Browse Prior Art Database

BOOTP vendor information extensions (RFC1048)

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000001854D
Original Publication Date: 1988-Feb-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2000-Sep-12
Document File: 6 page(s) / 14K

Publishing Venue

Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)

Related People

P.A. Prindeville: AUTHOR

Abstract

As workstations and personal computers proliferate on the Internet, the administrative complexity of maintaining a network is increased by an order of magnitude. The assignment of local network resources to each client represents one such difficulty. In most environments, delegating such responsibility to the user is not plausible and, indeed, the solution is to define the resources in uniform terms, and to automate their assignment.

This text was extracted from a ASCII Text document.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 21% of the total text.

Network Working Group P. Prindeville

Request for Comments: 1048 McGill University

February 1988

BOOTP Vendor Information Extensions

Status of this Memo

This memo proposes an addition to the Bootstrap Protocol (BOOTP).

Comments and suggestions for improvements are sought. Distribution

of this memo is unlimited.

Introduction

As workstations and personal computers proliferate on the Internet,

the administrative complexity of maintaining a network is increased

by an order of magnitude. The assignment of local network resources

to each client represents one such difficulty. In most environments,

delegating such responsibility to the user is not plausible and,

indeed, the solution is to define the resources in uniform terms, and

to automate their assignment.

The basic Bootstrap Protocol [RFC-951] dealt with the issue of

assigning an internet address to a client, as well as a few other

resources. The protocol included provisions for vendor-defined

resource information.

This memo defines a (potentially) vendor-independent interpretation

of this resource information.

Overview of BOOTP

While the Reverse Address Resolution (RARP) Protocol [RFC-903] may be

used to assign an IP address to a local network hardware address, it

provides only part of the functionality needed. Though this protocol

can be used in conjunction with other supplemental protocols (the

Resource Location Protocol [RFC-887], the Domain Name System [RFC-

883]), a more integrated solution may be desirable.

Bootstrap Protocol (BOOTP) is a UDP/IP-based protocol that allows a

booting host to configure itself dynamically, and more significantly,

without user supervision. It provides a means to assign a host its

IP address, a file from which to download a boot program from some

server, that server's address, and (if present) the address of an

Internet gateway.

One obvious advantage of this procedure is the centralized management

of network addresses, which eliminates the need for per-host unique

configuration files. In an environment with several hundred hosts,

maintaining local configuration information and operating system

versions specific to each host might otherwise become chaotic. By

categorizing hosts into classes and maintaining configuration

information and boot programs for each class, the complexity of this

chore may be reduced in magnitude.

BOOTP Vendor Information Format

The full description of the BOOTP request/reply packet format may be

found in [RFC-951]. The rest of this document will concern itself

with the last field of the packet, a 64 octet area reserved for

vendor information, to be used in a hitherto unspecified fashion. A

generalized use of this area for giving information useful to a wide

class of machines, operating systems, and configurations fol...