Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans
By Ryan Squires Posted December 1, 2019
Setting up LDAP servers is a time-consuming process. There are many aspects of your infrastructure to integrate it with, including systems, applications, and in some cases even networking gear. Of course, making sure your LDAP server is highly available and secure represents another aspect of ongoing LDAP server management. With all that in mind, did you know that there’s such a thing as on-demand LDAP servers that are ready when you are?
Brief History of LDAP
LDAP, which stands for Lightweight Directory Access Protocol, was designed as an alternative to the X.500 Directory Access Protocol (DAP) by our friend and advisor Tim Howes and his colleagues at the University of Michigan. This was a necessary development because many of the machines in use at the time were not powerful enough to run the X.500 protocol. Even though LDAP was introduced in 1993, it remains a foundational piece of IT infrastructure the world over. That’s why organizations are still standing up LDAP servers today or looking for on-demand LDAP servers to fulfill their authentication needs. But LDAP servers also perform an additional role.
Note: If you’d like to hear from one of the creators of LDAP, be sure to check out our interview with Tim Howes:
LDAP Server Roles
LDAP servers maintain valuable roles as stores of user records. But more often, an LDAP server is used to authenticate users to resources like applications. This use case for LDAP is particularly pertinent for DevOps teams where users leverage technical applications from vendors such as Atlassian®. The most common LDAP implementation is OpenLDAP, but there are also many different vendors for LDAP servers you can read about here.
Because LDAP is a popular open-source solution, strong documentation and engaged online communities abound to help IT admins and DevOps engineers stand these servers up and utilize the protocol to its maximum potential.
Trouble With On-Prem Servers
Despite the strong community and thorough documentation, setting up LDAP servers is still a lengthy process with many variables outside of designing, deploying, and (Read more…)
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