When you install the operating system, you supply the host name and IP address of your server, clients, or standalone system as part of the procedure. The Oracle Solaris installation program adds this information into the hosts and, in Solaris 10 11/06 and earlier Solaris 10 releases, the ipnodes network database. This database is part of a set of network databases that contain information necessary for TCP/IP operation on your network. The name service that you select for your network reads these databases.
The configuration of the network databases is critical. Therefore, you need to decide which name service to use as part of the network planning process. Moreover, the decision to use name services also affects whether you organize your network into an administrative domain. Network Databases and the nsswitch.conf File has detailed information on the set of network databases.