OIT Networking & Monitoring Services

Which Devices Must be Registered in the Host Database?

The Princeton University Host Database records certain information devices attached to the campus network.

Registration is required for nearly every device attached directly to OIT Ethernet Service or OIT Wireless service, or attached via any mechanism that bridges to OIT Ethernet service:

Devices that should not be registered in the Host Database include:

Computers are not the only type of device that must be registered in the Host Database. Any network-attached device that meets the requirements above must be registered, regardless of whether it is a computer, printer, Wireless Access Point, NAT (Network Address Translator, aka "NAT Router"), bridge, switch, router, IP phone, game console, DVR, music player, etc. What matters is that the device is attached to the campus network and meets the requirements above, not that the device is a particular kind of device.

Assuming your device speaks IP (most do), an IP address is also assigned as part of the registration process. Your device must be registered in the Host Database before you can configure the IP software on your device.

Host registration should normally be performed by the person responsible for the device, or the person responsible for attaching it to the network. In some cases, OIT staff perform the initial host registration on your behalf. See Who Needs to Register a Device in the Host Database? Once the device is registered, the Technical Contacts specified in the registration are responsible for keeping the Host Database entry current, updating it as necessary.

Equipment Changes

If your device is registered in the Host Database, but has changed since it was registered (the device or hardware (e.g. Ethernet or Wireless) interface has been replaced), you will need to change its entry in the Host Database. (If OIT staff performed the hardware change for you, they may have changed its Host Database entry on your behalf.)

Your Host Database entry must be changed before you can resume using (or re-configuring) the IP software on your device.

Building Moves

If your device is registered in the Host Database, but is moved to a different building since it was registered, you may need to change its entry in the Host Database.

Dormnet Subscribers:

Moving from one room or building to another does not require you to update your entry in the Host Database. In fact, room and building information is not stored in the Host Database for Dormnet subscriptions; these fields are never updated for Dormnet subscriptions.

Everyone Except Dormnet Subscribers:

If your device has been relocated only temporarily (i.e. for less than two weeks), and you will be using OIT Mobile IP Service, you need not update your Host Database entry.

Otherwise, you need to:

Delete or Unsubscribe Devices When They Are Disconnected

Dormnet Subscribers:

You never delete the Host Database entry associated with your Dormnet subscription. However, there may be times you should unsubscribe.

A Host Database entry associated with Dormnet service is silently created on your behalf when you become eligible for Dormnet (most commonly, when you enroll as an undergraduate or graduate student at Princeton), and is set to an unsubscribed state (e.g. the Entry-Type field is HOST-INACTIVE, PRINTER-INACTIVE, or NAT-INACTIVE). When you subscribe to Dormnet (either by completing the subscription form, or as part of purchasing a new computer through the Student Computer Initiative (SCI) program, the entry is changed to a subscribed state (e.g. the Entry-Type field is HOST, PRINTER, or NAT).

The entry remains in the Host Database throughout your student career at Princeton (possibly in a subscribed or unsubscribed state), and is silently deleted on your behalf when you are no longer eligible for Dormnet (most commonly, when you graduate); you cannot delete the entry.

Everyone Except Dormnet Subscribers:

When a device is disconnected from the network (e.g. retired or transferred to another department or surplus), remember to delete its entry from the Host Database.

This also ensures that any hardware (e.g. Ethernet or Wireless) address registered for the device is removed from the Host Database, a necessary step if the device is transferred to another University department which subsequently needs to register it in the Host Database as their own.

Unregistering decomissioned devices also helps conserve IP addresses.

A service of OIT Networking & Monitoring Services
The Office of Information Technology,
Princeton University
Last Updated: September 25 2015