DNS – The domain name system (DNS) is the naming service provided by the Internet for TCP/IP networks. DNS provides host names to the IP address service. DNS also serves as a database for mail administration. For a complete description of this service, see System Administration Guide: Naming and Directory Services (DNS, NIS, and LDAP). See also the resolver(3RESOLV) man page.
/etc files – The original host-based UNIX™ naming system was developed for standalone UNIX™ machines and then adapted for network use. Many old UNIX™ operating systems and machines still use this system, but it is not well suited for large complex networks.
NIS – Network Information Service (NIS) was developed independently of DNS and has a slightly different focus. Whereas DNS focuses on making communication simpler by using machine names instead of numerical IP addresses, NIS focuses on making network administration more manageable by providing centralized control over a variety of network information. NIS stores information about machine names and addresses, users, the network itself, and network services. NIS namespace information is stored in NIS maps. For more information on NIS Architecture and NIS Administration, see System Administration Guide: Naming and Directory Services (DNS, NIS, and LDAP).
NIS+ – NIS+ provides centralized control over network administration services, such as mapping host names to IP and Ethernet addresses, verifying passwords, and so on. See System Administration Guide: Naming and Directory Services (FNS and NIS+).
FNS – Federated Naming Service (FNS), supports the use of different autonomous naming systems in a single Solaris operating environment. FNS allows you to use a single, simple naming system interface for all of the different name services on your network. FNS conforms to the X/Open federated naming (XFN) specification. FNS is not a replacement for NIS+, NIS, DNS, or /etc files. Rather, FNS is implemented on top of these services and allows you to use a set of common names with desktop applications. See System Administration Guide: Naming and Directory Services (FNS and NIS+).