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IP Addressing Fundamentals by Mark A. Sportack

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The Address Space Hierarchy

Having examined the mathematics upon which the IP address space is founded, it is time to explore its hierarchical organization. The hierarchy is best described as being compound, because there are two aspects:

  • Two levels of addressing within each IP address.

  • Classes of addresses based on differing bit allocations to the two levels of addresses. Having segmented the address's bit string into four 8-bit components makes it very easy to create address classes because you have logical groupings to work with.

Each of these hierarchical aspects is explored in the following sections.

Two-Level Addresses

Each IP address consists of two parts: a network address and a host address. Together, they enable the specific and unique ...

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