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Name Registration Methods, Administration and Authorities
(Page 1 of 2)
It seems obvious that for our name
system to be implemented, we need some method of assigning names to
each of the devices that will use the system. Just as a name system
has a name space that is comparable to an addressing system's address
space, it also must implement a set of rules and procedures for assigning
names, just as an addressing system assigns addresses. This is called
Name Registration Functions
In general, name registration encompasses
the following concepts and tasks:
Impact of Name Space Architecture on Name Registration
- Name Assignment and Guaranteeing Uniqueness:
The core task of the name registration process is of course assigning
names to devices. Like all identification schemes, a key requirement
of name registration is ensuring that each name is unique. Duplicated
names cause ambiguity and make consistent name resolution impossible.
- Central Registration Authority Designation:
Ensuring uniqueness of names requires that there be someone in
charge of the name assignment process. This central registration
authority may be a single individual that maintains a file containing
names, or an organization that is responsible for the overall name registration
process. The authority is also charged with resolving problems and conflicts
that may arise in registrations.
- Registration Authority Delegation: In
smaller name systems, the central registration authority may be responsible
for the actual registration process for all devices. In larger, hierarchical
name systems, having this process centralized is impractical. Instead,
the central registration authority will divide the name space and delegate
authority for registering names in different parts of it to subordinate
organizations. This requires a delegation policy to be developed and
- Defining Hierarchical Structure: When
a hierarchical name space is used, the central authority is responsible
for defining how the structure will look. This in turn dictates how
names can be registered in different parts of the hierarchy, and of
course, also impacts how authority is delegated.
The complexity of the name registration
process depends to a great extent on the size and complexity of the
name system as a whole, and in particular the
architecture of the name space. In a simple
name system using a flat name space, registration is usually accomplished
using a single authority. There is no structure, of course, and usually
no delegation of authority, so there isn't much to registration.
For hierarchical name systems, name
registration is tied tightly to the hierarchy used for names. The central
authority defines the structure of the hierarchy, and decides how the
hierarchy is to be partitioned into subsets that can be independently
administered by other authorities. Those authorities may in turn delegate
subsets of their name spaces as well, creating a flexible and extensible
This ability to delegate authority
for name registration is one of the most powerful benefits of a hierarchical
name space. For example, in the TCP/IP
Domain Name System, a central authority
is responsible for name registration as a whole; it is in charge of
deciding what top-level domains, such as .com, .edu,
.info and .uk are allowed to exist. Authority
for managing each of these subsets of the worldwide hierarchy is then
delegated to other organizations. These organizations continue the process
of dividing the hierarchy as they see fit. Eventually each organization
is able to decide how it will name its own internal systems independently;
for example, IBM can register names in any way it sees fit within the
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The TCP/IP Guide (http://www.TCPIPGuide.com)
Version 3.0 - Version Date: September 20, 2005
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