Catching Up With OpenDS Community Manager at JavaOne
It's always a pleasure to visit with Ludo Poitou, community manager and architect for OpenDS, Sun's open-source project for a next-generation directory service. He's ever knowledgeable, down-to-earth, candid, and gracious. Yesterday at JavaOne, we caught a few minutes to chat about the latest of OpenDS.
"OpenDS 2.0 is slated to be shipped in early July. That's a major, much anticipated release," Ludo beamed. "Meanwhile, Release Candidate 1 was shipped about two weeks ago, to be followed by Release Candidate 2 sometime next week. We've been running tests at a fast pace for weeks, especially on the new capabilities. "Two main enhancements in OpenDS 2.0 are in stability and performance: "A lot of effort has gone into ensuring that the server runs reliably and steadily for long enough to enable users and customers to run OpenDS in production mode. With the right machines and the right disks in place, you'll net amazing performance from OpenDS 2.0, which is extremely easy to install and deployment-ready," Ludo added. Do watch for the announcement and download pronto!
For details on Release Candidate 1, see Ludo's May 25 posting.
A New Back-End
"To tackle data management long term, a major OpenDS subproject in the past few months is the addition of a back-end as an optional, alternative way for storing directory data. That is, instead of a local database in OpenDS, you can adopt a remote one—the Network Database (NDB), an in-memory, replicated, and distributed database currently in use in MySQL Cluster," Ludo continued. "The big win here is in scalability with the same level of performance. If you're pressed for memory, just add more hardware machines to the original cluster. The database will then sync up seamlessly, with no need for heavy-duty configurations. Isn't that neat?"
With the NDB in place, once you've added LDAP tables to a MySQL database, LDAP can immediately access all the data, old and new. So can your existing applications—concurrently, and transactions can then follow.
Ludo pointed out that in these days of superfast data growth ("Data will never shrink"), the storage space in a single directory server, no matter how big its capacity, is always limited. Simultaneously, backups become a headache as disk size keeps growing. Thanks to the flexibility in the NDB, the three key components—the LDAP server, the MySQL database, and the NDB APIs—are separate. That means you can connect multiple LDAP servers to the same database, reap the benefits in versatility and flexibility, and rest assured that your data remains integral and complete.
"Separate the layers and you'll spare yourself the trouble of having to rearchitecture your directory server," Ludo explained. "For example, for telecommunications companies, which typically must retain a host of customer and other data for an extended period of time to satisfy legal and service requirements, the new setup translates to significant cost and labor savings, not to mention peace of mind."
Also, OpenDS is collaborating with OpenLDAP to ensure that both directory servers can share the LDAP tables that you add to enable the NDB. Afterwards, customers can access the data through either OpenDS or OpenLDAP. Talk about flexibility!
To learn how to view OpenDS with the new MySQL backend, see the related documentation.
In development are the new capabilities for OpenDS 2.x and 3.0, including client-side APIs for LDAP, a public change log, and partial replication. The OpenDS wiki has the details in the roadmap and the core server dashboard.
Currently, the number of OpenDS users stands at 424 with an overall total of 475. "That's a 100-percent growth from a year ago. We're extremely gratified and will continue to work with the community to make OpenDS a superior directory-server choice," Ludo concluded.