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|Oracle Solaris Administration: Network Interfaces and Network Virtualization Oracle Solaris 11 Express 11/10|
NWAM configuration consists of several components that work together to effect network configuration of a system in as automated of a manner as possible. With the primary focus on mobility, NWAM is capable of dynamically changing a system's configuration, in response to different network events, or at a user's request. NWAM includes dynamic capabilities that address any changes in network conditions, for example, if your wired network interface becomes unplugged, or if a new wireless network becomes available.
Network configuration through NWAM is made up of properties and their values that are associated with several different types of profiles, which are also sometimes referred to as configuration objects.
These profiles and configuration objects include the following:
Network Configuration Profiles (NCPs)
An NCP specifies the configuration of network links and interfaces. This profile is one of the primary profile types that comprise NWAM configuration. The second primary profile type is the Location profile.
There are two NCP types: the Automatic NCP and the User NCP. The system always defines the Automatic NCP. This NCP is activated in the absence of input from the user. The Automatic NCP is created and maintained by the system and cannot be modified or removed.
When you upgrade from an previous version of NWAM, the system also creates a User NCP. The creation of the User NCP is based on information that is in the /etc/nwam/llp file, if that file exists. After creating the User NCP, the system does not change this NCP. However, you can modify the User NCP. In addition, you can create additional user-defined NCPs, as needed. For a complete description of the Automatic and User NCPs, see Description of the Automatic and User NCPs.
Network Configuration Units (NCUs)
NCUs are the individual configuration objects (or profiles) that contain all of the properties that make up an NCP. The NCP is essentially a container that stores the NCUs that define it. Each NCU correlates to an individual link or interface in the system. For a complete description of an NCU, see Description of an NCU.
The Location profile is one of the two primary profile types that make up NWAM configuration. The location specifies system-wide network configuration, for example, the name services, the domain, the IP Filter and IPsec configuration. This information consists of a set of properties that apply to system-wide network configuration. There are both system-defined and user-defined locations. For a complete description of the Location profile, see Description of a Location Profile.
External Network Modifiers (ENMs)
ENMs are profiles that are used to manage applications that are external to NWAM, for example the VPN application. These applications can modify and create network configuration. The nwamd daemon activates or deactivates an ENM, depending on conditions that are specified as part of the ENM. For a complete description of an ENM, see Description of an ENM.
Known wireless local area networks (WLANs)
Known WLANs are configuration objects that NWAM uses to monitor and store information about wireless networks that are known to your system. NWAM maintains a list of all such wireless networks, then refers to this list to determine the order in which connections to available wireless networks are attempted. For a complete description of known WLANs, see About Known WLANs.
NWAM consists of the following functional components:
NWAM profile repository – The profile repository is where NWAM configuration data is stored. Access to the profile repository is managed by the repository daemon, netcfgd.
The NWAM design provides a second repository, the Legacy repository. This repository stores any legacy (or traditional) network configuration data. The information that is stored in the Legacy repository is a snapshot of your current network configuration, before NWAM is enabled. This data is preserved, in the event you need to revert to manual configuration of your network. For more information, see NWAM Configuration Data.
Profile configuration programs (user interfaces) – The NWAM architecture includes both a command-line interface (CLI) and a graphical user interface (GUI). These interfaces can be used to perform similar tasks, such as creating and modifying profiles, activating profiles, and querying the system for information about profiles.
The NWAM CLI consists of two administrative commands, nwamcfg and nwamadm. The nwamcfg command enables you to create and modify profiles. This command operates in interactive mode, command-line mode, and command-file mode. The nwamadm command enables you to perform certain actions, for example, enabling or disabling a profile and listing information about profile states. For more information, see the nwamcfg(1M) and the nwamd(1M) man pages.
The NWAM GUI can also be used to create and manage network profiles. The GUI has additional functionality that enables you to quickly view and monitor the status of network connections from the desktop. The GUI also has a notification feature that alerts you about changes in the current status of your network. The notification feature is only available in the GUI. To find about more about using the NWAM GUI, see Chapter 5, About the NWAM Graphical User Interface or refer to the online help. See also the nwammgr(1M) and the nwammgr-properties(1M) man pages.
Policy engine daemon – The nwamd daemon is the policy component of NWAM. This daemon functions in multiple roles and manages your network configuration based on the profiles that are stored in the profile repository. The daemon determines which profile should be activated, depending on current network conditions, and then activates that profile. To accomplish this task, the daemon integrates information from multiple sources. The multiple roles that the nwamd daemon fulfills are described in detail in the section, Overview of the NWAM Daemons.
Repository daemon – The netcfgd daemon controls the common repository that stores all of the configuration data for profiles and other configuration objects. The nwamcfg command, the NWAM GUI, and the nwamd daemon all interact with the netcfgd daemon by sending requests to access the profile repository. The repository daemon's job is to verify whether the various processes that are attempting to access the repository data they have the correct authorizations. The daemon prohibits (fails) any access attempts by unauthorized processes. For more information, see Description of the NWAM Repository Daemon (netcfgd).
NWAM library interface – The libnwam library provides a functional interface to interact with the profile repository, thereby enabling information about profiles to be read and modified by NWAM.
Service Management Facility (SMF) network services – Several network services that NWAM uses are already part of Oracle Solaris. However, some of these existing services have been modified, and new services that are specific to NWAM, have been introduced. For more information, see SMF Network Services and the NWAM Process.