Distributed Directories

At this point we have completed examining the simple directory of Figure 2-1. Since we have covered the basics, let’s expand Figure 2-1 to create a distributed directory. In a distributed directory, different hosts possess different portions of the directory tree.

Figure 2-9 illustrates how the directory would look if the people ou were housed on a separate host. There are many reasons for distributing the directory tree across multiple hosts. These can include, but are not limited to:


Perhaps one section of the directory tree is heavily used. Placing this branch on a host by itself lets clients access the remaining subtrees more quickly.

Geographic location

Are all the clients that access a particular branch of the directory in one location? If so, it would make more sense to place this section of the directory closer to the client hosts that require it. In this way, trips across a possibly slow WAN link can be avoided.

Administrative boundaries

It is sometimes easier to delegate administrative control of a directory branch by placing the branch on a server controlled by the group responsible for the information in that branch. In this way, the server operators can have full access for duties such as replication and backups without interfering with a larger, more public server.

Building a distributed directory
Figure 2-9. Building a distributed directory

To divide the directory tree ...

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