Securing the U.S. Defense Information Infrastructure: A Proposed Approach

By Robert H. Anderson; Phillip M. Feldman Scott et al. | Go to book overview

GLOSSARY

While we have made a concerted effort to ensure that this report will be easily understood by readers not versed in information technol/ ogy, the occasional use of technical terms is unavoidable. We define these here rather than interrupting the flow of the text.

Asynchronous transfer mode. ATM is a wide-area network (WAN) protocol that transfers information using fixed-size packets called cells. The 53-byte cell used with ATM is relatively small compared, for example, to Internet packets. The small, constant cell size fa/ cilitates high-speed hardware switching. Unlike other packet switched WAN protocols, ATM can support not only data (e.g., file transfers), but also connections such as real-time audio and video that require fixed latency. ATM creates a fixed circuit between source and destination when data transfer begins. This differs from transmission control protocol/Internet protocol, in which the packets of a message can take varying routes from source to destination.

Biconnected. Having at least two disjoint paths (i.e., having no ele/ ments in common) between any two nodes of a network.

Domain name system (or service) (DNS). An Internet service that translates domain names (such as rand.org) into Internet protocol (IP) addresses (such as 123.456.701.234). Whenever an alphabetic domain name is used within the Internet, a DNS must translate the name into the corresponding IP address. If a DNS server does not have the information available to translate a domain name, it asks another server, and so on, until an IP address is returned.

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