A naming service stores information in a central place, which enables users, machines, and applications to communicate across the network. This information can include, for example, machine (host) names and addresses, user names, passwords, access permissions, group membership, and printers. Without a central naming service, each machine would have to maintain its own copy of this information. Naming service information can be stored in files, maps, or database tables. If you centralize all data, administration becomes easier.
The Solaris OS supports the following naming services:
DNS, the Domain Name System
/etc files, the original UNIX® naming system
NIS, the Network Information Service
NIS+, the Network Information Service Plus
LDAP, the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol
However, Sun's strategic direction is to move to LDAP-based naming services.
The LDAP naming service has the following advantages over other naming services:
Enables you to consolidate information by replacing application-specific databases, which reduces the number of distinct databases to be managed
Allows data to be shared by different naming services
Provides a central repository for data
Allows for more frequent data synchronization between master servers and replicas
Is multi-platform and multi-vendor compatible
The LDAP naming service has the following restrictions:
Clients prior to Solaris 8 are not supported.
Setting up and managing an LDAP naming service is more complex and requires careful planning.
An NIS client and a Native LDAP client cannot coexist on the same client machine.
The Solaris OS supports LDAP naming in conjunction with Sun Directory Server, as well as other LDAP directory servers. Although using Sun Directory Server is recommended, it is not required.