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Table Of Contents  The TCP/IP Guide
 9  TCP/IP Application Layer Protocols, Services and Applications (OSI Layers 5, 6 and 7)
      9  Name Systems and TCP/IP Name Registration and Name Resolution

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Name Systems and TCP/IP Name Registration and Name Resolution
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Name System Overview and Motivation
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Name System Issues, Concepts and Techniques

Name systems can be considered in some ways the “diplomats” of the networking protocol stack. Just as a political diplomat is skilled at speaking multiple language and ensuring good communications between those who may view the world in different ways, name systems bridge the gulf between the numeric addresses that computers like to use, and the simpler names that humans prefer.

Before looking at specific name systems, I felt it made sense to discuss them generally. This will help us understand both the reasons why these systems are important, and also the concepts that underlie all name systems regardless of specific implementation. I begin this section with an overview of name systems and a discussion of why they were created. I then discuss the different main functions of a name system: the name space, name registration and name resolution. I then expand upon this functional overview, illustrating how name spaces and architectures work, the issues behind name registration and administration, and finally, name resolution techniques and the practical issues in the resolution process.

Since this is an introductory section, I have attempted to stick to general descriptions and not make too many mentions of specific name systems in the topics here. However, I like to use examples to explain concepts and for this purpose do make reference to the TCP/IP Domain Name System (DNS) at times. However, you do not need to be familiar with DNS to follow this section.

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