MILNET name domain transition (RFC1031)
Original Publication Date: 1987-Nov-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2019-Feb-15
Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)
This RFC consolidates information necessary for the implementation of domain style names throughout the DDN/MILNET Internet community. The introduction of domain style names will impact all hosts in the DDN/MILNET Internet. This 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 timetable for the transition, and 3) references to documentation and software relating to the domain system.
Networking Working Group W. Lazear Request for Comments: 1031 MITRE November 1987
MILNET NAME DOMAIN TRANSITION
STATUS OF THIS MEMO
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
Lazear [Page 1]
RFC 1031 MILNET DOMAIN TRANSITION November 1987
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) continuing to use the host table for all applications, 2) using the domain system for only some applications, and 3) using the domain system for all applications. These stages will...