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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  Name System Issues, Concepts and Techniques

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Name Registration Methods, Administration and Authorities
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Name Resolution Techniques and Functional Elements of A Name Resolution System
(Page 2 of 2)

Client/Server Resolution Functional Elements

The last of these three methods is the one used for most large, modern name systems. The client/server method of request/reply resolution is similar to how many other protocols function. One thing that is unique about name resolution, however, is that name resolution isn't often invoked directly by the client. It's rare, for example, for a human user to say “please resolve the following name”. We also certainly wouldn't want a user to have to manually resolve a name to an address each time they wished to contact a device, as this would be cumbersome.

Instead, the system is automated by having software accept machine names input by users. The software resolves the name by passing it to a name resolver software component. The resolver acts as the client in the name resolution process. It contacts a name server, which responds to the request. The name resolver and name server constitute the two main functional elements in name resolution.

In a distributed database for a hierarchical name system, multiple requests may be required, since name servers will contain only information for certain machines and not others. Resolvers follow a special procedure to “travel” the hierarchy until they find the server that has the information they want. Again, TCP/IP's Domain Name System (DNS) name resolution is the best example of this method.

Key Concept: Name resolution is arguably the most important of the main functional elements of a name system, because it is the part of the system that actually converts names into addresses. The two main components of name resolution are name resolvers, which act as clients in the resolution process, and name servers. The three main name resolution methods—table-based, broadcast and client/server—correspond closely to the table, broadcast and database methods of name registration.



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