Your experience with Meraki DHCP?

Building a reputation

Your experience with Meraki DHCP?

I was thinking of moving DHCP from my AD DCs to Meraki.  Reason being is that I have only 1 DC per site whereas I have some level of redundancy in my Meraki stuff at all sites. 


Management had some IAM consultants in to study moving from ADLDS to Azure B2C for in house built apps but while they were here they took the time to ding me on the lack of redundancy in my DHCP setup.  🙄🙄🙄 


So now I'm looking for things I could do without spending money.  Moving DHCP to Meraki seems like it might be a quick win.  Am I overlooking something?  What is your experience with Meraki DHCP in general and specifically with Windows clients?

Head in the Cloud

How many sites do you have? Are you running a Hub and Spoke Meraki VPN setup or a full mesh one?
Building a reputation

I'm just looking for user experiences on someone who's moved DHCP from Windows to Meraki on wired LANs, assume from a help desk perspective.  Something like "oh I switched to Meraki DHCP and I had problems with clients not getting IP address leases" or  "switching to Meraki DHCP worked perfect compared to Windows Server DHCP" or "I didn't notice any difference from my prior DHCP solution"


I will set DHCP up on L3 interfaces already present at each site. No other switch, site, or WAN modifications would be made.

Kind of a big deal

I don't enjoy Meraki as a DHCP server.


There is no simple way to cancel a single DHCP lease.


For me, that alone makes it a non-starter in any environment where I can feasibly have a different more fully featured DHCP server.

Building a reputation

Thanks Nash, that was the sort of feedback that I was looking for, although it makes me a bit sad.

Kind of a big deal

@Brons2 wrote:

Thanks Nash, that was the sort of feedback that I was looking for, although it makes me a bit sad.

There's a hacky thing where you can briefly disable DHCP then re-enable it, but that then kills all active leases. I've usually had IP conflicts pop up when I've had to do that.


I have rapidly enabled Meraki DHCP when DCs have died, and it's gone well enough so long as my end users renew their leases. ("Please reboot your computer." x infinity at Windows.)


You can make a rapid swap less painful by maintaining a list of devices that have static IPs assigned or DHCP reservations, such as printers.

Building a reputation

You mean there are people that don't maintain a list of static IPs in their environment?  🤣🤣🤣🤣


You can make a rapid swap less painful by maintaining a list of devices that have static IPs assigned or DHCP reservations, such as printers."


Question on this, which place is best practice to enter static DHCP leases, 

Security & SD-WAN --> Configure --> DHCP    or..

Switch --> Configure --> Routing and DHCP    

Why is there 2 places to configure this? Is one better than the other?

Kind of a big deal

Meraki DHCP is something that just works. It is always good to have your own scope of addresses in a DC but lets say for example you want to just get someone on the internet without having to worry about creating a VLAN or a scope, then Meraki DHCP does its thing. I've had issues where things went down and I switch from internal to Meraki DHCP and it was seamless while we tried to figure out the issue. Makes a good backup.

Here to help

Hi.  I agree with others thatand a server provides more tools and features.  I have moved DHCP from Cisco devices to Meraki.  I find the Meraki version easier to work with than Cisco.

New here


I get what you are looking for, basically every one will have their opinion. For me we had



- Meraki DHCP running and it works fine, its simple easy to configure and just works.

- You can view leases etc from the dashboard etc



- for advanced configuration and control you wont have this

- windows you have more tools, configuration and control


One of the reply's was asking what setup you had in terms of VPN, Mesh, Hub / Spoke etc was because if you do have your networks connected you could have HA DHCP and once you have you VPN's in full mesh the likelihood of a failure would be lower.


It comes down to what you have now and the business need for the redundancy, you could also look at having your windows for your main site and meraki for smaller sites etc...


Boils down to business need

Kind of a big deal

I normally make the decision on where to place DHCP based on the people employed to manage the environment.


If they are mostly Windows admin people and are not likely to be logging into the dashboard much I sugest Windows DHCP.

If they are mostly networking people who will use the dashboard all the time I suggest Meraki DHCP.


If they are both I ask where would they most prefer to be looking for the info.  Then I put it there.

A model citizen

I use Meraki DHCP at teleworker deployments or for my portable rigs where I want to keep DHCP active regardless of VPN status.

Otherwise, centralized Infoblox DHCP in the DCs.

I would advise against doing that.

I have a Meraki customer that switched his AD based DHCP to Meraki because their admin found Windows DHCP to be too hard to manage which I find strange...

But since doing that there are issues:
The topology is one big MX at HQ, and multiple branch sites connected to MPLS to HQ.  The DHCP scopes all comes from the MX and there are two issues which are under investigation by Meraki engineering.

First:  When the initial DHCP DORA comes from the remote client and it gets forwarded from the local router's DHCP relay agent, the lease works.  However when the client starts to ask for a lease renewal starting halfway the lease time, the client sends it directly to the DHCP server in the MX who constantly NAK's the request because it's already in use.  Then right at the end the client once more does a broadcasted DHCP request and that works again.

Second: After a few weeks the MX refuses to reply to discovers for a few of the sites.  After triggering a failover it works again...

So not stable at the moment.

Building a reputation

Yea, we don't use MX and have no intention of doing so.  I'm only looking at putting DHCP on L3 interfaces on a per-site basis.  I also have no intention of running DHCP across WAN links.


I agree with you that I can't understand why someone would say that Windows DHCP is hard to manage.  It's the easiest thing out there in a server based DHCP setup.


What I ended up doing was trying it out on 1 VLAN, and leaving the others on Windows DHCP for now.  So far so good.

Building a reputation

For me the Meraki DHCP is great, easy to use, and pretty fail safe from my experience.  However, no P2P means some Apple functions (and others I'm sure) will not work.

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