Configuring TCP/IP on Solaris - Introduction / Pre-Requisites

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After planning and optionally getting a network number from InterNIC, it is time to start the second phase of network administration - setting up the network. This consists of assembling the hardware which makes up the physical part of the network, and configuring TCP/IP. This section of Networking Basics explains how to configure TCP/IP. Before starting the configuration of TCP/IP, ensure you have the following completed:

Determining Host Configuration Mode

As a network administrator, one of your key functions is to configure TCP/IP to run on all hosts and routers (if applicable). You can set up these machines to obtain configuration information from two sources:

Configuration information will include:

A machine that obtains TCP/IP configuration information from local files is said to be operating in local files mode. A machine that obtains TCP/IP configuration information from a remote machine is said to be operating in network client mode.

Machines That Should Run in Local Files Mode

For a machine to run in local files mode, it must have local copies of the TCP/IP configuration files. These files are described in the "TCP/IP Configuration Files" document. The machine should have its own disk, though this is not strictly necessary.

Most servers should run in local file mode. This requirement includes:

Machines that exclusively function as print servers do not need to run in local files mode. Whether individual hosts should run in local files mode depends on teh size of your network.

If you are running a very small network, the amount of work involved in maintaining these files on individual hosts is management. If you network serves hundreds of hosts, the taks becomes difficult, even with the network divided into a number of administrative subdomains. Thus, for large networks, using local files mode is usually less efficient. On the other hand, because routers and servers must be self-sufficient, they should be configured in local files mode.

Network Configuration Servers

Network configuration servers are the machines that supply the TCP/IP configuration information to hosts configured in network client mode. These server support three booting protocols:

Network configuration servers can also function as NFS file servers.

If you are going to configure any hosts as network clients, then you must also configure at least one machine on your network as a network configuration server. If your network is subneted, then you must have at least one network configuration server for each subnet with network clients.

Machines That Are Network Clients

Any host that gets its configuration information from a network configuration server is said to be "operating" in network client mode. Machines configured as network clients do not require local copies of the TCP/IP configuation files.

Network client mode greatly simplifies administration of large networks. It minimizes the number of configuation tasks that must be performed on individual hosts and assures that all machines on the network adhere to the same configuration standards.

You can configure network client mode on all types of computers, from fully standalone systems to diskless and dataless machines. Although it is possible to configure routers and servers in network client mode, local files mode is a better choice for these machines. Routers and servers should be as self-sufficient as possible.

Last modified on: Saturday, 18-Sep-2010 17:27:42 EDT
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