Dynamic RARP Extensions for Automatic Network Address Acquisition (RFC1931)
Original Publication Date: 1996-Apr-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2000-Sep-13
Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)
This memo describes extensions to the Reverse Address Resolution Protocol (RARP ) and called Dynamic RARP (DRARP, pronounced D- RARP). The role of DRARP, and to some extent the configuration protocol used in conjunction with it, has subsequently been addressed by the DHCP protocol . This memo is being published now to document this protocol for the record.
Network Working Group D. Brownell
Request For Comments: 1931 Sun Microsystems, Inc.
Category: Informational April 1996
Dynamic RARP Extensions for
Automatic Network Address Acquisition
Status of this Memo
This memo provides information for the Internet community. This memo
does not define an Internet standard of any kind. Distribution of
this memo is unlimited.
This memo describes extensions to the Reverse Address Resolution
Protocol (RARP ) and called Dynamic RARP (DRARP, pronounced D-
RARP). The role of DRARP, and to some extent the configuration
protocol used in conjunction with it, has subsequently been addressed
by the DHCP protocol . This memo is being published now to
document this protocol for the record.
DRARP is used to acquire (or allocate) a protocol level address given
the fixed hardware address for a host. Its clients are systems being
installed or reconfigured, and its servers are integrated with other
network administration services. The protocol, along with adjunct
protocols as briefly described here, supports several common styles
of "Intranet" administration including networks which choose not to
support the simplified installation and reconfiguration features
enabled by DRARP.
The rest of this introductory section summarizes the system design of
which the DRARP protocol was a key part. The second section presents
the DRARP protocol, and the third section discusses requirements
noted for an "Address Authority" managing addresses in conjunction
with one or more cooperating DRARP servers.
1.1 Automatic System Installation
Dynamic RARP was used by certain Sun Microsystems platforms beginning
in 1988. (These platforms are no longer sold by Sun.) In conjunction
with other administrative protocols, as summarized in the next
subsection, it was part of a simplified network and domain
administration framework for SunOS 4.0. Accordingly, there was a
product requirement to extend (rather than replace) the RARP/TFTP two
phase booting model , in order to leverage the existing system
infrastructure. This is in contrast to the subsequent DHCP  work,
which extended BOOTP.
The "hands-off" installation of all kinds of systems (including
diskless workstations, and servers) was required, as supported by
LocalTalk networks . However, Internet administrative models are
not set up to allow that: there is no way to set up a completely
functional IP network by just plugging machines into a cable and
powering them up. That procedure doesn't have a way to input the
network number (and class) that must be used, or to bootstrap the
host naming system. An approach based on administered servers was
needed for IP-based "Intranet" systems, even though that
unfortunately called for networks to be initially...