SUMMARY (incomplete): Sun Solaris DHCP Server v. ISC DHCP Server

From: Bryan J. Smith <>
Date: Sat Jul 20 2002 - 18:14:32 EDT
I received messages from people running both Solaris' built-in (or
unbundled) DHCP server as well as ISC's DHCP server on Solaris 2.5.1+. 
This summary is largely incomplete, as the responses given did _not_
show Sun's included Solaris DHCP Server has anything to offer over ISC's
DHCP Server.  Some people "guessed" that there might be some ONC+/NIS+
failover options, but no one confirmed this.

However, I still received a lot of good information.

- AVOID:  Solaris version 2.6 (and earlier unbundled) DHCP servers

Several people confirmed that pre-Solaris version 2.7 DHCP servers were

- RECOMMEND:  Solaris version 2.8 10/01 (and later) DHCP servers

Several people confirmed that Solaris 2.8 10/01 and later are working
flawlessly for them.  Installing all post-10/01 DHCP patches is also

Most are impressed with the GUI administration tools in these late DHCP
server releases which seem to make administration easier than ISC's DHCP
server "single, flat config file" setup.

- SCNA Note:  Study up on the Solaris DHCP server, it's 10% of the exam

As I mentioned before, if you plan on taking the Sun Certified Network
Administrator (SCNA) exam, be sure you know the bundled Solaris DHCP
_server_ in and out.  It's _nothing_ like the ISC server, and most of
the books (including Sun's SCNA Study Guide), and even the on-line Sun
Docs, are _dead_wrong_ in many areas.  Learn it from a working system
(which we should all be doing anyway, right? ;-).

-- Bryan

P.S.  I feel I must add this, so my apologize in advance:

In responses, several people accused me of "cheating" on the SCNA by
using some of the available "training/study guides."  I think people
forget that "computer-administered" examinations are _not_ about what
you know (let alone any extensive SunOS/Solaris experience -- I have 10
years, 6 _very_heavy_!), but if you can pass the objectives on the
examination which are usually _not_ "real-world" situations.  Most
"computer-administered" examinations try to be "hard" by either A)
making you memorize things that you usually hit the man pages for (this
is the Sun approach) or B) being very ambiguous in an attempt to confuse
the test taker (this is the Microsoft approach).  I agree that _neither_
is a good test for experienced administrators -- hence the "paper
certification" moniker (which I _do_ believe is an adequate
description).  Yes, it is possible that an experienced admin will pass
them "straight up," but if you want to get 90%+ (like I do), you use the
books to "brush up" on areas where you are weak.

Only "performance-based" laboratory/peer-reviewed examinations -- like
select Cisco certifications (and those modeled after them -- e.g.,
RedHat RHCE) test for "real world" experience where study guides are
useless (e.g., the RHCE passing rate went down drastically after
Syngress released its RHCE Study Guide).  While I would love to see
_all_ certifications follow the "performance-based" path (possibly with
background/experience checks like the CISSP), many HR departments are
using "paper certifications" right now to "filter out" candidates. 
Hence why I started sucking up certifications last month, because I'm
currently unemployed and I cannot find self-employment without these
little bits of paper that prospective clients want.  So cut me some
slack on the certs please, I'm even a degreed engineer (and _hate_ the
vendor "engineer" crap too ;-).

Bryan J. Smith, E.I.   (407)489-7013
CompTIA A+ i-Net+ Linux+ Network+ Server+          Sun SCSA SCNA
SmithConcepts, Inc. --
Consulting Engineers and IT Professionals
sunmanagers mailing list
Received on Sat Jul 20 18:28:32 2002

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