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MILNET name domain transition (RFC1031) Disclosure Number: IPCOM000001836D
Original Publication Date: 1987-Nov-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2000-Sep-12
Document File: 8 page(s) / 18K

Publishing Venue

Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)

Related People

W.D. Lazear: AUTHOR



This text was extracted from a ASCII Text document.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 16% of the total text.

Networking Working Group W. Lazear

Request for Comments: 1031 MITRE

November 1987



This RFC consolidates information necessary for the implementation of

domain style names throughout the DDN/MILNET Internet community.

Although no official policy has been published, the introduction of

domain style names will impact all hosts in the DDN/MILNET Internet.

The RFC is designed as an aid to implementors and administrators by

providing 1) an overview of the transition process from host tables

to domains, 2) a potential timetable for the transition, and 3)

references to documentation and software relating to the DDN/ARPANET

domain system. Distribution of this RFC is unlimited.


All MILNET hosts are expected to have a way of translating the name

of any other host into its Internet address. Although the current

method of name resolution is to look up the information in a table of

all hosts, this method of operation is cumbersome and relies on a

central point of information. The Network Information Center (NIC)

maintains a table of hosts registered in the MILNET Internet and

their addresses. The size of this table and the frequency of updates

has reached the limits of manageability. The central host table is

FTP'd by a host on a timely basis from the NIC, processed locally (to

pare or reformat the table), and used in name resolution.

The domain system uses a distributed database and software to perform

the same functions as the host table. In this system, host resolvers

query domain servers for name resolution. They may cache answers for

performance improvement. The domain servers each maintain a portion

of the hierarchical database under separate administrative authority

and control. Redundancy is obtained by transferring data between

cooperating servers.

The domain system has been operating successfully on the ARPANET for

over a year. One indication of success is that the NIC's central

host table is no longer a complete list (i.e., ARPANET does not

depend primarily on the host table). The domain system is being

implemented on the MILNET with DoD military standard protocols. The

first step in changing to the domain system has been taken, as

required by DDN Management Bulletin #32 (22 Jan 1987). All host

names were converted from a simple, flat namespace to a structured

name consistent with domains. In the second step, servers acting as

the root of the database hierarchy were put in place. In the next

step, hosts are moving away from host table usage.


All hosts will not change from host table to domain server usage at

one time. Accordingly, three stages of conversion to the domain

system are envisaged. These stages roughly correspond to 1)