Friday May 04, 2007

Managing multiple directory instances is easy !

Setting up and managing a great number of instances in a directory deployment is easy - with Sun Directory Server (Enterprise Edition) 6.

For a benchmark for a 100M user entry directory deployment with Sun Directory Server 6 (shipped March 1st, 2007), generating the data, installing and configuring the software and loading the data was done in not more than a working day. Given that we partitioned the data in blocks of 25M entries with a multi-master pair for each partition, we had to manage 8 directory instances and 4 directory proxy instances. I was very impressed how little hassle this caused. Here's what I think are the key elements of DSEE6 that enabled this :

1.) Command line tools: DSEE6 provides a rather comprehensive set of command line tools for configuration (dsadm, dsconf, dpadm, dpconf). You have to run these tools with different parameters quite a few times, but this allows you to break up configuration in small and understandable steps. Much more pratical than crafting LDIF as for Sun Directory Server 5.2.

2.) Central Web-based Management Console: Yes, the management console is web based - finally. All directory and directory proxy instances can be managed from one place. An extremly useful feature is the ability to copy configuration (or parts of it) from one instance to others. This help avoiding many problems and save time if things had to be done individually for each instance.

3.) Replica initialization in parallel: With DS5.2, replica initialization was a 2 (or 3) step process where one master was initialized from the LDIF file and then in turn initialized other replicas either online or through LDIF export and LDIF import (in which case it was a 3 step process). Using the management console, 2 master replicas can be initialized from the same LDIF in parallel, which reduces topology initialization to one step that can be done in parallel on all systems. This represented an enourmous time gain.

That's for the management. The scalability aspects of DSEE6 are even more impressive - more on that later.

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joachimandres

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