DHCP can be a very important protocol for use on both small and large networks. By concentrating configuration details into a single server, you can greatly simplify the network configuration of client computers running just about any OS. The main cost is that the DHCP server itself requires configuration and maintenance ”if it goes down or is misconfigured, clients on the network may not be able to operate correctly. You can configure a DHCP server to issue IP addresses from a pool, without regard to what computer receives a particular address, or on a fixed basis, in which a particular computer receives the same IP address time after time. The latter is probably the best configuration if you need to contact DHCP clients by name , but even dynamic IP addresses can be linked to hostnames by having the DHCP server and the domain's DNS server communicate with each other using features in version 3 of the Linux DHCP server.