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Your choice of DHCP engines

Under the hood, DNSBOX gives you a choice between two DHCP engines: KEA or ISC DHCP.

Since it was launched over 20 years ago, Internet Systems Consortium's DHCP (also known as DHCPd) has been the industry standard open source DHCP software. It has formed the basis of DNSBOX's DHCP functionality for decades and, with the addition of other DNSBOX components, DHCPd continues to offer a highly stable, tried and tested foundation for a DHCP server.

ISC released DHCPd's eventual replacement, KEA, in 2014. Where its predecessor was designed for a IPv4 world, KEA is designed to handle both IPv4 and IPv6. It's been developed to better cater for an always-connected world with low tolerance for network disruption. Rather than holding DHCP data in a single file like DHCPd, KEA uses a relational database, making it particularly attractive if you:

  • need to make frequent configuration changes as the service does not need to restart to implement changes
  • need active/active failover

Others will prefer to stick with the mature DHCP. DNSBOX ships with DHCPd enabled by default and switching to KEA is straightforward. With an ApplianSys support contract, existing customers can be assisted through their migration to KEA. New customers can choose to deploy KEA from the outset.

In most cases, your DHCP requirement can be met with either engine. Talk to us about any specific functionality that you need and we'll help you work out which is best for you.