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Is LDAP a sensible solution for the following requirements?

Posted on 2004-10-27
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-20
Would LDAP be a good solution where you are running a service and want to have flexibility and ease of expansion?  Imagine that you provide email, web, and file storage services and that a machine for any of these is no longer enough.  Particularly when it comes to email and file storage, at some point you would need to have more than one machine to accomodate either service and so a centralized way of keeping track of users would be necessary.  I have recently heard of LDAP and want to know its PROS and CONS particularly in a Linux setting (Debian or whatever it works best on) and possibly a windows setting.  Are there any other good (and perhaps Open Source) options?
Question by:bisonfur37
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

ID: 12422209
Yes you have OpenLDAP (www.openldap.org) and open source Directory server, offcourse LDAP is suitable for Services security and managability as it is an open standard and supported from all Software vendors

Example features of LDAP:
1- Mail servers like Qmail for example, users can be created directly into LDAP and allocated Mail quato into LDAP.
2- You can build and expand custom services like Calendar, stockquates and custom applications can be developed to utlize such infrastructure
3- if you have a system that provide 10 services, if u want to remove a certain users from the 10 services in the traditional criteria u will remove him from each service, same happens if u want to add a user to the 10 services, in LDAP u r going to add or remove from ur directory server only
LVL 36

Accepted Solution

grblades earned 700 total points
ID: 12442336
Yes LDAP would be an ideal choice. It is very flexible so can be used for storing all sorts of information. You could have a single LDAP directory storing all information about users in your company. It is very commonly supported so most mail server and Linux authentication software inherently supports it.

Micro$ofts active directory is LDAP based I believe.

Author Comment

ID: 12496924
So there are no CONS to LDAP?  Any suggestions for a combination of OS/email/file system setup with LDAP?
LVL 36

Assisted Solution

grblades earned 700 total points
ID: 12497748
I would personally recoment Suse Pro 9.1 or Suse Enterprise 9. With the enterprise version you have to pay more for it but it is maintained for longer.
The reason why I recomend Suse is that it comes with the latest version of Samba which integrates with LDAP better.
For email I personally like Postfix the best. It is what Suse chose to use for their OpenExchange mail server.

Author Comment

ID: 12780036
LDAP is a great service although it is complicated and time consuming to set up.

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