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Migrating from a distributed directory to a central directory

Karen Fishwick gives an overview of the new central directory architecture in ND6 and how to migrate from a distributed directory.

Karen Fishwick gives an overview of the new central directory architecture in ND6 and how to migrate from a distributed directory. This tip is excerpted from her recent book, Exam Cram 2: Lotus Notes and Domino 6 System Administrator, and is the third tip in her series.

Read her second tip, Easy steps for monitoring application size or her first tip, Setting mail quotas.

A central directory architecture is an optional directory architecture that can be implemented in a Domino domain. This architecture is new to Notes Domino 6 and differs from the traditional distributed directory architecture in which every server in a domain has a full replica of the primary Domino Directory.

With a central directory architecture, some servers in the domain have selective replicas of a primary Domino Directory. These replicas, which are known as Configuration Directories, contain only those documents that are used to configure servers in a Domino domain, such as Server, Connection and Configuration Settings documents. A server with a Configuration Directory uses a remote primary Domino Directory on another server to look up information about users and groups and other information related to traditional directory services.

A central directory architecture has the following key features:

  • Provides secondary servers quick access to new information because the servers aren't required to wait for the information to replicate to them
  • Provides tighter administrative control over directory management because only a few directory replicas contain user and group information
  • Enables secondary servers to run on less powerful machines because they don't have to store and maintain the primary Domino Directory
A server with a Configuration Directory connects to a remote server with a primary Domino Directory to look up information in the following documents that it doesn't store locally -- Person, Group, Mail-in Database, Resource and any custom documents added by the administrator.

The administrator can set up a Domino Directory as either a primary Domino Directory or a Configuration Directory in one of the following ways:

  1. For a new server, when an additional server is registered and set up within the domain. When the new server is set up for the first time, a replica of the Domino Directory is pulled from the Registration server. This replica can be configured as either a full directory or a Configuration directory.
  2. For an existing server in the domain, use replication settings for the directory to change a primary Domino Directory to a Configuration Directory or to change a Configuration Directory to a primary Domino Directory.
Companies that have a large number of Domino servers could benefit from the new centralized directory option now available in ND6.

Karen Fishwick is an independent consultant, book author and technical editor in Ottawa. She focuses on administrative troubleshooting for servers and resolving access-control problems within applications and holds the CLP designation for R6 in both the system administration and application development tracks.

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