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DHCP on the gateway or server? And is PPTP the best way to perform offsite administration?

I just set up a Win2k server on a network. I am also using a four-port switch with a firewall and a gateway to get to the Internet through a cable modem. For security reasons, should I use the gateway as the DHCP server, or set DHCP up on the server? Should I use a static address on the server without the gateway on the server? Also, when I go to surf the Internet on the server, it always asks me if I want to work offline or connect, and I have to answer connect. Why is that? Also, eventually, I would like to administer this server, offsite through the Internet using PPTP, or something better if you've got suggestions. Is there a resource that can walk me through this?

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I'd use the server for DHCP, since I use it to configure network clients with DNS server addresses, gateway addresses, and more. As well, if you intend to use Remote Installation Service, which is a perfect way to install Windows 2000 or Windows XP on a small network, you'll have to install DHCP on the server. If you configure the server as a domain controller, you must use a static IP address.

Administering the server offsite is easy enough to accomplish. First thing is to install PPTP on the server using Routing and Remote Access Server (RRAS). Next, poke a hole in your firewall to forward PPTP traffic to the server. Last, install and enable Terminal Services on the server in administration mode. You'll find good coverage of all three topics in Help and in the Windows 2000 Server Resource Kit. This is the configuration I use to administer my servers while offsite.

This was first published in May 2002

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