Name System Overview and Motivation
(Page 2 of 3)
A Paradox: Name Systems Are Both Essential and Unnecessary?
What's interesting about name systems is that they are extremely important to networks but at the same time, they often aren't strictly necessary for a network to operate. This seeming paradox is due again to the difference between humans and computers. Computers only need the numeric addressing scheme, not the human names assigned to them. So the computers and the network can still workbut it will be much harder for us people to use them!
An example of this can most readily be seen when a problem disables the operation of a part of the Domain Name System (DNS) used to provide naming services on the Internet. Technically, DNS isn't needed to use the Internet, because all communications use IP addresses. This means that even though you might normally access CNN's web site at www.cnn.com, you could instead just use the IP address 188.8.131.52 if DNS wasn't working.
The problem is that prior to reading this, you probably had no idea what the IP address of CNN's Web site was, and that's true of almost everyone else who uses their site as well. Also, you might want to check not just CNN's Web site, but perhaps one, two or twenty other news sites. It would be difficult to remember the numbers for even a small percentage of the thousands of different Web sites on the Internet, so each time you wanted to access a resource youd have to manually look up its address, as shown in Figure 229.
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Version 3.0 - Version Date: September 20, 2005
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