Definition of reservation in The Network Encyclopedia.

What is reservation (in computer networking)?

An IP address that is reserved for a specific computer by a Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) server. The reservation contains the IP address to be leased and the MAC address of the computer it will be leased to. Reservations are often used for servers on a network, which normally should all have the same IP address.

An alternative procedure is to manually assign these servers a static IP address. The advantage of using a reservation is that the IP address of the server is centrally managed in the database of the DHCP server, which means there is less chance of an address conflict.

Reservations (or static IP addresses) are always recommended for

  • Domain controllers
  • Domain Name System (DNS) and Windows Internet Name Service (WINS) servers
  • Router interfaces
  • Non-DHCP clients

To create a reservation for a computer, you must know the MAC address of its interface. On computers running Microsoft Windows NT or Windows 2000, you can enter ipconfig at the command prompt to determine this value; on computers running Windows 95 or Windows 98, you can enter winipcfg in the Run dialog box (which you access via the Start menu).