out OS images for an entire enterprise.

Thank you again for your response.
Joe Smith
Answered 07/29/2011 by: joesmithjr
Senior Yellow Belt

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2
The DHCP server can support as many clients as you specify in the scope options - I stated this already. I don't know of any limitations to a number of lease requests, but that doesn't mean those limitations are non-existent. You should really contact Dell KACE support (by phone or by submitting a ticket to them) if you want concrete answers to these questions. I know several companies have tried imaging tens and even hundreds of systems at one time, and I always remember the bottleneck being the LAN - never the DHCP server. You'll hit several bottlenecks WAY before you'd need to worry about "maxing" the DHCP server, such as the K2000 hardware itself (3 spindles in a RAID5), and your LAN (50 machines imaging on a 100Mbps LAN = crap).

How many systems are at the same location as your K2000? Perhaps you should be looking at using Remote Site Appliances. We have 75 sites with 1800 client systems, and we have no problems - because we've basically got 76 K2000's in the form of the primary system at our Corporate office and 75 RSAs. RSAs can also act as DHCP servers for their respective locations. I wouldn't dare try PXE booting all 75 of our locations to the primary K2000 - that's just asking for trouble.

I don't disagree that the documentation could use some work, but don't shoot the messenger... I'm just a KBOX user trying to help you out. I have a feeling you may need to rethink the design of your K2000 infrastructure.
Answered 07/29/2011 by: airwolf
Tenth Degree Black Belt

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Thanks, Andy! Sorry about my not-enough-coffee snarky tone; I thought you actually worked for Dell/Kace. (No excuse, really.) Your response is very helpful, and for all my reading I didn't pick up the "RSA acting as DHCP server" concept. There are as yet no RSA's in the design plan so I failed to look carefully at what they can do.

BTW, I'm just a lowly contractor trying to help these good folks get what they need, so any design decision or making calls to Dell support are above my pay grade :) . I will pass this on to my managers here for consideration, and thanks again.

Best regards,
Joe Smith
Answered 07/29/2011 by: joesmithjr
Senior Yellow Belt

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-2
The onboard DHCP server is intended to be used in very small environments; such as test labs or in debugging. It is not intended to serve as your company's primary DHCP server.
Answered 08/01/2011 by: cblake
Red Belt

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Thanks for your reply. I wish it helped. I have scoured the documentation and have found nothing at all that reflects what you indicated.

If what you say is correct, then why does the documentation indicate that all clients in production must boot to the K2000 for DHCP? (See post above.)

And why did you not offer to help point us in the right direction, at least with a documentation link that reflects your comment?

And if we don't boot to the K2000, then what's the solution?

If I'm missing something, please let me know - isn't that the point of a forum like this and product team people such as yourself?

I appreciate any help you can provide.
Answered 08/02/2011 by: joesmithjr
Senior Yellow Belt

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-2
Sorry- I didn't mean to be unclear. I stand by what I said- our onboard DHCP is not intended to be the primary DHCP for a large network. I certainly didn't write the documentation so I can't speak to that aspect of things.
DHCP configuration was also a pre-requisite to JumpStart Training, and your trainer certainly would have been able to assist. Has that happened?

As for documentation on DHCP configurations:
You have already copied it above; What it's saying is that PXE requests must be forwarded to KBOX via your DHCP configuration; I don't see where it says KBOX must be the DHCP server.
Bonus Link! There's also documentation on non-microsoft DHCP configurations here: http://www.kace.com/support/kb/index.php?action=artikel&cat=56&id=816&artlang=en

The section that says (From the onboard Help guide):
Directing PXE requests from the appliance:
Before you configure this setting ensure that the appliance is the only DHCP server on the network and you configure the router to forward DHCP request to the appliance.

is telling us that if K2's DHCP server is enabled, it must be the only one in that subnet.

Hope that clarifies.

Personal aside- As you mentioned, this is a public forum, and I offer commentary and support in this forum as personal time permits. I am a Kace employee, but forum activities are completely voluntary.
We want this forum to be helpful, but sometimes solutions may not be to everyones taste. If you feel myself or other Kace employees aren't helpful in the forum I'm sure we can refrain from commenting on your posts if you prefer. Just say the word.
Don't forget that support is part of all maintenance contracts. AppDeploy is a great community, but shouldn't replace the regular support channels.
Answered 08/02/2011 by: cblake
Red Belt

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Once again, here's the documentation:
(From the onboard Help guide):
Directing network boots to the appliance:
Before you can capture and deploy images, install operating systems, or recover systems from the appliance, you must direct network boot requests to the appliance.

Your answer and your tone are both unacceptable.
Answered 08/02/2011 by: joesmithjr
Senior Yellow Belt

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Apologies- I intended no "tone". Just trying to clarify a previous post. Wish I could be more help. Sorry.
Answered 08/02/2011 by: cblake
Red Belt

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