How ONTAP name service switch configuration works

ONTAP stores name service configuration information in a table that is the equivalent of the /etc/nsswitch.conf file on UNIX systems. You must understand the function of the table and how ONTAP uses it so that you can configure it appropriately for your environment.

The ONTAP name service switch table determines which name service sources ONTAP consults in which order to retrieve information for a certain type of name service information. ONTAP maintains a separate name service switch table for each SVM.

Database types

The table stores a separate name service list for each of the following database types:

Database type Defines name service sources for... Valid sources are...
hosts Converting host names to IP addresses files, dns
group Looking up user group information files, nis, ldap
passwd Looking up user information files, nis, ldap
netgroup Looking up netgroup information files, nis, ldap
namemap Mapping user names files, ldap

Source types

The sources specify which name service source to use for retrieving the appropriate information.

Specify source type... To look up information in... Managed by the command families...
files Local source files vserver services name-service unix-user

vserver services name-service unix-group

vserver services name-service netgroup

vserver services name-service dns hosts

nis External NIS servers as specified in the NIS domain configuration of the SVM vserver services name-service nis-domain
ldap External LDAP servers as specified in the LDAP client configuration of the SVM vserver services name-service ldap
dns External DNS servers as specified in the DNS configuration of the SVM vserver services name-service dns

Even if you plan to use NIS or LDAP for both data access and SVM administration authentication, you should still include files and configure local users as a fallback in case NIS or LDAP authentication fails.

Protocols used to access external sources

To access the servers for external sources, ONTAP uses the following protocols:

External name service source Protocol used for access


The following example displays the name service switch configuration for the SVM svm_1:

cluster1::*> vserver services name-service ns-switch show -vserver svm_1
Vserver         Database       Order
--------------- ------------   ---------
svm_1           hosts          files,
svm_1           group          files
svm_1           passwd         files
svm_1           netgroup       nis,

To look up IP addresses for hosts, ONTAP first consults local source files. If the query does not return any results, DNS servers are checked next.

To look up user or group information, ONTAP consults only local sources files. If the query does not return any results, the lookup fails.

To look up netgroup information, ONTAP first consults external NIS servers. If the query does not return any results, the local netgroup file is checked next.

There are no name service entries for name mapping in the table for the SVM svm_1. Therefore, ONTAP consults only local source files by default.