A layered naming architecture for the internet

Hari Balakrishnan, Karthik Lakshminarayanan, Sylvia Ratnasamy, Scott Shenker, Ion Stoica, Michael Walfish

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Currently the Internet has only one level of name resolution, DNS, which converts user-level domain names into IP addresses. In this paper we borrow liberally from the literature to argue that there should be three levels of name resolution: from user-level descriptors to service identifiers; from service identifiers to endpoint identifiers; and from endpoint identifiers to IP addresses. These additional levels of naming and resolution (1) allow services and data to be first class Internet objects (in that they can be directly and persistently named), (2) seamlessly accommodate mobility and multihoming and (3) integrate middleboxes (such as NATs and firewalls) into the Internet architecture. We further argue that flat names are a natural choice for the service and endpoint identifiers. Hence, this architecture requires scalable resolution of flat names, a capability that distributed hash tables (DHTs) can provide.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)343-352
Number of pages10
JournalComputer Communication Review
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2004
EventACM SIGCOMM 2004: Conference on Computer Communications - Portland, OR, United States
Duration: Aug 30 2004Sep 3 2004


  • Distributed hash tables
  • Global identifiers
  • Internet architecture
  • Middleboxes
  • Name resolution
  • Naming

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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