Classless Inter-Domain Routing (CIDR)

Posted: August 2, 2012 in Active Directory, Domain Controller, Internet Protocol, Server, Server 2003, Server 2008
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Classless Inter-Domain Routing (CIDR) is a method for allocating IP addresses and routing Internet Protocol packets. It is a way to allocate and specify the Internet addresses used in inter-domain routing more flexibly than with the original system of Internet Protocol (IP) address classes. As a result, the number of available Internet addresses has been greatly increased. CIDR is now the routing system used by virtually all gateway hosts on the Internet’s backbone network.

IP addresses are described as consisting of two groups of bits in the address: the more significant part is the network address, which identifies a whole network or subnet, and the less significant portion is the host identifier, which specifies a particular interface of a host on that network. This division is used as the basis of traffic routing between IP networks and for address allocation policies. Classful network design for IPv4 sized the network address as one or more 8-bit groups, resulting in the blocks of Class A, B, or C addresses. Classless Inter-Domain Routing allocates address space to Internet service providers and end users on any address bit boundary, instead of on 8-bit segments. In IPv6, however, the interface identifier has a fixed size of 64 bits by convention, and smaller subnets are never allocated to end users.

CIDR notation is a syntax of specifying IP addresses and their associated routing prefix. It appends to the address a slash character and the decimal number of leading bits of the routing prefix, e.g., 192.0.2.0/24 for IPv4, and 2001:db8::/32 for IPv6.

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