Home > Red Hat > Red Hat to Open-Source Netscape Directory Red Hat to Open-Source Netscape Directory Eugenia Loli 2005-05-26 Red Hat 30 Comments Next week, Red Hat is planning to release into open source the Netscape Directory technology it acquired in September 2004. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 30 Comments 2005-05-26 6:10 am So how does this compare to Novell’s offering? 2005-05-26 6:56 am It’s been a long time coming…not to say thats a bad thing. It’s good to see they didn’t rush this out without building a community framework around it. Much like Sun has been building a community around OpenSolaris. @BR “So how does this compare to Novell’s offering?” um…I haven’t really tested them against each other besides I used Netscape Directory Server under Solaris and NDS under Netware so it wouldn’t be fair to compare them performance wise. Feature wise I would say that the Netscape branch has more to offer than NDS. But that’s just my opinion, try them out for yourself. 2005-05-26 6:58 am so i quess red had directory will be much heavier than openldap. we have to wait for the release… 2005-05-26 10:13 am How better is Netscape LDAP compared to Open LDAP. 2005-05-26 11:09 am “How better is Netscape LDAP compared to Open LDAP.” From what I’ve heard, night and day better. Red Hat isn’t going to buy a worse solution, are they? -Erwos 2005-05-26 11:32 am probably, the biggest advantages comes with the integration of a certification / key server, and with smart master / slave replication, and additional tools. for lightweigt ldap needs, openldap does just fine. 2005-05-26 11:44 am how does it compare to IBMs directory services, or is IBMs offering still alive? Has anyone used IBMs directory services? 2005-05-26 12:20 pm i’ve once tried to use IBM’s ldap, it was big, programmed in java and really, really slow… a memory eater if there is one 🙁 2005-05-26 12:27 pm I have been waiting for this, I wonder what the frotnend will be written in, Im thinking its java since Redhat is going more towards the java side, i dunno if thats a good thing or not, but we’ll have to wait and see… 2005-05-26 12:28 pm I assume your talking about Tivoli…so have you done any comparisons against other “directory servers” such as NDS or Red Hat/Netscape Directory Server? If so how does it’s performance and feature set compare? 2005-05-26 12:42 pm So, how this compare to Active Directory? 2005-05-26 12:59 pm allready does the job on the server side. What redhat needs is good clients to put e.g. user data into the directory. One example, why doesn’t Red Hat/Fedora ship with the kuser user admin program that supports admin of samba and unix users in a LDAP directory. 2005-05-26 1:05 pm “So, how this compare to Active Directory?” AD is rather pedestrian…it does the job for most small business’ however. This is for large scale mission critical deployments, not to say that it won’t be just as good for the SMB market though. I guess it depends on what you are trying to achieve. 2005-05-26 2:02 pm “AD is rather pedestrian…it does the job for most small business’ however. ” Mhmmm, just out of curiosity, have you actually experienced any scalability issues with AD or are you just talking out of your butt? 2005-05-26 2:13 pm Netscape Directory Server = iPlanet Directory Server = Sune One Directory Server ???? 2005-05-26 2:36 pm You’re kidding, aren’t you? 2005-05-26 2:50 pm OpenLDAP is decent, but is fairly bare-bones. If its feature-set covers what you need, and you don’t mind using a generic LDAP client (or scripts) to manage it, it’s the best choice. AD has more GUI tools, but by default deviates from the conventional LDAP protocol a little (some clients will balk). If you are only dealing with Windows systems, you are willing to entrust your directory services to Microsoft, and don’t mind its quirks (which you might not notice if you aren’t more experienced with LDAP), it’s a good choice. NDS isn’t LDAP, but has an LDAP interface to it. It’s more complex and perhaps technically superior to AD but without broad third-party support and smaller market share. It seems to scale very well, however. If you want something more complete than AD and still with support of numerous Windows-specific features (which make it quite different than AD), NDS is a good choice. The Netscape server seems quite a bit more scalable than AD (in the same environment, our AD has issues under load that don’t appear using the old Netscape server). It’s far less Windows-centric and uses fairly simple (yet quite flexible) web and Java tools to manage it (there are command line ones as well). I haven’t fiddled with it recently, so my memory is a little fuzzy, but I remember that one project I was working on involved having to add several new object types to the directory, and Netscape’s was really the most straightforward. I’d suggest Netscape for larger and heterogenous environments. 2005-05-26 2:51 pm From Slashdot: http://linux.slashdot.org/linux/05/05/26/0044247.shtml?tid=110&tid=… “This isn’t 100% correct. SUN ONE is a merge of the Netscape Code base with the Innosoft Code base they aquired in around 2001. Both Netscape and Innosoft developed their own directory servers based around the Open LDAP reference installation. What made Innosoft more advanced was its capability for several masters (it’s not true multi – master in the sense of eDirectory from Novell or Active directory but that is no bad thing). SUN aquired the Netscape Code in partnership with AOL and also bought Innosoft. SUNs Directory 4.x servers are the Netscape code, 5.x are Innosoft. Having said that I have happily tested both servers with 4 million entries on a fairly small box and run 500K entries in production. We managed uptimes of in excess of a year on some of our 4.x servers running over a million queries a day, not so bad.” and some benchmarks of existing LDAP servers: http://www.networkworld.com/reviews/2000/0515rev2.html 2005-05-26 2:57 pm no, it was not called tivoli, but kind of a stand-alone directory server written in java by ibm. one could download it for free after a registration. i don’t remember it quite well, because my computer stopped working normally under the load… i did not really test it any more at that point. 