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Overview of Server for NIS

Updated: March 1, 2012

Applies To: Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012

Server for NIS integrates Microsoft Windows and Network Information Service (NIS) networks by giving a Windows–based Active Directory® Domain Services (AD DS) domain controller the ability to act as a master NIS server for one or more NIS domains.

How Server for NIS works

Server for NIS stores both standard and nonstandard NIS map data in AD DS. (Standard maps consist of aliases , bootparams , ethers , hosts , group , netgroup , netid , netmasks , networks , passwd , protocols , rpc , services , pservers , and shadow ; all other maps are nonstandard.) 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 in both Windows and UNIX environments can be managed by AD DS 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 (also known as 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.

The Server for NIS setup process

After you install Server for NIS, you migrate NIS maps from UNIX-based NIS servers to the computer running Server for NIS. You can use either the Windows-based migration wizard provided with Server for NIS, or you can use a command-line utility to complete the migration. After the maps for an NIS domain have been migrated, Server for NIS is ready to deploy as a master server for the NIS domain. You can migrate multiple NIS domains to the same Windows–based AD DS 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.

Management of Server for NIS

You can manage Server for NIS using the Windows-based Identity Management for UNIX. You can manage the passwd , group and hosts maps that you have migrated to AD DS by 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 nonstandard 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 normal binding mode.

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