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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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Efficiency, Reliability and Other Name Resolution Issues and Features
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Overview and History of TCP/IP Host Names and Name Systems
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TCP/IP Name Systems: Host Tables and Domain Name System (DNS)

The TCP/IP protocol suite is the most widely used in networking today. TCP/IP has become sufficiently popular that many people—even non-geeks!—are fairly comfortable working with its numeric identifiers (IP addresses). Even so, it's a lot easier to work with names than numbers, and it's certainly easier to remember them. We can consider also that name systems become more important when used on larger networks than smaller ones, and that TCP/IP is used to implement the Internet, the world's largest internetwork. Having a good name system is vital to the operation of the Internet, and thus, has become an important element of TCP/IP as a whole.

In this section I describe the name systems used in TCP/IP. I begin with an overview of device naming in TCP/IP, including a discussion of the history of how device naming began. I then describe the two different name systems that have been used in TCP/IP: the simple host table name system, and the modern Domain Name System (DNS). Far more detail is included on the latter than the former, since DNS is both much more complex than host tables, and also more widely used in today's networks.

Background Information: This section assumes that you are already familiar with the general concepts and issues of name systems explained in the preceding section. Reference is made to descriptions of name system components and methods where appropriate.


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Overview and History of TCP/IP Host Names and Name Systems
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