IP Address Management and Assignment Methods and Authorities
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What would happen if you told someone that you lived at 34 Elm Street, and when that person turned onto your road found four different houses with the number 34 on them? They'd probably find your place eventually but wouldn't be too pleased. Neither would you or your mail carrier. J And all of you folks are much smarter than computers. Where I am going with this is that like street addresses, IP addresses must be unique for them to be useful.
Since IP datagrams are sent only within the confines of the IP internetwork, they must be unique within each internetwork. If you are a company with your own private internetwork, this isn't really a big problem. Whoever is in charge of maintaining the internetwork keeps a list of what numbers have been used where and makes sure that no two devices are given the same address. However, what happens in a public network with many different organizations? Here, it is essential that the IP address space be managed across the organizations to ensure that they use different addresses. It's not feasible to have each organization coordinate its activities with each other one. Therefore, some sort of centralized management authority is required.
At the same time that we need someone to ensure that there are no conflicts in address assignment, we don't want every user of the network to have to go to this central authority every time they need to make a change to their network. It makes more sense to have the authority assign numbers in blocks or chunks to organizations based on the number of devices they want to connect to the network. The organizations can manage those blocks as they see fit, and the authority's job is made easier because it deals in blocks instead of billions of individual addresses and machines.
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Version 3.0 - Version Date: September 20, 2005
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