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Understanding DHCP Snooping (ELS)

 
Note

This topic includes information about enabling Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) snooping when using Junos OS for EX Series switches with support for the Enhanced Layer 2 Software (ELS) configuration style. If your switch runs Junos OS software that does not support ELS, see Understanding DHCP Snooping (non-ELS). For ELS details, see Using the Enhanced Layer 2 Software CLI.

DHCP snooping enables the switching device, which can be either a switch or a router, to monitor DHCP messages received from untrusted devices connected to the switching device. When DHCP snooping is enabled on a VLAN, the system examines DHCP messages sent from untrusted hosts associated with the VLAN and extracts their IP addresses and lease information. This information is used to build and maintain the DHCP snooping database. Only hosts that can be verified using this database are allowed access to the network.

DHCP Snooping Basics

DHCP allocates IP addresses dynamically, leasing addresses to devices so that the addresses can be reused when they are no longer needed by the devices to which they were assigned. Hosts and end devices that require IP addresses obtained through DHCP must communicate with a DHCP server across the LAN.

DHCP snooping acts as a guardian of network security by keeping track of valid IP addresses assigned to downstream network devices by a trusted DHCP server (the server is connected to a trusted network port).

By default, all trunk ports on the switch are trusted and all access ports are untrusted for DHCP snooping.

Note

You can configure an access port as trusted, or a trunk port as untrusted, using the overrides configuration statement with either the trusted or untrusted option.

When DHCP snooping is enabled, the lease information from the server is used to create the DHCP snooping table, also known as the DHCP binding table. The table shows current IP-MAC address bindings, as well as lease time, type of binding, names of associated VLANs and interfaces.

Entries in the DHCP snooping table are updated in the following events:

  • When a network device releases an IP address (sends a DHCPRELEASE message). In this event, the associated mapping entry is deleted from the database.

  • When you move a network device from one VLAN to another. In this event, typically the device needs to acquire a new IP address. Therefore, its entry in the database, including the VLAN name, is updated.

  • When the lease time (timeout value) assigned by the DHCP server expires. In this event, the associated entry is deleted from the database.

  • When the network device renews its lease by sending a unicast DHCPREQUEST message and receiving a positive response from the DHCP server. In this event, the lease time is updated in the database.

  • If the network device cannot reach the DHCP server that originally granted the lease, it sends a broadcast DHCPREQUEST message and rebinds to the DHCP server that responds. In this event, the client receives a new IP address and the binding is updated in the DHCP snooping table.

  • Starting in Junos OS Release 14.1X53-D35, a network device with a fixed IP allocation from the DHCP server is replaced by a new device with a different MAC address.If a network device with a fixed IP allocation from the DHCP server is replaced by a new device with a different MAC address. In this event, the new IP-MAC address binding is stored until the server sends a DHCPACK message, and then the entry in the DHCP snooping table is updated with the new address binding.

Tip

By default, the IP-MAC bindings are lost when the switch is rebooted, and the DHCP clients (the network devices, or hosts) must reacquire bindings. However, you can configure the bindings to persist by setting the dhcp-snooping-file statement to store the database file either locally or remotely.

You can configure the switch to snoop DHCP server responses only from specific VLANs. Doing this prevents spoofing of DHCP server messages.

Enabling DHCP Snooping

DHCP snooping is not enabled in the default switch configuration. DHCP snooping is enabled automatically by Junos OS when you configure any port security features at the [edit vlans vlan-name forwarding-options dhcp-security] hierarchy level. Starting in Junos OS Release 17.1R1, you can configure DHCP snooping or DHCPv6 snooping on a VLAN without enabling other port security features by configuring the dhcp-security CLI statement at the [edit vlans vlan-name forwarding-options dhcp-security]. You enable DHCP snooping per VLAN, not per interface (port). For additional information about enabling DHCP snooping, see Configuring Port Security (ELS).

Note

To disable DHCP snooping, you must delete the dhcp-security statement from the configuration. DHCP snooping is not disabled automatically when you disable other port security features.

DHCP Snooping Process

The DHCP snooping process consists of the following steps:

Note

When DHCP snooping is enabled for a VLAN, all DHCP packets sent from network devices in that VLAN are subjected to DHCP snooping. The final IP-MAC binding occurs when the DHCP server sends a DHCPACK packet to the DHCP client.

  1. The network device sends a DHCPDISCOVER packet to request an IP address.
  2. The switch forwards the packet to the DHCP server.
  3. The server sends a DHCPOFFER packet to offer an address. If the DHCPOFFER packet is from a trusted interface, the switch forwards the packet to the network device.
  4. The network device sends a DHCPREQUEST packet to accept the IP address. The switch adds an IP-MAC placeholder binding to the DHCP snooping table. The entry is considered a placeholder until a DHCPACK packet is received from the server. Until then, the IP address could still be assigned to some other host.
  5. The server sends a DHCPACK packet to assign the IP address or a DHCPNAK packet to deny the address request.
  6. The switch updates the DHCP database according to the type of packet received:
    • If the switch receives a DHCPACK packet, it updates lease information for the IP-MAC address bindings in its database.

    • If the switch receives a DHCPNACK packet, it deletes the placeholder.

Note

The DHCP database is updated only after the DHCPREQUEST packet is sent.

