Oracle Internet Directory Administrator's Guide
Release 2.1.1

Part Number A86101-01





Go to previous page Go to next page

Deployment Considerations

This chapter discusses issues to consider when deploying Oracle Internet Directory. It helps you assess enterprise directory requirements and make effective deployment choices. Although the recommendations in this chapter are primarily for directories in medium to large enterprises and Internet Service Providers (ISPs), the principles apply to other environments as well.

This chapter contains these topics:

The Expanding Role of Directories

Today, most enterprises are at various stages of deploying centralized and consolidated LDAP-compliant directories. Some have had non-LDAP-compliant directories--for example, NDS or ISO X.500--and are now converting to the corresponding LDAP-enabled versions. This is either to accommodate LDAP-reliant Internet clients, such as those embedded in Web browsers, or to consolidate the increasing number of platforms and services that use directories.

The increased numbers of LDAP-enabled applications make availability and performance requirements for LDAP-compliant directories critical. Most environments need to update their deployments.

Enterprises should plan a robust and flexible deployment to accommodate:

Choosing a directory product that can function as an enterprise backbone is a serious decision. As the directory becomes more central to the operation of the network and its services, deployment choices also become critical.

Logical Organization Of Directory Information

Establishing an effective policy for directory information tree (DIT) structure and naming requires enterprise-wide coordination and planning. For example, the following questions can arise:

This section contains these topics:

Directory Entry Naming

Typically, most enterprises have a Human Resources department that establishes rules for assigning unique names and numbers for employees. When choosing a unique naming component for directory entries, it is good to exploit this administrative infrastructure and use its policies. By contrast, the advantage of making DNs more "user friendly" is outweighed by the proliferation of administrative policies it would require.

DIT Hierarchy and Structure

A DIT is hierarchical in structure, similar to the DNS (Domain Name System). It is possible to organize the DIT to reflect any logical hierarchy associated with an enterprise. The choice should accommodate the following:

Physical Distribution: Partitions and Replicas

You can distribute directory data in two ways:

This section contains these topics:

An Ideal Deployment

In an ideal world, it would be simpler and more secure to store all naming contexts in a central consolidated directory server. The problem is that this central directory server would then be a single point of failure.

A simple solution might be to implement redundant LDAP servers and their associated databases. However, even redundancy might not provide the needed connectivity, accessibility, and performance that most global organizations need at all their regions and sites. These requirements might, in fact, call for replicas physically located at various regions across the corporate geography.

If Oracle Internet Directory supported only single-master configuration, then logical consolidation of the directory would be difficult. Each region or group would want to store the master replica for the naming context on which that group relies. This, in turn, could mean a lack of uniformity in the administrative policies among the partitions. Administrators would need to use a different data management procedure for each partition.

However, Oracle Internet Directory's multimaster replication makes logical consolidation of the directory easier. It allows "update anywhere" configurations, which makes consolidating the directory more efficient and less costly than maintaining multiple partitions.

Here is a simple and practical recommendation for a robust centralized corporate directory:

Remember: Even if all the naming contexts are consolidated, you can still achieve administrative autonomy for various logical naming contexts. You do this by establishing appropriate access control policies at the root of each naming context.

See Also:

"Failover Considerations" for a discussion of redundancy 

Partitioning Considerations

A directory with too many partitions generally has more administrative overhead than benefits. This is because each partition requires you to plan backup, recovery, and other data management functions.

Typically, the reasons for maintaining partitions are:

When you use partitioning, interconnect the partitions with knowledge references.


LDAP does not support automatic chaining of knowledge references by the LDAP server. The majority of client side LDAP APIs support client-driven knowledge reference chasing. However, there is no guarantee that knowledge references will be supported in all the LDAP tools. The lack of consistent knowledge reference support across all available tools is a factor to consider before deciding to use partitions. 

