BGP to doom us all

> I believe that LDAP can be the core of this toolset.

Why not put everything into a MySQL db? :slight_smile:

Arrgghhh!!! he yells running and screaming in horror...
Of all the example products you could have chosen to represent database
software, why on earth did you choose this abomination. Is it a dbm-style
unordered hash or a B+tree database or an SQL relational database? No,
none of the above, it's a stew of pieces hacked from all the
above-mentioned carcasses all boiled up in a pressure-cooker until nothing
is left but a quick meal.

If you had asked, why not use a relational or SQL database, I would have
answered thusly.

There's nothing wrong with relational databases even those using SQL.
However, these are storage systems and I suggested a communications
protocol, namely LDAP. If you want to store your directory data in an SQL
database and serve it up via LDAP, this can be done with most of the
commercial LDAP servers and with openLDAP as well. IBM has done some good
work in showing how an LDAP schema can be effectively mapped into an SQL
database schema.

LDAP is a fine tool but it was not designed to do some
of the things that other tools do.

This applies to SQL/relational databases as well. In fact, LDAP was
specifically designed to do things that SQL/relational systems don't do
very well. And the set of things that LDAP does maps quite well to things
like directories, DNS, whois, rwhois, IRR, RIPEdb, PKI and similar things.
More or less, relational systems handle tables well, while LDAP handles
hierarchically structured data objects well.

In the relational world the focus is on the storage systems and the
standards are application programming interfaces like SQL or ODBC. In the
LDAP world, the focus is on an efficient and effective communications
protocol that can be the frontend to any storage system.

We are not yet at the
point where all we have the the LDAP hammer so everything
looks like a db-nail.

I beg to differ. We are at the point where there are numerous commercial
LDAP servers, where Sun and Microsoft have integrated LDAP into their OS
for yp/NIS types of services and where the open-source server has matured
and become a credible solution for serving LDAP. Added to this are the
large number of LDAP-related tools for browsing, schema design,
interfacing, replication/backup etc. And then there are the many books on
LDAP and the courses on LDAP and the fact that LDAP knowledge is a basic
part of the skillset for certification by Novell, Microsoft, Cisco, Sun,
etc.

We all do have the LDAP hammer or we can easily rent or buy one. And we
can easily find people who know what one is and who know how to use it.
Have you ever tried to hire someone with rwhois experience or RADB
experience? If so, put out the same ad asking for LDAP experience and note
how much larger the pile of resumes is.

In the early '90's the Internet community had to invent a lot of protocols
and tools to make things work. Today, this is no longer necessary because
we can leverage a lot of stuff from the commercial world. The military
have discovered the same thing and generally look for COTS solutions
before building their own.

I'm not saying that we never have to design another protocol, just that we
should use more pre-existing work by others in those areas where our needs
are not so unique.

--Michael Dillon