Solaris Transition Guide

DNS and NIS+ Comparison

Table 13-1 shows the features and benefits of DNS compared to NIS+.

Table 13-1 DNS and NIS+ Features and Benefits Compared





Unrestricted access to data 

All operations can be authenticated 



Administrator designates access rights for objects and entries 

API and human interface  

Allows read-only access to name service 

Allows read-write access to name service. Provides: 

- Efficient support of changing network environment 

- API support of administrative operations 

- Support of administrative and other distributed applications 


By transfer of zone master files 

By incremental data transfer 

- Fast support of changing network environments 

- Stronger consistency 

Compatibility with NIS 

Not applicable 

Existing NIS applications can migrate smoothly 

Data support 

ASCII data only with packet size restriction 

Binary and ASCII data. Provides: 

- Support of variable information 

- Support of larger objects 

The main strength of DNS is in supporting hierarchical database partitions and replicas containing entries of relatively static information (such as host name and IP address). DNS enables you to access the Internet.

NIS+, in contrast, is a secure repository of changing administrative information (such as email aliases, Ethernet addresses, RPC program numbers) for enterprise networks.