Replication Considerations

LDAP directory replication architecture is based on a loose consistency model: Two replicated nodes in a replication agreement are not guaranteed to be consistent in real time. This increases the overall flexibility and availability of the directory network, because a client can modify data without all interconnected nodes being available. Suppose, for example, that one node is unavailable or heavily loaded. With multimaster replication, the operation can be performed on an alternate node, and all interconnected nodes synchronize in due course.

There are many reasons to implement a replicated network, including the following:

Failover Considerations

Because a directory service has a critical function in an enterprise, deployment should take failure recovery and high availability into consideration. This includes developing backup and recovery strategies for individual nodes.

In addition to multimaster replication, consider the following failover and high-availability options for potential deployment at any Oracle Internet Directory installation:

Because Oracle Internet Directory is a client of Oracle8i, other failover technologies, such as Oracle Parallel Server, are also available.

See Also:

Chapter 16, "High Availability And Failover" for further details about high-availability and failover options available with Oracle Internet Directory. 

About Capacity Planning, Sizing, and Tuning

When estimating enterprise-wide and regional requirements for directory usage, plan for future needs. Depending on other configuration choices for replication and failover, there could be more than one directory node, each with its own load and capacity requirements. In this case, you must individually size each directory node.

As an enterprise increases its directory usage, more applications rely on Oracle Internet Directory to serve their requests in a timely manner. Ensure that the Oracle Internet Directory installation can live up to the performance and capacity expectations of those applications.

You can influence the capacity and performance of a given Oracle Internet Directory installation in two phases of the deployment process:

This section contains these topics:

Capacity Planning

Capacity planning is the process of determining performance and capacity requirements. You base these on typical models of directory usage in the enterprise.

When trying to estimate the required capacity of an Oracle Internet Directory installation, consider:

While estimating these details, allow room for future increases in directory usage.

Sizing Considerations

Once you have established the fundamental capacity and performance requirements, translate them into system requirements. This is called system sizing. Some of the details to consider in this phase are:

Based on current experience, the following table indicates the approximate level of CPU power required for various deployment scenarios for Oracle Internet Directory:

Num CPUs
SPECint_rate95 baseline  System


60 to 200 

Compaq AlphaServer 8400 5/300 (300Mhz x 2) 

Organization wide 

200 to 350 

IBM RS/6000 J50 (200MHz x 4) 

Enterprise wide 



Sun Ultra 450 (296 MHz x 4) 

The amount of disk space required for an installation of Oracle Internet Directory is directly proportional to the number of entries stored in the DIT. The following table gives the approximate disk space requirements for variously sized DITs.

Number of Entries in DIT  Disk Requirements 


450MB to 650MB 


850MB to 1.5GB 


2.5GB to 3.5GB 


4.5GB to 6.5GB 


6.5GB to 10GB 


9GB to 13GB 

The data in this table makes the following assumptions:

The amount of memory required for Oracle Internet Directory is mostly governed by the amount of database cache that a deployment site desires. Often, the size of the database cache is directly proportional to the number of entries in the DIT. The following table provides estimates of the memory requirements for various DIT sizes:

Directory Type  Number of Entries  Minimum Memory 


Less than 600,000 



600,000 to 2,000,000 



Greater than 2,000,000 


See Also:

Chapter 14, "Capacity Planning." 

Tuning Considerations

Oracle Corporation recommends that you properly tune Oracle Internet Directory before using it in a production environment. Before tuning, ensure that there are adequate testing mechanisms and sample data in the directory to simulate a real world usage scenario. Perhaps you can use the applications that rely on the directory for testing purposes.

Any tool for testing the performance of Oracle Internet Directory must be able to show:

In this way, the tool provides a feedback mechanism for determining the effects of tuning and providing direction to the overall tuning effort.

Some of the commonly tuned properties of an Oracle Internet Directory installation include:

Go to previous page Go to next page
Copyright © 1996-2000, Oracle Corporation.

All Rights Reserved.