Today’s main task was a Domain Controller migration as part of a continued Windows Server 2012 r2 upgrade. A step in this process was migrating a DHCP server from an old domain controller to a new domain controller.

Initially I installed the DHCP Server role on the new server using Server Manager. Then, from the new server I exported the DHCP configuration with a single PowerShell command:

Export-DhcpServer -ComputerName -Leases -File $env:UserProfile\Documents\olddc_dhcp.exp

The command is fairly self explanatory. Including the “-Leases” switch means all the current DHCP leases are included in the export.

The next step is importing the configuration.

Import-DhcpServer -ComputerName -Leases -File $env:UserProfile\Documents\olddc_dhcp.exp -BackupPath $env:UserProfile\Documents\newdc_default_dhcp_conf

If you are importing the configuration to an already existing DHCP server with an existing scope, you will need to add the “-ScopeOverwrite” switch.

Once our configuration is migrated, all that remains is to deauthorize the old DHCP server and authorize the new one. You can also accomplish this with PowerShell:


The only hitch I’ve found, is that if you’re using DNS dynamic updates, the credentials for the account that you’re using (in the DnsUpdateProxy group) for DNS updates do not get migrated. You can either set these manually on your new DHCP server or use PowerShell’s Get-Credential and Set-DhcpServerDnsCredential commandlets.

Windows Server 2012 r2 of course supports DHCP clustering/failover, which I’ve had working in the lab and look forward to implementing in the datacentres. A highly available DHCP service means we can start relying on DHCP for critical nodes within our datacentres, even using PowerShell to create DHCP reservations for new node nodes as part of a completely hands-off deployment mechanism.