7 Ways to Improve DHCP Migrations

Road to success

This article outlines 7 ways to improve your DHCP Migrations, ensuring success. The DDI Guru highly recommends these to ensure success the next time you migrate from one DHCP environment to another. Make sure your next DHCP Migration goes off without a hitch by following these simple recommendations:

  1. Alignment Team - Create an alignment team consisting of engineers from the DDI Engineering, Network, Router, Active Directory, Wireless, and Voice teams. Having Subject Matter Experts or SMEs from these disciplines is key because of overlapping up- and/or downstream dependencies that exist.

  2. Know your DHCP Relays - Be aware of all the different types of DHCP Relays used in your infrastructure. Be especially mindful of the configuration syntactical differences. NOTE the differences in Cisco commands for implementing DHCP relays on two different switch/routers:

    Cisco IOS Command:

    ip helper-address x.x.x.x

    Cisco Nexus Command:

    ip dhcp relay address x.x.x.x

    Really knowing your DHCP Relays also means having good reporting tools, as well as, tools to roll out mass changes to the environment when performing DHCP migrations that require changing all the DHCP Server IP Addresses on your layer 2 and 3 devices.

  3. Be aware of all the DHCP client types you service - Besides knowing about all the generic desktop clients, know your oddball clients too! These can sneak up on you during a migration if you haven't accounted for DHCP clients that have special needs in terms of behavior and/or specialized DHCP options. It's also a good idea to know about any special desktop imaging or build environments. You may have some networks that have additional DHCP requirements such as PXEBoot or other imaging configurations.

  4. Have good pre- and post-migration tools - Having good pre and post-migration tools provide you valuable visibility and information. These tools can help you determine "dark" or unused DHCP segments, which segments have been migrated, which segments that may have failed to migrate, etc. They are essential to the DDI Migration team as a form of certification of the work performed.

  5. Communication - Communication is key! Communication is needed to create awareness. It's much better to bring all the lines of business into the fold ahead of time, rather than inform them following a migration gone bad. Communicating with lines of business removes the element of surprise. It can also provide the same benefit as what Alignment Teams provide - insight and additional environment awareness.

  6. Line of Business and UAT testing - Get your lines of business on the hook to help with testing following the migration or cutover. Have them test all their applications and configurations. Make sure following the DHCP migration, they can reach all their key application resources. Having them perform User Acceptance Testing or UAT is a way to get signoff following a migration. This recommendation is easier said than done. It takes a solid test plan and considerable planning and organization, but is well worth the effort.

  7. WIKI or CMS and game plan for team communications - It is strongly recommended that the DDI Team have a good Wiki or web based content management system or CMS to communicate all technical details of a migration. Why do I like this so much?

    • It's easy to create
    • Editable
    • Portable
    • Accessible
    • It's fun!

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