Using a central directory architecture in a Domino domain

A central directory architecture is an optional directory architecture you can implement in an IBM® Domino® domain. This architecture 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 does the following:

  • Provides servers with Configuration Directories quick access to new information because the servers aren't required to wait for the information to replicate to them.
  • Enables servers that store Configuration Directories to run on less powerful machines because they don't have to store and maintain the primary Domino Directory.
  • Provides tighter administrative control over directory management because only a few directory replicas contain user and group information.

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
  • Any custom documents you add

For example, to authenticate a user, a server with a Configuration Directory looks for the user credentials in a Person document in a remote primary Domino Directory on another server in the domain.

You can set up a Domino Directory as a Configuration Directory when you set up an additional server in the domain. If a server is already set up, you can use replication settings for the directory to change a primary Domino Directory to a Configuration Directory or change a Configuration Directory to a primary Domino Directory.

Do not mix servers with Configuration Directories and servers with primary Domino Directories in the same cluster. Mixing the servers in this way can cause users to encounter server authentication and database authorization problems. All the servers in a cluster should be configured to use the same type of directory.