Understanding Server for NIS

Server for NIS integrates Windows and Network Information Service (NIS) networks by giving a Windows–based Active Directory domain controller the ability to act as a master NIS server for one or more NIS domains. Server for NIS stores NIS map data in Active Directory, extending the Active Directory schema to accommodate both standard and nonstandard NIS maps. (Standard maps consist of aliases, bootparams, ethers, hosts, group, netgroup, netid, netmasks, networks, passwd, protocols, rpc, services, pservers, and shadow; all other maps are non-standard.) Server for NIS thus creates a single name space for the Windows and NIS domains that can be managed by the Windows administrator using a single set of tools. The administrator can easily create, modify, and delete user accounts for Windows and UNIX domains at the same time. A user who has accounts on both Windows and UNIX can be managed from Active Directory with all attributes necessary for the respective domain and name space.

Server for NIS can also be installed on other domain controllers in the same domain as the master NIS server, giving them the ability to function as NIS subordinate (slave) servers. In this case, the NIS data in Active Directory is automatically replicated among the Windows domain controllers running Server for NIS. In addition, UNIX-based computers can continue to function as subordinate servers in the NIS domain; Server for NIS uses yppush to propagate changes to the NIS data to UNIX-based NIS servers just as a UNIX-based master NIS server would.

After you install Server for NIS, your first major task is to migrate NIS maps from UNIX-based NIS servers to the computer running Server for NIS. You can use either a Windows-based migration wizard, or you can use a command-line utility to carry out this process. After the maps for an NIS domain have been migrated, Server for NIS is ready to act as a master server for the NIS domain. You can migrate multiple NIS domains to the same Windows–based Active Directory domain controller. These domains can be merged with each other or kept separate. You can migrate NIS map data in a staged manner by migrating NIS maps one at a time.

Server for NIS can support multiple NIS domains concurrently. Maps that belong to multiple domains can also reside concurrently in Active Directory. Requests from a client or another server in a domain receive data from a map in the same domain.

You can manage Server for NIS using the Windows-based Services for UNIX Administration. You can manage the passwd, group and hosts maps that you have migrated to Active Directory using Windows–based tools such as Active Directory Users and Computers. You can also use the command-line tools nismap and nisadmin to manage all standard and non-standard maps and to manage Server for NIS. You can monitor Server for NIS performance using Windows administrative tools, including using Event Viewer to audit significant events and errors logged by Server for NIS.

In addition to using administrative tools provided by Windows, you can also create additional administrative tools using Active Directory Service Interfaces (ADSI) or Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP).

Server for NIS implements the NIS remote procedure calls necessary to serve requests from UNIX-based and Windows-based NIS clients, as well as other subordinate NIS servers. Server for NIS supports both broadcast mode and the normal binding mode.

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