Directory Services in the Telco world

Last week I was invited to a meeting with one of our customers, a wireless telecom operator happily  user of Sun Directory Server 5.2 (patch3) with a few tens of million entries.

With the convergence of voice and data, the telcos are looking for ways to reduce the number of databases they have and consolidate the data in a single repository such as LDAP-based directory services.
The discussion went on the subject of the data models, the differences between the LDAP model and the relational model, drifting to which model would be the most appropriate in consideration with the Generic User Profile recommendation from the IMS specifications. Clearly the discussion was reaching the limits of my expertise (while I'm quite confident in the LDAP area, IMS is not something that I've followed), but it was very informative.

The one thing that I really found interesting in this discussion: at no time, the consideration of performances was mentioned. It seemed obvious for all parties that LDAP directory services (and probably more specifically our Directory Server) do have the capability of keeping with the high throughput and low response time requirements of the network equipments.

And in fact, they really do. We will have some evidence of this with Directory Server Enterprise Edition 6.0 very soon.

Comments:

Could you in your next blog entry share with us why the Telcos in this same situation shouldn't switch to Active Directory and more importantly ADAM?

Posted by James on December 20, 2006 at 10:50 AM CET #

James, This is an interesting question... I'm not sure I am fully qualified to judge the performance and scalability of Active Directory or ADAM. What I know is that the few telcos that I interact with never, ever mentioned Windows as a platform they would deploy on. And It's been a while since the last time someone mentioned ADAM in a competitive landscape, but being in the engineering team means that I only meet a few customers. Regards, Ludovic

Posted by Ludo on December 20, 2006 at 01:14 PM CET #

I can't speak to ADAM, but one reason I could imagine is that the MS tools for managing AD can't handle ou's with more than a couple thousand entries. We have ou's with 100's of thousands of entries and syncing with AD is turning into real problem because of this.

Posted by Michael Puskar on December 20, 2006 at 05:58 PM CET #

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About

This is the blog of a senior software engineer, specialized in LDAP, Directory Server and OpenDS. Ludovic Poitou works in France at the Grenoble Engineering Center, in the Directory Services Engineering team. Outside work, I love skiing and taking photo

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