For general information about the messages that the DHCP client and DHCP server exchange during the assignment of an IP address for the client, see the Junos OS System Basics Configuration Guide.

DHCPv6 Snooping

Starting in Junos OS Release 14.1X53-D10, DHCP snooping is supported for IPv6 packets on EX 9200 Switches.DHCP snooping is also supported for IPv6 packets. The process for DHCPv6 snooping is similar to that for DHCP snooping, but uses different names for the messages exchanged between the client and server to assign IPv6 addresses. Table 1 shows DHCPv6 messages and their DHCPv4 equivalents.

Table 1: DHCPv6 Messages and DHCPv4 Equivalent Messages

Sent by

DHCPv6 Messages

DHCPv4 Equivalent Messages

Client

SOLICIT

DHCPDISCOVER

Server

ADVERTISE

DHCPOFFER

Client

REQUEST, RENEW, REBIND

DHCPREQUEST

Server

REPLY

DHCPACK/DHCPNAK

Client

RELEASE

DHCPRELEASE

Client

INFORMATION-REQUEST

DHCPINFORM

Client

DECLINE

DHCPDECLINE

Client

CONFIRM

none

Server

RECONFIGURE

DHCPFORCERENEW

Client

RELAY-FORW, RELAY-REPLY

none

Rapid Commit for DHCPv6

The DHCPv6 Rapid Commit option can shorten the exchange of messages between the client and server. When supported by the server and set by the client, this option shortens the exchange from a four-way relay to a two-message handshake. For more information about enabling the Rapid Commit option, see Configuring DHCPv6 Rapid Commit (MX Series, EX Series).

When the Rapid Commit option is enabled, the exchange of messages is as follows:

  1. The DHCPv6 client sends out a SOLICIT message that contains a request that rapid assignment of address, prefix, and other configuration parameters be preferred.
  2. If the DHCPv6 server supports rapid assignment, it responds with a REPLY message, which contains the assigned IPv6 address and prefix and other configuration parameters.

DHCP Server Access





A switch’s access to the DHCP server can be configured in three ways:

Switch, DHCP Clients, and the DHCP Server Are All on the Same VLAN

When the switch, DHCP clients, and DHCP server are all members of the same VLAN, the DHCP server can be connected to the switch in one of two ways:

Note

To enable DHCP snooping on the VLAN, configure the dhcp-security statement at the [edit vlans vlan-name forwarding-options] hierarchy.

  • (See Figure 1.) The server is directly connected to the same switch as the one connected to the DHCP clients (the hosts, or network devices, that are requesting IP addresses from the server). The VLAN is enabled for DHCP snooping to protect the untrusted access ports. The trunk port is configured by default as a trusted port.

  • (See Figure 2.) The server is connected to an intermediary switch (Switch 2) that is connected through a trunk port to the switch (Switch 1) that the DHCP clients are connected to. Switch 2 is being used as a transit switch. The VLAN is enabled for DHCP snooping to protect the untrusted access ports of Switch 1. The trunk port is configured by default as a trusted port. In Figure 2, ge-0/0/11 is a trusted trunk port.

Figure 1: DHCP Server Connected Directly to a Switch
DHCP Server Connected Directly to a
Switch
Figure 2: DHCP Server Connected Directly to Switch 2, with Switch 2 Connected to Switch 1 Through a Trusted Trunk Port
DHCP Server Connected Directly
to Switch 2, with Switch 2 Connected to Switch 1 Through a Trusted Trunk Port

Switch Acts as the DHCP Server

You can configure DHCP local server options on the switch, which enables the switch to function as an extended DHCP local server. In Figure 3, the DHCP clients are connected to the extended DHCP local server through untrusted access ports.

Figure 3: Switch Is the DHCP Server
Switch Is the DHCP Server

Switch Acts as a Relay Agent

The switch functions as a relay agent when the DHCP clients or the DHCP server is connected to the switch through a Layer 3 interface (on a switch or a router). The Layer 3 interfaces on the switch are configured as routed VLAN interfaces (RVIs)—also called integrated routing and bridging (IRB) interfaces. The trunk interfaces are trusted by default.

The switch can act as a relay agent in these two scenarios:

  • The DHCP server and clients are in different VLANs.

  • The switch is connected to a router that is, in turn, connected to the DHCP server. See Figure 4.

Figure 4: Switch Acting as a Relay Agent Through a Router to the DHCP Server
Switch Acting as a Relay Agent Through a
Router to the DHCP Server

Static IP Address Additions to the DHCP Snooping Database

You can add specific static IP addresses to the database as well as have the addresses dynamically assigned through DHCP snooping. To add a static IP address, you provide the IP address, the MAC address of the device, the interface on which the device is connected, and the VLAN with which the interface is associated. You do not assign a lease time to the entry. The statically configured entry never expires.

Release History Table
Release
Description
Starting in Junos OS Release 14.1X53-D35, a network device with a fixed IP allocation from the DHCP server is replaced by a new device with a different MAC address.
Starting in Junos OS Release 14.1X53-D10, DHCP snooping is supported for IPv6 packets on EX 9200 Switches.
Starting in Junos OS Release 17.1R1, you can configure DHCP snooping or DHCPv6 snooping on a VLAN without enabling other port security features by configuring the dhcp-security CLI statement at the [edit vlans vlan-name forwarding-options dhcp-security].