DHCP uses eight standard message types, which are identified by an option type number in the DHCP message. For example, when a client wants to find a DHCP server, it broadcasts a DHCPDISCOVER message on its local physical subnetwork. If there is no DHCP server on its subnet and if DHCP Helper or DHCP Relay is configured properly, the message is forwarded to DHCP servers on a different physical subnet. Otherwise, the message will go no further than the subnet on which it originated. One or more DHCP servers will respond with a DHCPOFFER message that contains an available network address and other configuration parameters.
When the client needs an IP address, it sends a DHCPREQUEST to one or more servers. Of course if the client is requesting an IP address, it doesn’t have one yet, so
requires that the broadcast message the client sends out have a source address of 0 in its IP header.
When a client requests configuration parameters from a server, it might receive responses from more than one server. Once a client has received its IP address, it is said that the client has at least an IP address and possibly other configuration parameters
bound to it. DHCP servers manage such binding of configuration parameters to clients.