Table-Driven IP Routing

by Dinesh 2012-08-28 22:51:36

Table-Driven IP Routing

The usual IP routing algorithm employs an Internet routing table (sometimes called an IP routing table) on each machine that stores information about possible destinations and how to reach them. Because both hosts and routers route datagrams, both have IP routing tables. Whenever the IP routing software in a host or router needs to transmit a datagram, it consults the routing table to decide where to send the datagram.

What information should be kept in routing tables? If every routing table contained information about every possible destination address, it would be impossible to keep the tables current. Furthermore, because the number of possible destinations is large, machines would have insufficient space to store the information. Conceptually, we would like to use the principle of information hiding and allow machines to make routing decisions with minimal information.

For example, we would like to isolate information about specific hosts to the local environment in which they exist and arrange for machines that are far away to route packets to them without knowing such details. Fortunately, the IP address scheme helps achieve this goal. Recall that IP addresses are assigned to make all machines connected to a given physical network share a common prefix (the network portion of the address). We have already seen that such an assignment makes the test for direct delivery efficient. It also means that routing tables only need to contain network prefixes and not full IP addresses.

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