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Name System Functions: Name Space, Name Registration and Name Resolution
(Page 2 of 2)
Relationships Between Name System Functions
The name space is more of a descriptive
function; it is a definition of how names work in the system. Name registration
and resolution are more active functions, with each name
system including one or more specific procedures for how these jobs
are carried out. Name registration and resolution are in some ways complements
of each other, so certain registration techniques are most often associated
with particular resolution methods. In turn, the types of registration
and resolution methods that are possible depends on the name space and
in particular its architecture. These relationships are shown in simplified
form in Figure 231.
Figure 231: Name System Functions
This diagram shows the relationships between the three main functions of a name system. The name space defines the structure of the name system and the rules for creating names. The name space is used as the basis for the name registration method, which defines the mappings between names and addresses.When a user wants to access a device by name, a name resolution method is used to consult the name space, determine what address is associated with a name, and then convert the name to an address.
The processes of registration
and resolution can be either quite plain or fairly complicated, depending
on the type of name system used. Simple name systems are largely manual
in operation, easy to understand and best used in smaller networks.
Larger, more complex networks and internetworks require more sophisticated
methods of registration and resolution, which work with less need for
administrator intervention and scale better as new machines are
added to the network.
I should also point out that while
I consider name registration and name resolution as functions
at the highest level, they are probably better thought of as sets
of functions. Name registration is necessarily tied into issues such
as name system administration and management, and understanding resolution
requires that we look at a number of important implementation issues
in the areas of efficiency and reliability. The next few topics expand
on this overview by considering each of these three functions in more
Key Concept: A name system consists of three theoretical high-level functions: the name space, which describes how names are created and organized; the name registration technique, which is used to set up relationships between names and addresses; and the name resolution method, which is responsible for translating names to addresses.
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