Exploring Directory Services

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KGA # 1 – Exploring Directory Services This paper explains the design processes for Directory Services, evaluates disaster recovery options, and judges the advantages and disadvantages of using Directory Services in network operating systems. What are Directory Services? A directory service is the software system that stores, organizes and provides access to information in a directory. In software engineering, a directory is a map between names and values. It allows the lookup of values given a name, similar to a dictionary.

As a word in a dictionary may have multiple definitions, in a directory, a name may be associated with multiple, different pieces of information. (Directory Service) A few example of Active Directory services are LDAP [Open Source], ADS [Microsoft], NDS [Novell]. A simple directory service called a naming service, maps the names of network resources to their appointed network addresses. With the name service type of directory, a user doesn’t have to remember the physical address of a network resource because it provides a name and will locate the resource.

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Each resource on the network is considered an object on the directory server. Information about a unique resource is stored as attributes of that object. Information within objects can be made secure so that only users with the available permissions are able to access it. More sophisticated directories are designed with namespaces as Subscribers, Services, Devices, Entitlements, Preferences, Content and so on. (WikiPedia Directory Sevice) How are Directory Services implemented in various operating systems?

Directory Services are implemented in different ways according to the operating system [OS]. In Linux, OpenLDAP is an open source implementation of LDAP v2 and v3. Included with OpenLDAP is a stand-alone server (slapd), a replication server (slurpd), and different utilities for interfacing with a LDAP server under Linux (Directory Services for Linux). In Windows, Directory Service allows business to define, manage, access, and secure network resources, like printers, files, people, and applications.

Without the use of directory service, businesses would have a lot of trouble keeping up with demands for fast-paced data exchange. Directory Service is mainly used for authentication, authorization, and accounting purposes. (Wiley, 2009) There have been numerous forms of directory service implementations from different vendors. Here are a few examples: * Active Directory- Microsoft’s modern directory service for Windows, originating from the X. 500 directory it created for use in Exchange Server. * eDirectory- This is Novell’s implementation of directory services.

It supports multiple architectures including Windows, NetWare, Linux and several editions of Unix and has long been used for user administration, configuration management, and software management. * Open Directory- Apple’s Mac OS X Server uses a directory service named Open Directory, which implements LDAP using a customized build of OpenLDAP and integrates support for both SASL and Kerberos authentication. It uses a plugins architecture to work with other LDAPv3 directories, including proprietary solutions like Active Directory and eDirectory. * Apache Directory Server- Apache Software Foundation offers a directory service called ApacheDS. WikiPedia Directory Sevice) What are the advantages / disadvantages of utilizing directory services? Are there alternatives? There are many advantages to utilizing directory service on a Microsoft server. Using directory services gives the user the ability to access resources on the database while also ensuring authentication. Every directory service in different operating systems allows the user to have these options, but the disadvantage with a Microsoft server is there are too many features that active directory doesn’t know how to handle and the software is copyrighted.

Utilizing a directory service or protocol from a different operating system from an open source like openLDAP or oracle virtual directory (OVM) gives the user the ability to have software that can be upgraded by everyone in terms that could benefit the all different uses in a directory service. Having these free open-source directories can be just as effective as Microsoft’s directory service, while ensuring that all the features can be handled correctly.

Some disaster recovery options available for Directory Services are back up’s including * Normal * Copy * Incremental * Differential * Daily What disaster recovery options are available for Directory Services? However, since Active Directory is backed up as part of System State, the only type of backup available for Active Directory is normal. A normal backup creates a backup of the entire System State while the domain controller is online. In conclusion, Active Directory Services is the heart of any company.

A much easier way to manage all sorts of tasks and allow users the right access to files and folders through the use of permissions and group policies. Makes work more easily! References Directory Service. (n. d. ). Retrieved 10 17, 2011, from Wikipedia: http://en. wikipedia. org/ Directory Services for Linux. (n. d. ). Retrieved 11 14, 2011, from PC World: http://www. pcworld. idg. com WikiPedia Directory Sevice. (n. d. ). Retrieved 11 18, 2011, from WikiPedia: http://en. wikipedia. org/ Wiley, J. (2009). Widows Server 2008 Active Directory Configuration. Bind Rite Graphics.


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