By default, TCP/IP considers any machine with multiple network interfaces to be a router. However, you can change a router into a multihomed host—a machine with more than one network interface that does not run routing protocols or forward IP packets. You typically configure the following types of machines as multihomed hosts:
NFS servers, particularly large data centers, can be attached to more than one network in order to share files among a large pool of users. These servers do not need to maintain routing tables.
Database servers can have multiple network interfaces for the same reason as NFS servers—to provide resources to a large pool of users.
Firewall gateways are machines that provide the connection between a company's network and public networks such as the Internet. Administrators set up firewalls as a security measure. When configured as a firewall, the host does not pass packets between the networks that are attached to the host. However, the host can still provide standard TCP/IP services, such as ftp or rlogin, to authorized users.
Because TCP/IP considers any machine with multiple network interfaces to be a router, you need to perform a few operations to turn the machine into a multihomed host.
Become superuser on the prospective multihomed host.
Create an /etc/hostname.interface file for each additional network interface that is installed in the machine.
Type the following:
% touch /etc/notrouter
This command creates an empty file that is called /etc/notrouter.
Reboot the machine.
When the machine reboots, the startup script checks for the presence of the /etc/notrouter file. If the file exists, the startup script does not run in.routed -s or in.rdisc -r. The file also does not turn on IP forwarding on all interfaces that are configured “up” by ifconfig. This process happens regardless of whether an /etc/gateways file exists. Thus the machine is now a multihomed host.