Comparison of LDAP / Directory Servers – Update

Almost two months ago I wrote a post about some directory servers I was testing, mostly I wrote about some early testing that I had done with OpenDS and OpenLDAP.  Those test results showed OpenDS performing better than OpenLDAP in an out of the box testing scenario.  I got some feedback from different folks, including Howard Chu who has been involved with OpenLDAP.  While I didn’t follow up directly with Howard on his tuning comments, I did do some tuning of both OpenLDAP and OpenDS.   I don’t have all of the test results in a presentable format, but I do have some additional findings.

Improving Performance

Both of these directory servers come tuned for developer use out of the box, which is to say that they are not really tuned in any way at all.  Instead they are configured to use as small a footprint as possible.  This makes a lot of sense, since the developers have no idea how much memory or process power you have and make an assumption that the first time you use it you are trying it out in an development or test environment.

Once I spent some more time on the OpenDS and OpenLDAP sites and tweaking the configuration of each, I was able to show improved performance in each.  Given the nature of our implementation, only a couple of hundred records right now and a fairly low number of requests, the performance difference between the two was negligible.   It is possible that we might see some more significant difference with a larger number of requests and more entries.

You can find more tuning information for OpenLDAP at: http://www.openldap.org/faq/data/cache/190.html

More tuning information for OpenDS is here:  https://www.opends.org/wiki/page/HowToTunePerformance

The Verdict – Take 2

Given the results were so close, did that alter my preference for OpenDS?  Nope.  We have been very happy with the test results and features from OpenDS.   OpenDS also fits very well into our architecture and technology stack.  Personally I am very comfortable with the tools and documentation for OpenDS, and the OpenDS team continues to improve both.

Final Thoughts

OpenDS works very well for us and matches what were were looking for very well, both from a technology standpoint and a community standpoint.  The OpenDS developers and community members are all very friendly and helpful.  They continue to make improvements in the software and documentation.

Having said that, there may be reasons why you would choose one of the other directory servers, so while you may use my experience as a guide, make sure that you compare the features, technology stack, and architecture to your own requirements.

I would recommend evaluating not only OpenDS, but also OpenLDAP, ApacheDS, and others such as Red Hat / Fedora Directory Server.  If you are in a Windows shop, any of the LDAP servers will work for you, but certainly Active Directory should be considered.  I also have a high level of respect for Novell’s eDirectory.  If you have a very large deployment, the eDirectory might be something you really want to consider.  Keep in mind that both Active Directory and eDirectory are both LDAP-compliant servers that offer features beyond an LDAP server, and may in fact differ from the LDAP specification in some areas.

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Why Social DevCamp East is Important

And Why You Should Attend

Social DevCamp East is being held in Baltimore again – the fall session was recently announced for November 1st.  

What is Social DevCamp?  

“Social DevCamp East is the Unconference for Thought Leaders of the Future Social Web ….. Social DevCamp East Fall 2008 once again invites east coast developers and technology business leaders to come together for a thoughtful discussion of the ideas and technologies that will drive the future of the social web.” – Social DevCamp Site

So, why should you care?  There a several reasons why this is an important event not only for developers and companies that are involved in social applications, but also for anyone interested in leading edge technologies and promoting the area ….  

Social DevCamp Provides a Great Opportunity to Learn About Technology

Many people still think of social networking as a niche area, but that simply isn’t true.  If you have been watching the technology news lately or read Andy Monfried’s blog you may have heard or read that 40% of internet traffic is on social networks. 40%!  That’s impressive, but what does it mean?  It means that in order to support that type of growth, to handle that much traffic and that many eyeballs, the social media related companies need to continue to push the envelope, advancing technology in ways that we haven’t done before.  They need to determine how to store more data, access it quicker, relate it better, and make it user friendly and useful enough for people to keep coming back.  The amount of data that many of these companies have to deal with is simply staggering.  Social media related companies are innovators, learning how to push existing technology to the limits and develop new technologies and strategies where needed.

The point is, that whether you are a social media developer or not, there are important things that you can hear about at Social DevCamp that you can take back to your company and use there.  Topics will include things like Web 3.0, Cloud Computing, Crowdsourcing, Building Out the Semantic Web, Mobile Development Best Practices, and other topics similar in nature.

Social DevCamp Provides a Great Opportunity to Network

This event is targeted to the East Coast, not just Baltimore.  That provides an opportunity to meet innovators from up and down the coast.  The Greater Baltimore Technical Council will be there as will people that have been involved with twittervision, the Mozilla Foundation, and others.  These are real people, with real ideas building and leveraging the latest technologies that will be sharing ideas in a setting conducive, and designed, for discussing ideas.  This is not a place where people are selling technology to you at a vendor show, but rather are talking about technology, where, and how it is being used.  What a great way to spend at least part of your day.

Social DevCamp Highlights the Great Opportunities and Companies on the East Coast

When people think of new technology, start-up companies, and people living on the bleeding edge of technology, they tend to think of the West Coast.  There are fantastic things going on out there, and there is quite a bit of innovation … but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t anything happening here in the East.  It is a mindset kind of thing  – looking for new technology, go west young man.

That isn’t true though, there are great things happening on both coasts.  The problem is, that not everyone knows about the great opportunities and the great small / start-up companies that are here.

Social DevCamp East provides the opportunity to bring an awareness of some of the really mind-bending and fun technology that people use in this area.  People that are looking for exciting opportunities on the East Coast can look right here and see who may be using technologies in the areas of cloud computing, distributed caching, distributed processing, data portability, and areas such as mobile computing and crowdsourcing.   

As you can tell, I am really excited about this event.  This is something that until recently I was unaware of until it was brought to my attention by someone with whom I work (thanks Bev!).  In fact, I am excited enough about it that I have just sent an e-mail to the organizers stating that Lotame would like to be one of the sponsors.  We want the same chance to see and hear the great things going on in this area and to mingle with smart people with great ideas.

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