Enterprise Directory

By eWeek Editors  |  Posted 2002-07-08 Print this article Print

Enterprise Directory

Open-source packages have gained significant critical mass and influence in the enterprise directory and DNS space.

As LDAPs star has risen (particularly when Novell Inc. and Microsoft dropped their original directories in favor of LDAP-based approaches), so has the usefulness of OpenLDAP. The package is an open-source LDAP server based on original University of Michigan LDAP server code. (LDAP was invented there.)

OpenLDAP supports LDAP Version 3 (the current version), has strong security and access control features, and offers master/slave replication for fault-tolerant deployment. (Multimaster replication is working, but the feature is still described as experimental; commercial LDAP servers such as Sun Microsystems Inc.s Sun Open Net Environment Directory Server are ahead of OpenLDAP in this respect.)

OpenLDAP also doesnt include graphical administration tools, although many third-party options have been developed.

For example, Manuel Amadors Directory Administrator (see screen) hides LDAP internals to present a user administration interface similar to Windows 2000 or Novell directory management tools. Its included with a number of Linux distributions.

Also popular is a lower-level tool, GQ (see screen), which includes schema editing features in addition to the normal directory content editing capabilities.

In a similar trend, virtually all organizations now rely on DNS (Domain Name System) servers for host address resolution, and the open-source BIND (Berkeley Internet Name Domain) is the authoritative DNS server implementation. The full-featured BIND 9.2 is eminently qualified to be deployed as an organizations primary DNS server. —Timothy Dyck


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