System Administration Guide: Naming and Directory Services (NIS+)

Default NIS+ Client Search Behavior

By default, if no server preferences have been set with the nisprefadm command, a client will first try to obtain the information it needs from an NIS+ server on the client's local subnet. If the client finds an active server on the local subnet, it obtains the information it needs from the first local server that responds. If no server is available on the local subnet, the client searches outside the local subnet, and obtains the NIS+ information it needs from the first remote server that responds.

On large, busy networks, this default search behavior may reduce NIS+ performance for one of two reasons: