LDAP Configuration Options

Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) made its debut in 1992 at the University of Michigan. University of Michigan implemented LDAP to create an interface to DAP over TCP/IP. And today, LDAP has eventually evolved as a stand-alone integrated system helping network administers to retrieve data from centralized LDAP servers. LDAP’s flexibility made it more popular than OSI, which eventually led the nemesis of OSI and LDAP mechanism to become the de facto standard protocol acknowledged worldwide for networking.

Further you can browse through the 3 main configuration options in LDAP.

The LDAP integration offers the following configuration options:

  • Secure connections
  • LDAP listener
  • Multiple domains

Below is a given a brief explanation of all the three LDAP configuration options starting with Secure connections.

Secure Connections-

How does the LDAP integration ensure secure connections? It does so with the help of using fixed IP address via specific port on the firewall and favouring connection from single computer. Moreover, for additional protection, you can have your LDAP integration program utilize one of the following security options:

LDAPS: In order to create an encrypted LDAPS version, import the public facet of the SSL certificate of your LDAP server. The LDAP integration utilizes the certificate to encrypt or encode all communication occurring between the servers.

MID Server: In order to avoid sending external network traffic to your LDAP server, implement a MID Server security option on the local network.

VPN: A virtual private network (VPN) enables a computer to send as well as receive data through shared or public networks securely.

Further you will learn about the second LDAP configuration option- LDAP listener.

LDAP Listener

An LDAP listener is an automated system which takes care of executing required changes for users and groups over the LDAP server. If the LDAP server favours a constant search mechanism, the LDAP listener first identifies any changes made on the user or group front. After identifying the changes in any of the applicable LDAP accounts, it forwards the changes to your instance within 10 seconds.

Further, you will learn about the last LDAP configuration option which is ‘Multiple domains.

Multiple Domains

LDAP integration allows creation of multiple network domains limited to the same domain or expanding it to entirely non-trusted domains.

Perfect Cloud, advises you to create a distinct LDAP server record linked with each domain. Every LDAP server record has to refer to the domain controller linked with that particular domain. It simply means that your local network should enable connections to every domain controller. After expanding over to multiple network domains, ensure that you recognise unique LDAP attributes with respect to application user names as well as import coalesce values

Conclusion:

Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) due to its simplicity, availability, and ease of implementation has become a standardized way of centralized information storage and retrieval. Organizations prefer LDAP integration as it provides an easy and comprehensive solution which uses synchronization scripts as well as custom codes to store information over large systems, securely.

 

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LDAP Configuration Options

LDAP Integration Requirements

The Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) is a very efficient directory service protocol. LDAP runs over a layer which is above the TCP/IP stack. Lightweight Directory Access Protocol grants network administers with an easy-to-use mechanism to connect, modify, and search internet directories.

Before understanding LDAP integration requirements let’s understand how the LDAP Directory Service Model works?

LDAP Directory Service Model

The LDAP directory service establishes itself to function as per a client-server model. LDAP functions to allow you to access an existing directory. Now let’s understand what do you mean by a Directory Service?

What do you mean by a Directory Service?

A directory is like a database, but usually consists of more descriptive, and attribute-based data. It means that directory reads data more often before it is written. This makes data more accurate and useful.

Furthermore, directory consists of data which is concise. The data is strictly relevant with respect to an entry. Paradoxically, database consists of huge quantities of data for each entry which may or may not be relevant. Therefore, LDAP as a directory service model is superior to the database model. It also can respond quickly and aptly to high-volume search operations.

Now that you have understood the directory service model of LDAP, you can browse further to understand the LDAP Integration Requirements.

LDAP Integration Requirements

The LDAP integration will require:

The LDAP v3 oriented directory services server. This server is necessary to-

  • Enable inbound network access via firewall
  • Grant anonymous login with appropriate security
  • Support paging for huge LDAP queries

Further LDAP integration requires the following-

  • A Lightweight Directory Access Protocol account as per your choice
  • You need to select the fully-qualified and appropriate domain name with regards to the LDAP server
  • To grant multiple domain access, you need to implement network access for every domain controller
  • To employ LDAPS, you need a PKI certificate
  • To employ LDAP listener, you need a Microsoft Active Directory server which helps to handle persistent queries

Further you will learn about LDAP integration requirements in terms of Supported LDAP Servers and LDAP Query Limits.

Supported LDAP Servers

Perfect Cloud uses advanced user and interface functionalities with the LDAP server, to successfully integrate it with:

  • Novell
  • Open LDAP
  • Microsoft Active Directory
  • Domino (Lotus Notes)

LDAP Query Limits

Active Directory by default has an LDAP query limit. LDAP query limit refers to maximum page size of thousand objects to thwart excessive loads. It also prevents service attacks.

The LDAP query limit should work for large environments and for that it should allow paging. Every Microsoft Active Directory server by default supports paging. Paging process automatically splits results into numerous result sets. This prevents LDAP integration from splitting up the query into numerous requests.

Conclusion-

Implementation of Lightweight Directory Access Protocol in your organization enables speedy as well as efficient access to the existing directory. LDAP comes with a streamlined (lightweight) design which facilitates efficiency in data retrieval operations. Moreover, LDAP integration in your organization creates highly valuable LDAP-supported applications.

 

LDAP Integration Requirements

Data Population And Authentication In LDAP

The Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) in principle is just a protocol which defines the approach of accessing directory data. Essentially, LDAP also explains how data is represented in the directory service. And ultimately, LDAP defines how data gets imported (loaded) and exported (saved) to and fro from a directory service. LDAP although does not describe how data gets stored or manipulated.

While you can get to know about What Is Federated Identity Management And Why It Is Convenient and LDAP Integration Overview in our earlier blogs, this blog explains the facets of Data Population And Authentication In LDAP.

Data Population in LDAP

Data population in LDAP refers to quick and easy access to databases with user records retrievable from existing LDAP database. It prevents data inconsistencies with the help of configuration settings which enables you to create, omit or ignore the incoming LDAP records.

You can limit data integration imports with specific LDAP attributes, where you can import only the data which needs to be exposed to a limit. If one does not specify any LDAP attributes, it causes import of all existing object attributes through the LDAP server. The imported LDAP data is stored in makeshift import set tables. Therefore with greater number of attributes being imported, longer import time it takes.

Further Data Population refers to two important aspects which are Scheduled LDAP Refresh and Deleting records as discussed below.

Scheduled LDAP Refresh

This theory recommends that that LDAP server must be scanned regularly once a night. This scan queries entire list of applicable user records, its attributes and evaluates them against other concerned accounts. When the scan identifies any difference, it makes necessary modifications in the user record with the altered attribute.

Further you will learn about the second aspect of Data Population which is ‘Deleting records.’

Deleting records

A default function prevents any deletion of entries after getting disappeared from LDAP. This functionality is important as when an entry gets deleted, it erases all history and references linked to the deleted entry.

Further you will learn about Authentication in LDAP.

Authentication in LDAP

Whenever a user logs in the network domain credentials, there results in passage of those credentials to every defined LDAP server. The authentication module ensures that the LDAP server replies with an authorized or unauthorized message to determine whether the user should be granted access or not.  After complete authentication of the user against your LDAP server, the user can access the concerned system or directory. The user can gain access with the same credentials used for accessing other internal resources on the network domain. You can even reuse existing password as well as security policies which are already authenticated. For instance, the LDAP server might already own password expiration and account lockout policies.

Conclusion

LDAP is an essential protocol suite to prevent your sensitive data from being misused due to unauthorized access. LDAP enables administrators to efficiently deploy the right information to the right database at the right time.

 

Data Population And Authentication In LDAP

LDAP Integration: Overview

Lightweight Directory Access Protocol abbreviated as LDAP propounds the theory of open protocols. Network administrators use LDAP to allow users to gain access to centrally located information or data over a network. LDAP is even known as “X.500 Lite” due to similarities between LDAP and X.500 standards, but the former is comparably less intricate and resource intensive

In this blog, you will learn the basics of LDAP integration.

Overview:

Administrators integrate and employ Lightweight Directory Access Protocol to streamline user login process. LDAP also automates administrative functionalities like to create users and assign them roles.

How does LDAP integration help?

LDAP integration allows you to use your current LDAP servers for retrieving user data whenever required. This fosters prompt and effective decision making. It makes your organization more efficient and effective by employing faster and simpler working methods with regards to data retrieval. Usually, LDAP integration forms an important part of implementation of single sign-on.

How does LDAP integration help sustain privacy?

The LDAP integration employs LDAP service account records to recover DN from LDAP server. DN is “user distinguished name.”  Once recovered, the integration merges with LDAP as per the respective DN value of the user. The LDAP integration during the process, however, does not store LDAP passwords thus ensuring complete privacy of user information. The integration just queries for information, after that it updates the internal database accordingly.

Further you will learn about the determination of LDAP Communication Channel.

Determining the LDAP Communication Medium

LDAP usually employs one of the following types of communication mediums:

MID Server connection- This channel communicates over HTTP and it does not require a certificate. It uses port 80. You can use MID Server connection to import data via LDAP. However, it does not work for LDAP authentication.

Standard LDAP integration- This channel communicates over TCP and does not require a certificate. It uses port 389 by default.

LDAPS- SSL-encrypted LDAP integration of LDAPS channel communicates over TCP and it does require a certificate. It uses port 636 by default.

VPN connection- This channel or medium communicates through an IPSEC tunnel. You can create or buy an IPSEC tunnel and integrate it with your local network.

Conclusion

LDAP integration ensures your sensitive information is protected from snooping with features like Transport Layer Security (TLS). LDAP’s ability to support numerous back-end databases fosters efficient and secure storage of directories. It enables administrators to efficiently deploy the right information to the right database at the right time.

LDAP has established itself for a standard protocol used by most organizations. It gives one major benefit to organizations. Using LDAP, an organization or a firm can efficiently consolidate and store information in a central repository.

For instance, consider dealing with large numbers of user lists for every group within your organization, how tiresome it is. However, with LDAP which works like a central directory, you can access any list from anyplace on the LDAP network.

Moreover, LDAP integration in your organization creates highly valuable LDAP-supported applications.

LDAP Integration: Overview

What Is Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) And Why Use LDAP?

Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) refers to an assembly of open protocols which is used for accessing centrally located information or data over a network. LDAP’s directory sharing mechanism follows an X.500 standard, however is less intricate and resource intensive. Hence, LDAP is even known as “X.500 Lite.”

LDAP server is also known as Directory System Agent (DSA). The user can send request to the LDAP server which is then responsible to manage that request. The server passes the request to other DSAs when required, but ensures single coordinated means of response to the user.

How does LDAP manage information storage?

Similar to X.500, LDAP organizes data and information in a hierarchy using directories. The directories store diverse form of information which has resemblance to the functioning of Network Information Service (NIS). Hence, you can access your account from any machine when it works on the LDAP enabled network.

LDAP can be used as virtual phone directory?

Yes, you can use LDAP as any virtual phone directory. It enables you in effortlessly accessing contact information required by other users. And perhaps, LDAP is a more flexible approach than any traditional phone directory. It is because LDAP is more advanced to provide an ad-hoc and accurate global information repository. Hence, present scenarios rightly point to most organizations, government departments and universities using LDAP for its agility and versatile functionalities.

How LDAP works?

LDAP works on a client/server based system. The server uses several databases for storage of directories. Each database is optimized to favour quick and numerous read operations.

Whenever the LDAP client application is connected to the LDAP server, it either queries the directory or modifies it. During a query, the server answers the query locally, if not then it mentions the querent to the LDAP server which then answers the query. The client application can try to modify any data within the LDAP directory. In this case, the server verifies whether the user is authorized to modify and accordingly updates the information or data.

Why Use LDAP?

LDAP has become a standard protocol for one major benefit it gives to organizations. Using LDAP, an organization can efficiently consolidate and store information in a central repository.

For instance, consider managing numerous user lists for every group within your organization, how tedious it is. However, with LDAP which works like a central directory, you can access any list from anyplace on the LDAP network.

Also it is possible to distribute LDAP directory among many servers. Every server has a replicated version reflecting the entire directory which is synchronized periodically.

Conclusion

LDAP protects your sensitive data from prying eyes successfully as it is embedded with Transport Layer Security (TLS) and Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) technologies. It even supports numerous back-end databases to store directories enabling administrators to efficiently deploy the right information to the right database at the right time. Additionally, LDAP integration in your organization enables creation of highly valuable LDAP-enabled applications.

What Is Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) And Why Use LDAP?