The Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) service in Windows 2000 Server enables client computers to obtain an IP address and related IP network settings from a server. Dynamic allocation of IP addresses greatly simplifies network management.

A DHCP scope is a set of properties that defines a range of IP addresses and related settings such as default gateway and DNS servers. A scope can be active, meaning the DHCP server uses it to allocate addresses, or it can be inactive, meaning the server doesn't use the scope for address allocation. You can configure multiple scopes on a single DHCP server to service multiple subnets or IP ranges.

Windows 2000 Server also supports superscopes, a feature that simplifies DHCP administration. A superscope is a collection of scopes managed as a single entity.

You can use superscopes to support multinets, physical networks that contain multiple logical IP networks (a cohesive range of IP addresses). You can also use superscopes to support DHCP clients on the far side of a DHCP or BOOTP relay agent. The benefit of superscopes is the capability to activate and deactivate all the scopes in a given superscope with a single operation.

You can create a superscope on a Windows 2000 DHCP server only after you create at least one scope. Logically, you should create the scopes first and then create the superscope.

To create a superscope, follow these steps:

1. Open the DHCP console on the server, and create the individual scopes if they don't already exist.

2. Right-click the server where you want to create the superscope, and choose New Superscope.

3. Windows 2000 starts a wizard in which you can specify a friendly name for the superscope and select the scopes to add to the superscope.

Windows 2000 automatically activates a superscope if one or more of the scopes contained in it is active. You can deactivate an individual scope in a superscope if needed, or you can deactivate all scopes by deactivating the superscope itself.