A name service or naming service provides a centralized location for information that users and systems use to communicate with each other across the network. The name service not only stores information, but also provides mechanisms to manage and access information.
The information is referred to as a namespace and typically includes the following:
Hostnames and their IP addresses
User accounts and their passwords
Without a centralized name service, each system would have to maintain its own copy of the information. For example, by default the Solaris 8 system uses the /etc/inet/hosts (/etc/hosts) file to resolve hostnames to IP addresses. This approach is fine for a few systems, but for many systems, it ...