NIS is a distributed naming service that is used to identify and locate network objects and resources. NIS provides a uniform storage and retrieval method for network-wide information in a transport-protocol, media-independent fashion. NIS was developed independently of DNS and has a slightly different focus. While DNS focuses on making communication simpler by using system names instead of numerical IP addresses, NIS focuses on making network administration more manageable by providing centralized control over a variety of network information.
By running NIS, you can distribute administrative databases (maps) among a variety of servers (master and slaves). You can then update those databases from a centralized location in an automatic and reliable fashion, which ensures that all clients share the same naming service information in a consistent manner across the network. For a detailed overview, see Chapter 5, About the Network Information Service in Working With Oracle Solaris 11.3 Directory and Naming Services: DNS and NIS.
There are two SMF services that provide NIS client service on a system. Use the svcadm command to enable, disable, restart, and refresh these services. Display the state of the NIS services on a system as follows:
# svcs \*nis\* STATE STIME FMRI online Oct_09 svc:/network/nis/domain:default online Oct_09 svc:/network/nis/client:default
For additional task-related information, see Chapter 6, Setting Up and Configuring Network Information Service in Working With Oracle Solaris 11.3 Directory and Naming Services: DNS and NIS.