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Method for Assigning Dynamic IP Address by Discovery of Device Characteristics

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000245812D
Publication Date: 2016-Apr-12
Document File: 4 page(s) / 67K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

DHCP service is typically deployed with static mapping of MAC-to-IP, which is quite unfriendly to handle larger server environments. It's very time consuming and error prone to collect all the new MAC addresses to map in DHCP. The disclosure discloses how to automatically discover and utilize system characteristics to assign IP addresses.

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Method for Assigning Dynamic IP Address by Discovery of Device Characteristics

DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) is a pretty good solution to assign IP addresses to devices, while the receivers/users don't need to care about which IPs they get as long as they can access the network.

However, in a server environment, DHCP service is typically deployed with static mapping of MAC-to-IP, which is tedious and becomes quite unfriendly to handle especially in larger environments.

For example, in a hyperscale environment where servers are usually bought in thousands, it's very time consuming and error prone to collect all the new MAC addresses to map in DHCP. A typical server may have several network adapters & ports and each port has a unique MAC address. When buying a batch of 5000 servers, you could easily end up with 20000 MAC addresses to deal with, or more in some cases. The purchase order won't come with a nice spreadsheet of server-to-all-MAC-addresses for you to use for automation. Network port sometimes have a sticker with the MAC address printed on it, you'd have to manually copy that into your database, or you could go to each server BIOS to list all the MAC addresses and then manually copy into your database. Either way this is an extremely time consuming and error prone process. For a virtualized environment, the amount of dynamically generated MAC addresses are even harder to manage, such as adding a new one, deleting an old one, renewing existing ones and etc.

Therefore DHCP is very rarely used in server environment.

It'd be nice if there is a way to control DHCP address assignment by device characteristics of our choice but without dealing with the MAC addresses. And this is what our invention will solve.

This invention can automatically discover system characteristics (e.g. S/N) and then utilize them to query an external source to get a result as a yes/no control point prior to assign dynamic IP address. Also it will use the system characteristics (e.g. S/N) as client name in DHCP static mapping table instead of MAC addresses.

With this invention, it become much easier and more convenient to control DHCP address assignment, especially in large scale server environments, compared to the conventional method mentioned. All the manual steps will be automated and the security level can also be enhanced.

A better way to allocate network address is to use device serial number, which is usually available from the purchase order or in the asset management software for most enterprises. The serial number is unique per system but does not multiply like MAC address...