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IS-IS Network Design Solutions by Scott Sturgess, Abe Martey

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Essentials of IP Addressing

Addressing and routing are inextricably linked. To provide a datagram (packet) delivery service, IP needs to have an addressing scheme to denote the source of a packet and its intended destination. Having a native addressing scheme enables IP, which operates at Layer 3, to be independent of the underlying LAN or wide-area network (WAN) transport medium. The original architects of the IP protocol chose a 32-bit addressing scheme, which in raw value allows 232 (4,294,967,295) unique host addresses to be defined.

Although this number seemed reasonably large at the initial stages of deployment of the Internet, the 32-bit addressing scheme has turned out to be one of the significant shortcomings of IP version 4 (IPv4). ...

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