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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
           9  TCP/IP Name Systems: Host Tables and Domain Name System (DNS)
                9  TCP/IP Domain Name System (DNS)
                     9  DNS Overview, Functions and Characteristics

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DNS Design Goals, Objectives and Assumptions
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DNS Name Space, Architecture and Terminology
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DNS Components and General Functions
(Page 1 of 2)

To meet the many objectives set for it by its designers, DNS requires a great deal of functionality. It is a true name system with the emphasis on system, and as such is considerably more complex than the host table name system used earlier in TCP/IP. In the section describing name systems in general, I divided the many tasks a fully-featured name system into three categories. DNS includes functions in all of these categories, and so using these categories is a good way to take a high-level look at the way DNS works.

The following are the three basic name system functions, and how DNS implements them (see Figure 234).


Figure 234: DNS Functions

 


Name Space

DNS uses a hierarchical name space consisting of a single, complex, multi-level structure into which all names in the system fit. The name space is organized starting from a single root into which “containers” (called domains) are placed. Each can contain either individual device names or more specific “sub-containers”. The overall structure is somewhat analogous to how a directory system on a computer organizes files from general to specific, using an arbitrary structure that can be optimized to various needs.

A specific syntax is used to define valid names, and special terminology used to describe parts of the structure and identify domain names, from the root down to the device level.

Name Registration (Including Administration and Authorities)

DNS name registration is used to enter individual names into the DNS distributed database. DNS uses a hierarchical arrangement of authorities that complements the hierarchical name space. A centralized authority determines the overall shape and structure of the name space, and handles registration of names at the highest level. Authority is then delegated to different organizations to manage various parts of the name space. A set of universal policies controls the registration process and deals with problems and conflicts.


Previous Topic/Section
DNS Design Goals, Objectives and Assumptions
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Pages in Current Topic/Section
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2
Next Page
DNS Name Space, Architecture and Terminology
Next Topic/Section

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Version 3.0 - Version Date: September 20, 2005

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