A naming service performs lookups of stored information, such as host names and addresses, user names, passwords, access permissions, and so on. This information is made available so that users can log in to their host, access resources, and be granted permissions. The naming service information can be stored in files, maps, or various forms of database files. These information repositories can be local to the system or located in a central network-based repository or database. Without a central naming service, each host would have to maintain its own copy of this information. If you centralize all data, administration becomes easier. Naming services are fundamental to any computing network.
The following naming and directory services are supported:
Domain Name System (DNS)
DNS is a hierarchical distributed database that is implemented on a TCP/IP network. It is primarily used to look up IP addresses for Internet host names and host names for IP addresses. The data is distributed across the network and is located by using period-separated names that are read from right to left. DNS is also used to store other Internet-related host information, such as mail exchange routing information, location data, and available services. The hierarchical nature of the service enables the local administration of local domains, while providing international coverage of other domains that are connected to the Internet, an intranet, or both. For more information, see Description of the DNS Naming Service in Working With Oracle Solaris 11.2 Directory and Naming Services: DNS and NIS .
Two extensions to the DNS protocol are managed by the svc:network/dns/multicast service. Multicast DNS (mDNS) implements DNS in a small network where no conventional DNS server has been installed. DNS Service Discovery (DNS-SD) extends Multicast DNS to also provide simple service discovery (network browsing). See Description of Multicast DNS and Service Discovery in Working With Oracle Solaris 11.2 Directory and Naming Services: DNS and NIS .
Network Information System (NIS)
NIS (pronounced "niss" in this guide) was developed independently of DNS. NIS focuses on making network administration more manageable by providing centralized control over a variety of network information. NIS stores information about the network, machine names and addresses, users, and network services. This collection of network information is referred to as the NIS namespace. For more information, see Description of the NIS Naming Service in Working With Oracle Solaris 11.2 Directory and Naming Services: DNS and NIS .
Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP)
LDAP is the secure network protocol that is used to access directory servers for distributed naming and other directory services. This standard based protocol supports a hierarchal database structure. The same protocol can be used to provide naming services in both UNIX and multi-platform environments. Oracle Solaris supports LDAP in conjunction with the Oracle Directory Server Enterprise Edition (formerly Sun Java System Directory Server), as well as other LDAP directory servers. For more information, see Description of the LDAP Naming Services in Working With Oracle Solaris 11.2 Directory and Naming Services: DNS and NIS .
For a complete overview of naming services support (server-side and client-side) in Oracle Solaris, see Chapter 1, About Naming and Directory Services, in Working With Oracle Solaris 11.2 Directory and Naming Services: DNS and NIS and Working With Oracle Solaris 11.2 Directory and Naming Services: LDAP .