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NIS+ Client Server Architecture

The architecture of NIS+ is similar to that of NIS in that both naming services employ a master server, in which updates are made, and slave servers or replicas, in which a mirror of the data contained on the master is maintained. However, the similarity ends there.

NIS+ supports two types of masters:

  • Root domain master
  • Subdomain master

The root master, as the name suggests, acts as the top node in the hierarchal tree. Below the root masters are subdomain masters with other subdomain masters below them. At each level, replica servers can exist to provide redundancy for that section of the tree.


An interesting feature of NIS+ is that the subdomain master is actually a client to the master above it, with the exception of the root master. The ramification of this is that NIS+ must be deployed in a top-down fashion since the domain above it must be configured before a subdomain master is configured.

Propagation of changes from master to replicas is different from NIS. Instead of pushing an entire map when changes are made, NIS+ propagates only the incremental changes. FIGURE 2-6 shows the NIS+ architecture.

FIGURE 2-6 NIS+ Architecture

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