Thursday, February 26, 2009


Virtual Directories and Caching

Mark Wilcox describes some characteristics of caching, but didn't touch on something I think is important...

Microsoft introduced the concept of making their directory services site-aware which translates into the ability for a directory client to bind to the server that is closest to them without having to make developers aware of any particular network topology. This can potentially result in greater availability in that you don't need to procure expensive network load balancers in order for the right decisions to be made.

More importantly, independent of the cost to procure a technology, the more products you use, the more costs go up. For example, in his scenario, the internal employees may be held in Active Directory, customer data in Oracle DB, external customers in OpenDS and he will bring in Oracle Virtual Directory to stitch together information as well as use Oracle Times Ten as a faster way to cache database information. In the short-term, you will most certainly hit your desired performance goal and have been successful in choosing best of breed. Now, fast forward five years from now and ask yourself when IT costs more than it should, how could this have been done cheaper!

If some of your data is already in an LDAP format, what would have prevented you from putting relational data in an LDAP store and then replicating? So is caching all about another product, another tier or can you accomplish the goal via things you already have such as the ability to replicate using the functionality of products you already have...

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