Riptide Blog

Riptide Software’s Robust DHCP Server using RaspberryPi 2 !

Posted by Raquel Galan on June 11, 2015

RaspberryPi 2Riptide Software solved an issue a customer was having getting a Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) server to function in a particular way. The requirements: multiple IP ranges with limited communications between the ranges, variable network component lease times from an hour to possibly several days, and the need for the equipment to function in a less-than-ideal environment. Riptide provided a robust and cost effective solution for the project using a RaspberryPi 2 DHCP Server to handle a network of over 500 IP addresses with varying lease times.

We began the project by defining all the terms, setting realistic expectations, and creating our documentation datastore.

DHCP Server automatically assigns an IP address and corresponding network information to a requesting device from a predefined range of numbers (scope) configured for a given network.

RaspberryPi 2, released in February of 2015, is a modular computing system with a 900MHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 CPU and 1GB RAM. The board supports 4 USB ports, 40 GPIO pins, a Full HDMI port, an Ethernet port, Combined 3.5mm audio jack and composite video, Camera interface (CSI), Display interface (DSI), a Micro SD card slot, and a VideoCore IV 3D graphics core, only a small portion of which were required for the DHCP solution.

The RaspberryPi 2  has an ARMv7 processor capable of running all ARM GNU/Linux distributions, including Snappy Ubuntu Core, as well as Microsoft Windows 10.

Riptide opted to run Raspian (NOOB v1.4)  as the operating system on the RaspberryPi 2, along with ISC DHCP as the DHCP server and phpDHCPAdmin as the GUI front end.

All of the previous attempts at providing a stable, robust DHCP server either ended with hardware failures, cost overruns, or were simply too clumsy to operate.

Riptide’s solution to use the RaspberryPi 2 as a DHCP server would effectively eliminate all the issues other solutions had brought with them. RaspberryPi 2’s are low cost, very robust, and come standard with 1 Gig of embedded RAM. Riptide installed an ISC DHCP server on a RaspberryPi 2 along with the phpDHCPAdmin GUI front end for ease of configuration.

Riptide learned that past project DHCP Server implementations would work well in a controlled lab environment, but would later fail in the field where environmental conditions were less than favorable.

Riptide thoroughly tested the proposed solution and ensured the implementation of the DHCP server would handle the stringent lease requirements. The board itself is guaranteed  to operate at 185°F. Our test readings indicated that at it’s fullest capacity, the  CPU/GPU can reach operating temperatures of 138°F. Normal operations of the DHCP Server kept the CPU/GPU at a comfortable 120°F. With proper airflow and cooling, the RaspberryPi 2 hardware should not fail, even under the heaviest of loads.

Riptide configured three separate LANs with minimal cross over for management purposes. Additional lease-time requirements were met with basic DHCP configurations. Riptide was able to successfully meet all the project requirements for the customer using the RaspberryPi 2 ICS DHCP Server, and phpDHCPAdmin.

If you are having issues with your server or are looking for cloud solutions, don't hesitate to contact Riptide Software.

Topics: DHCP Server, Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol, GUI, ICS, Managed Services, NOOB v1.4, phpDHCPAdmin, RaspberryPi 2, Raspian, Solutions

Written by Raquel Galan

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