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Cloud Security Perspectives and Insights

  • January 22, 2015

Why Customers Should Upgrade Directory Server Enterprise Edition (DSEE) to Oracle Unified Directory (OUD)

Author: Forest Yin

Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) is the foundation of Identity Management. LDAP directories are designed to store identity and policy information and provide runtime access to that information. Oracle’s Directory Server Enterprise Edition (DSEE) is the most widely deployed directory in the industry with thousands of production deployments. Some customer deployments include hundreds of millions of entries and even over a billion entries for a single deployment. 


However, as business and technology evolve, a modern directory not only needs to be scalable for large scale directory consolidation but also needs to be able to virtualize identity from multiple data sources. In addition, a directory not only has to provide extremely high search performance but also write performance. A modern directory has to support on-premise applications and deployments as well as cloud applications and deployments. To address these new requirements, Oracle has introduced Oracle Unified Directory (OUD), the next generation, all-in-one directory for LDAP storage, synchronization, and virtualization.


OUD is Oracle’s strategic directory and the upgrade path for DSEE. Oracle strongly encourages DSEE customers to upgrade to OUD to take advantage of the following benefits:

  1. OUD is technically superior resulting in lower total cost of ownership (TCO), stronger security, and better user experience.
    1. OUD is a converged directory service providing storage, synchronization, and virtualization capabilities. Full convergence is in progress and the convergence provides richer functionality while simplifying deployment and ongoing maintenance. 
    2. OUD performance and scalability far exceed DSEE’s. For example, OUD 11gR2 can deliver more than 5 times DSEE’s write performance and more than 3 times DSEE’s search performance.
    3. OUD is designed to address current and future on-premise, mobile, and cloud needs. OUD enables enterprises to consolidate identity management for applications, databases, and servers. It can synchronize and virtualize identities from on-premise and cloud data sources to enable on-premise and cloud applications to work side by side. Its performance can handle dynamic mobile data and its scalability can support the requirements of extremely large social networks.  
  2. Free DSEE-to-OUD upgrade license. Existing DSEE customers are offered a one-to-one free upgrade license to OUD. In other words, no license cost for upgrading to OUD.
  3. DSEE 11gR1 Premier Support is extended while DSEE 5.2 and 6.3 are in Sustaining Support.
    1. DSEE 5.2 and DSEE 6.3 are in infinite Sustaining Support, i.e., no new fixes will be created. These customers should upgrade to OUD (or to the latest DSEE 11gR1) to ensure up-to-date security and take advantage of more functionality and better quality.
    2. In order to ease customer migration, Oracle has extended DSEE 11gR1 Premier Support from June 2015 to December 2016 to provide customers with more time for planning and implementation.    
  4. Upgrade is technically straightforward and easy
    1. OUD is designed to be fully compatible with DSEE, so any applications working with DSEE should work with OUD.
    2. Co-existence is provided between OUD and DSEE in that OUD can run just like a DSEE with bi-directional replication capabilities. This co-existence enables zero down-time and gradual migration for large scale deployments.
  5. OUD is proven with over a hundred production deployments. Most of them are upgrade from DSEE 5.2, 6.3 or 11gR1 while some are a replacement for Novell, OpenLDAP, etc. Some have up to hundreds of millions of users (consumers) while others have tens of thousands of employees.

In summary, OUD is Oracle’s strategic, next-generation directory and the upgrade path for DSEE. Oracle encourages DSEE customers to upgrade to OUD to take advantage of the latest functionality in order to support on-premise, cloud, and mobile applications while benefiting from a lower TCO, improved user experience, and enhanced security.

We will continue to share upgrade best practices and case studies in future blogs, so please stay tuned.    

About the Author


Forest Yin is the Senior Director of Product Management for Oracle Access Management and Directory Services product lines. Forest has been in the identity management industry for almost 15 years starting with Netegrity.
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