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:
- Designed the network topology.
- Obtained a network number from your Internet addressing authority.
- Assembled the network hardware according to the topology designed and assured that the hardware is functioning.
- Run any configuration software required by network interfaces and routers, if applicable.
- Planned the IP addressing scheme for the network, including subnet addressing if applicable.
- Assigned IP numbers and host names to all machines involved in the network.
- Determined which name service your network will use: NIS, NIS+, LDAP, DNS, or local files.
- Selected domain names for your network, if applicable.
- Installed the operating system on at least one machine on the prospective network.
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:
- Files on the local machine
- Files located on other machines on the network
Configuration information will include:
- Host name of the machine
- IP address of the machine
- Domain name to which the machine belongs to
- Default router
- Netmask in use on the machine's network
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:
- Network configuration servers
- NFS Servers
- Name servers supplying NIS, NIS+, LDAP, or DNS services
- Mail servers
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:Machines That Are Network Clients
- RARP - Reverse Address Resolution Protocol (RARP) maps Ethernet addresses (48 bits) to IP addresses (32 bits), the reverse ARP. When you run RARP on a network configuration server, this enables hosts running in network client mode to obtain their IP addresses and TCP/IP configuration files from the server. The in.rarpd deamon enables RARP services.
- TFTP - Trivial File Transfer Protocol (TFTP) is an application that transfers files between remote machines. The in.tftpd deamon carries out TFTP services, enabling file transfer between network configuration servers and their network clients.
- bootparams - The bootparams protocol supplies parameters for booting that are required by diskless clients. The rpc.bootparamd deamon carries out these services.
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.
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.