Messaging Server is bundled with Sun Java System Directory Server. Directory Server is a Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) directory service. Directory Server provides the central repository for information critical to the operation of Messaging Server. This information includes user profiles, distribution lists, and other system resources.
The directory stores data in the form of a tree, known as the Directory Information Tree (DIT). The DIT is a hierarchical structure, with one major branch at the top of the tree and branches and subbranches below. The DIT is flexible enough to enable you to design a deployment that fits your organization’s needs. For example, you might choose to arrange the DIT according to your actual business organizational structure, or by the geographical layout of your business. You also might want to design a DIT that follows a one-to-one mapping to your DNS layers. Use care when designing your DIT, as changing it after the fact is not an easy task.
The DIT is also flexible enough to accommodate a wide range of administration scenarios. You can administer the DIT in either a centralized or distributed manner. In centralized administration, one authority manages the entire DIT. You would use centralized administration where the entire DIT resides on one mail server. In distributed administration, multiple authorities manage the DIT. Usually you implement distributed administration when the DIT is divided into portions, or subtrees, residing on different mail servers.
When the DIT is large, or when mail servers are geographically disbursed, consider delegating management of portions of the DIT. Typically, you assign an authority to manage each subtree of the DIT. Messaging Server enables you to manage multiple subtrees from one authority. However, for security reasons, an authority can only make changes to the subtree of the DIT that the authority owns.
The default schema used by Messaging Server when Access Manager is not used is different from the one used by Access Manager. Messaging Server supports both Sun Java System LDAP Schema 1 and 2, and allows for transition and migration of the schemas.
Directory Server supports replication, enabling a variety of configurations that provide redundancy and efficiency. Enabling replication of all or part of the DIT from one host to other hosts provides the following configuration capabilities:
The directory information is more accessible, because it is replicated on multiple servers rather than on a single server.
The directory information can be cached on a local directory server, reducing effort of accessing the information from a remote directory server. Caching the directory information enhances performance, especially in deployments with limited network bandwidth to the central directory.
Depending on the actual configuration, multiple directory servers can process mail client requests faster than a single centralized server.
For more information on directory replication, directory performance tuning, and DIT structure and design, see the Sun Java System Directory Server documentation: