Using directory servers in a Domino® domain

An IBM® Domino® domain is a network of clients and servers whose users, servers, connections, and access control information is described in a single database called the Domino® Directory. When you set up the first server in an organization, Domino® creates a Domino® domain and a Domino® Directory for the domain. When you add servers to the domain they pull replicas of the Domino® Directory. To create an additional domain and Domino® Directory, you perform a first server setup.

About this task

Each Domino® domain has at least one administration server for the Domino® Directory. The administration server is responsible for carrying out Administration Process requests that automate changes to the Domino® Directory. By default, the first server set up in a domain is the administration server for the Domino® Directory.

You can use directory servers in a Domino® domain to dedicate specific servers to providing directory services. Clients and specialized servers such as mail and application servers use the directory servers to look up user, group and similar information.

A directory server might:

  • In a central directory architecture, store a primary Domino® Directory that servers with Configuration Directories access remotely
  • Run the LDAP service
  • Run the Dircat task to build and store directory catalogs
  • Store replicas of directories that are aggregated into the directory catalog
  • Store replicas of secondary Domino® Directories that servers in the domain access through directory assistance

You can set up IBM® Notes® clients to use directory servers, rather than their mail servers, to look up names and addresses.

Using a central directory architecture in a Domino® domain

About this task

Prior to this release, companies always used a distributed directory architecture in which every server in a Domino® domain had a full replica of the domain's primary Domino® Directory. A primary directory contains all types of documents: documents used to provide directory services such as Person and Group documents as well as documents used to configure Domino® servers.

In this release, companies can implement a central directory architecture. In a central directory architecture, a few directory servers in a domain have a replica of a the primary Domino® Directory that contains the entire contents of the Domino® Directory. The other servers in the domain have a Configuration Directory, a small, selective replica of the Domino® Directory that contains only documents used for Domino® configuration. A server with a Configuration Directory uses a primary Domino® Directory on another server -- referred to as a remote primary Domino® Directory -- to look up information in Person, Group, Mail-In Database, and Resource documents, and in any new types of custom documents a company has added to the directory.

Enterprise companies that use centralized architectures can benefit from this feature. A central directory architecture allows for tighter administrative control over directory management because only a few directory replicas contain user and group information. In addition, application and mail servers can run on less powerful machines then the directory servers require, since the application and mail servers don't have to store a primary Domino® Directory, which can be the largest database in a company. If the user and group information in a directory changes frequently, the servers with Configuration Directories have immediate access to the changes that critical business applications and processes require, because they don't have to wait for the changes to replicate locally.

To use a central directory architecture you must have adequate network bandwidth to support the remote primary directory lookups. For failover, it is also important that at least two servers in a domain are configured as a remote primary Domino® Directory.