Directory Server provides a scalable, high-performance data store for identity information. Directory Server supports the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) v3 and the Directory Service Markup Language (DSML) v2 natively for standards-based access. With LDAP and DSML over HTTP or SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol), clients anywhere on a network are able to securely search and update directory data objects. Clients are also able to receive changes made by other applications and to authenticate users or applications even through firewalls.
Directory Server provides several security features to achieve compliance with information security policies. These features ensure that only users with proper authorization have access to information.
Macro-level, dynamic access control instructions (ACIs). Provide a means for defining access down to the level of an LDAP attribute. Access control policies can be defined once, and then reused across the directory tree. Macro ACIs can be used to optimize the number of ACIs in the directory, thereby reducing the complexity of the security framework.
Role-based access. Enables you to provide access that is based on information in a user's entry. Roles are defined and administered like groups, but roles provide more efficient grouping mechanisms for applications. Roles can be used in ACIs to control access to data. They can also be used by Class of Service (CoS), a capability of Directory Server to create virtual attributes that can apply to many entries at the same time. These virtual attributes reduce storage requirements on entries. They also allow a single change to update an unlimited number of related entries.
Get Effective Rights control. Provides a means for determining what access a user has to a set of information. Administrators who maintain access policies for the directory service can tighten security by auditing the permissions of directory users and applications. This capability can also be used to build applications with adaptive interfaces that are based on the user's rights.
Encryption mechanisms. Protect data on the disk and during transfer through communications channels. Directory Server also supports fractional replication and data hiding based on access. These mechanisms can be used to comply with European Union and other international privacy regulations.
Multiple password policies. Can be defined on a per-user basis or targeted to certain groups. These policies help to ensure that users change passwords on a regular basis and that unauthorized access to an account is blocked.
Directory Server replication prevents a single point of failure for applications that are using these protocols to access identity data. Directory Server supports a theoretically unlimited number of masters and read-only consumers in a replicated environment across both local and wide area networks. Special features of the replication protocol allow for optimizations when replicating data over high-latency networks. For more information, see Using Replication and Redundancy for High Availability.
On Solaris platforms, Directory Server supports clustering, a pre-packaged high availability hardware and software solution. For more information, see Using Clustering for High Availability.
Depending on the hardware, Directory Server can provide sustained search performance of 20,000 entries per second on a single machine and horizontal scalability to several thousand searches per second. For information about how to deploy Directory Server for read scalability, see Chapter 10, Designing a Scaled Deployment.
The requirement to store and update information constantly increases with the expansion of use across the organization. Update performance of Directory Server is close to relational database-write performance. For information about how to deploy Directory Server for write scalability, see Chapter 10, Designing a Scaled Deployment.
Directory Server provides linear CPU scalability to up to 28 CPUs for “read from cache” operations. It allows access to maximum memory capacity and delivers high performance that accommodates large directories on a single system for maximum hardware benefit.
A centralized, web-based administration console can be used to configure and manage multiple Directory Servers. The interface includes all the tools required for effective, day-to-day server administration and service from configuration to monitoring. In addition, the dsadm and dsconf command-line utilities can be used dynamically while the servers are running. These management features mean that most management operations can be performed while the directory is online, thus maximizing availability.
Management flexibility simplifies the deployment of the directory service into many different environments. The command-line utilities make remote management as easy as if the service were in a local data center.