I have been working with a customer that reported that his Novell client
wasn't making use of any of the options information he had configured in
his Cisco DHCP server when the client is on a different subnet from the
server. When the DHCP server is on the same subnet, once the client has an
IP address from the server, it sends out the DHCP INFORM, requesting
option values. The DHCP server unicasts a reply to the client, and the
client displays that information just fine.

When there is a DHCP relay involved, however, the DHCP ACK from the server
(the ACK that contains the option values) gets unicast to the DHCP relay
agent, and per RFC 2131, the relay agent sends the ACK to the mac address
of the client, and the IP address contained in the "your ip address"
field, which is The packet is still delivered to the client,
since the DHCP relay agent is on the same subnet as the client, and
switched traffic is forwarded according to mac address. Unlike the
situation where the ACK is sent in the same subnet, however, the client
responds as if it never received the option field values and does not
display them (or use them).

I have packet captures of the entire process, so if there are more
detailed questions, I can provide a more detailed explanation.

Can you help?

Thanks in advance for any assist with this.