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Configuring and Managing Network Components in Oracle® Solaris 11.3

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Updated: December 2017

Guidelines for Using Profile-Based Network Configuration

    Profile-based network configuration adheres to the following guidelines:

  • Only one network configuration profile (NCP) and one Location profile can be active at any given time on a system. All other existing NCPs on the system are non-operational The active NCP remains active until you explicitly enable a different NCP. Enabling a different NCP implicitly disables the currently active NCP. The disable and enable process first shuts down all network connectivity on the system and then restores connectivity according to the configuration that is specified in the new NCP.


    Caution  -  You cannot explicitly disable the NCP that is currently active on a system, as doing so would effectively shut down the basic network connectivity of the system.

  • The active NCP can be either reactive or fixed (DefaultFixed). With a reactive NCP, the system monitors the network configuration to adapt to changes in the system's network environment. With the DefaultFixed NCP (the system's only fixed profile), the network configuration is instantiated but not monitored.

  • The values of the different properties of an NCP constitute a policy that governs how the profile manages the network configuration of the system.

  • Any changes to an NCP's properties are immediately implemented as new property values, which then become part of the profile's policy for managing the network configuration whenever that profile is active.

  • If your system is using the reactive mode, then the active NCP that manages its network configuration is either the Automatic NCP or a user-defined reactive NCP that you create. When a reactive NCP is active, you administer network configuration with the netcfg and netadm commands.

If your system is using the fixed mode, then the active NCP that manages its network configuration is always DefaultFixed. When this NCP is active, you administer network configuration by using the dladm and ipadm commands. See Administering Datalink Configuration in Oracle Solaris and Configuring and Administering IP Interfaces and Addresses in Oracle Solaris for more information.

Profile Activation Policy

Activation modes for profiles are either manual, automatic, or conditional. When a reactive profile is active, changes in the network environment cause the system to reevaluate the network configuration and then make a “best guess” at which reactive NCP and Location to activate, based on current conditions. Changes in network conditions include plugging or unplugging an Ethernet cable, obtaining or losing a DHCP lease, and detecting a new wireless network. At all times, there must be at one NCP and Location that is active on the system.

The reactive network configuration mode enables you to specify the activation policy for reactive NCPs. This policy determines when to enable NCUs. Each Location profile also contains properties that define its activation criteria.

NCUs, Locations and ENMs both have an activation-mode property. The allowable values for each of these profile types differs. Also how the activation-mode property is validated differs for each profile type, as well as the conditions under which each profile type is enabled.

Note -  The activation-mode property for an NCU can either be set to manual or prioritized. The activation-mode property for a Location profile can be set to manual, conditional-any, conditional-all, or system.

The NCP activation policy is enforced through the use of properties and conditions that can be specified for each NCU. Examples of policy that you might specify include: “prefer wired connections over wireless connections” or “activate one interface at a time.” How and when NCPs are enabled is defined in the properties that are set for each NCU type. For more information about activation conditions, see the netcfg(1M) man page.

Note -  An interface NCU is associated with an underlying link NCU. Each interface NCU becomes active when its associated link NCU is enabled. The dependency on the underlying link NCU can never be removed. If you enable an interface NCU without enabling its associated link NCU, the interface NCU does not actually become active until the underlying link NCU for that interface is enabled.

Profile Activation Modes

User-defined NCUs, Location profiles, and ENMs all have activation-mode properties. The activation-mode property is set when you create or modify a profile by using the netcfg command. NCPs do not have an activation-mode property. All NCPs are manually enabled.

The following table describes the possible values for the activation-mode property for the different profile types.

Table 1  activation-mode Property Values
Profile Type
activation-mode Value
manual or prioritized
manual, conditional-any, conditional-all, or system
manual, conditional-any, or conditional-all

For more information about enabling and disabling profiles, see Enabling and Disabling Profiles.