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Bootstrap Protocol (BOOTP)

What is Protocol?

In networking, protocol means the set of rules which determines how data will be transmitted on a network and how device nodes will be managed. In this article, we will explain about the Bootstrapping protocol and how much it is important in managing the nodes in a network. The Bootstrap protocol is the set of rules which assigns the IP (Internet Protocol) address to each node/member which participates in the network to communicate with others or to the central server.

Features of Bootstrap Protocol (BOOTP)

  • As soon as a device connects to the network, the Bootstrap Protocol (BOOTP) immediately provides each member in the connection a distinct IP address for authentication and identification purposes. This aids the server in accelerating connection requests and data transfers.
  • BOOTP employs a special IP address method to instantly assign a fully distinct IP address to each system connected to the network. BOOTP is a broadcast protocol since it must transmit messages to all of the network's active hosts in order to receive responses or resources. The name BOOTP refers to the Bootstrap procedure that occurs when a computer first starts up.
  • The connection time between the server and the client is reduced as a result. Even with very little information, it begins the process of downloading and updating the source code.
  • BOOTP servers generally use bootpd daemon to give the response of the requests received from the clients and which has the data for the clients using BOOTP gateway and without any broadcasting. The server's file /etc/inet/bootptab contains the BOOTP configuration database.
  • In BOOTP, devices or clients use the combination of Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) and User Datagram Protocol (UDP) to transmit, receive and manage the data/information from the various other nodes connected to the network.
  • The server and client only require an IP address and a gateway address to successfully connect in a BOOTP connection. The server and client often share the same LAN in a BOOTP network, and the routers that are used in the network must enable BOOTP bridging.
  • The Bootstrap Protocol network is a wonderful illustration of a network using a TCP/IP configuration. BOOTP uses its individual IP address whenever a computer on the network sends a specific request to the server in order to swiftly resolve it.

Difference between Bootstrap protocol and DHCP protocol

As compared to BOOTP network servers, DHCP network servers are significantly more widely used. It could be used for the reason when a user requests information about a specific IP address from the server, and the server only responds with information about that specific IP address, saving time from having to monitor additional addresses.

Each network user is identified and authenticated by BOOTP using the UDP (User Datagram Protocol) over an IPv4 address connection. Additionally, a BOOTP connection contains a reliable static database of IP addresses that provides the client with the needed IP address right away.

Working of Bootstrap Protocol

  • Each member of the network does not initially have an IP address. The network manager then uses the IPv4 protocol to assign each computer on the network a special IP address.
  • To build the compatibility with all other nodes on a network, the client immediately installs the BOOTP protocol using TCP/IP intervention on their system.
  • An appropriate unicast address is then included in a message that is sent by the BOOTP network administrator. The master server then forwards this unicast address to the BOOTP client.

Uses of Bootstrap Protocol

  • When you first turn on your computer, Bootstrap (BOOTP) is primarily needed to assess the system on a network.
  • On the network, each node/computer has a record of its own BIOS cycle, which makes it easier for the motherboard and network manager to efficiently transmit the data on the particular device as it starts booting up.
  • Since all data is saved in the network cloud for effective usage, BOOTP is primarily employed in a diskless setting and requires no media.
  • A client and a server exchange data over BOOTP in order to transmit and receive requests and the networking server's appropriate responses.
  • We need not require any kind of external storage because BOOTP supports the motherboards so that we can use them, and there is no need for other storage devices except the cloud network.

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