2005-05-26 3:19 pm yea, ibm had a seperate directory service, it was like a 200meg download…. :O just for a directory service! But I dont think I played with it much since we were using AD at the time! I wonder if it has been dropped or maybe integrated into something else… I had forgot about it until I read this! Maybe redhat really got directory service code from IBM <- code dumping uhoh I think I still SHOULD have the download somewhere, not sure which license it was under either…hmm…. 2005-05-26 3:21 pm We have run all three for years. I’m one of the ldap leads for the netscape and iplanet servers. As far as Netscape vs iPlanet: The general architecture is the same, but in the last few years Sun has been patching and fixing iPlanet at a faster rate then AOL has been fixing Netscape. Don’t get me wrong the Netscape server works fine, but replication bugs, minor compliance issues, schema storage bugs, etc.. have been a little more ironed out the the iPlanet server. Both are very stable, but for us iPlanet wins out by a little. That being said I would pick Netscape any day over iPlanet, because it is almost as good, opensource, and will probably build a great community that will take it far past where iPlanet is today. I have seen quotes from Sun where they say that they don’t worry about Netscape Directory server because it is so far behind. I have a feeling they are worried. Netscape/iPlanet vs AD: First off I hate Microsoft, but I have to give it to Microsoft on AD it is probably one of their best products. It is not totally open, I’m not sure if it is 100% LDAP compliant, but for Microsoft it is as open and complaint as it gets. Not only that but it is fast. Let me say right now that you have to be very careful customizing AD, if you do not follow microsoft’s guidelines for customizing your AD, and properly configure your GC, then kiss your performance good bye. Where as Netscape/iPlanet are very forgiving, and allow intense customization with much less worry of hurting yourself. In our tests with our custom schema, setup on all three server types, with the same hardware, AD was faster. (5 server, one master, master/slave configuration, 10,000 simulated clients, windows 2003) It speed became more noticeable under heavy load. AD slowed down very little as the load incresed. Our Netscape/iPlanet server performaned well also, but AD beat them out. Personally if I was going to start a company and rely on a product, I would feel safe with all three, but now that Netscape is opensource..I would choose Netscape. 2005-05-26 5:20 pm and some benchmarks of existing LDAP servers: 2005-05-26 6:00 pm i got that one other time…. too freakin funny like they dont want anyone promoting their site either, if they get more traffic from it then what is the problem… 2005-05-26 8:13 pm OpenLDAP allready does the job on the server side. OpenLDAP is said to not scale well for larger databases. In fact, it is said to be really awful for anything more demanding than a small LAN 2005-05-27 12:28 am Thanks, Case in point, AD is great, but it does have scalability issues. “if you do not follow microsoft’s guidelines for customizing your AD, and properly configure your GC, then kiss your performance good bye. Where as Netscape/iPlanet are very forgiving” 2005-05-27 5:03 am “AD is rather pedestrian…it does the job for most small business’ however. ” Mhmmm, just out of curiosity, have you actually experienced any scalability issues with AD or are you just talking out of your butt? Love to know that too. Now sure, I love a good Microsoft bash, just as much as the next fella, but AD IS a good step, especially from what was used before. The problem is that so few admins use their grey matter, plus a book, to actually exploit all the features that are available on Active Directory. Even Microsoft have admitted, very few admins actually exploit the full feature set of Active Directory – IMHO, Microsoft should start offering some free seminars to encourage people to actually invest into getting to know how to fully exploit AD. I mean, if you’re going to be a Microsoft whore, and spend thousandds, you better well makre sure that you damn well use *every* feature that Microsoft offers you. Regarding the Netscape Directory Server = iPlanet Directory Server = Sun One Directory Server raised by another poster, the one which Netscape sold to Red Hat was an older version than what SUN sells. The one Red Hat is open sourcing will need ALOT of work done to it. Lets hope that it isn’t the mess of code Mozilla was, when the code was released by Netscape (resulting in a complete re-write from scratch!). What I would like to see, however, is with the SUN One Directory Server, they add ‘GNOME Desktop Features’ so that one can provide permissions/configuration etc. what one can do using Zenworks for Windows or Active Directory and Windows XP/2000. 2005-05-27 6:11 am Netscape Directory Server = iPlanet Directory Server = Sun Java System Directory Server Yes, it is true. 2005-05-27 9:56 am Thanks everybody for the answers. iPlanet/SunOne 5.x are very good products, very fast, fully dynamic (schema changes, indexes creations) and the replication possibility are impressive, it’s not just a master/slave configuration using a cn=changelog. iPlanet is superior in many ways ! But if the open-sourced version is older than iPlanet 5.x then I think that all the good things were not implemented at this time. 2005-05-27 10:38 am Sun Microsystems has added lots of more future to its Java System Directory Server. 2005-06-01 1:06 am I think the problem stems from the trailing slash-l enclosed in parentheses in the link, not because they are blocking osnews.com referrals.