An Introduction to the LISP Location-Identity Separation System

The information below is for an old version of the document
Document Type Expired Internet-Draft (lisp WG)
Last updated 2013-04-18 (latest revision 2012-10-15)
Replaces draft-chiappa-lisp-introduction
Stream IETF
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Expired & archived
pdf htmlized bibtex
Stream WG state WG Document
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IESG IESG state Expired
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This Internet-Draft is no longer active. A copy of the expired Internet-Draft can be found at


LISP is an upgrade to the architecture of the IPvN internetworking system, one which separates location and identity (currently intermingled in IPvN addresses). This is a change which has been identified by the IRTF as a critically necessary evolutionary architectural step for the Internet. In LISP, nodes have both a 'locator' (a name which says _where_ in the network's connectivity structure the node is) and an 'identifier' (a name which serves only to provide a persistent handle for the node). A node may have more than one locator, or its locator may change over time (e.g. if the node is mobile), but it keeps the same identifier. One of the chief novelties of LISP, compared to other proposals for the separation of location and identity, is its approach to deploying this upgrade. (In general, it is comparatively easy to conceive of new network designs, but much harder to devise approaches which will actually get deployed throughout the global network.) LISP aims to achieve the near-ubiquitous deployment necessary for maximum exploitation of an architectural upgrade by i) minimizing the amount of change needed (existing hosts and routers can operate unmodified); and ii) by providing significant benefits to early adopters. This document is an introduction to the entire LISP system, for those who are unfamiliar with it. It is intended to be both easy to follow, and also give a fairly detailed understanding of the entire system.


J. Chiappa (

(Note: The e-mail addresses provided for the authors of this Internet-Draft may no longer be valid.)