System Administration Guide, Volume 1

Name Services

If you are managing user accounts for a large site, you might want to consider using a name service such as NIS or NIS+. A name service enables you to store user account information in a centralized manner instead of storing user account information in every system's /etc files. When using a name service for user accounts, users can move from system to system using the same user account without having site-wide user account information duplicated in every system's /etc files. Using a name service also promotes centralized and consistent user account information.