Overview#VINES Internetwork Protocol (VIP) was essentially identical to the lower layers of XNS.
Addresses consisted of a 32-bit address and a 16-bit subnet that mapped to the 48-bit Ethernet address to route to machines. This meant that, like other XNS-based systems, VINES could only support a two-level internet.
A set of routing algorithms, however, set VINES apart from other XNS systems at this level. The key differentiator, ARP (Address Resolution Protocol), allowed VINES clients to automatically set up their own network addresses. When a client first booted up it broadcast a request on the subnet asking for servers, which would respond with suggested addresses. The client would use the first to respond, although the servers could hand off "better" routing instructions to the client if the network changed. The overall concept very much resembled AppleTalk's AARP system, with the exception that VINES required at least one server, whereas AARP functioned completely "headlessly". Like AARP, VINES required an inherently "chatty" network, sending updates about the status of clients to other servers on the internetwork.