Directory Services in the Telco world

Last week I was invited to a meeting with one of our customers,
a wireless telecom operator happily  user of Sun Directory Server 5.2 (patch3) with a few tens of million entries.

With the convergence of voice and data, the telcos are looking
for ways to reduce the number of databases they have and consolidate the
data in a single repository such as LDAP-based directory services.
The discussion went on the subject of the data models, the differences
between the LDAP model and the relational model, drifting to which model would be the
most appropriate in consideration with the Generic User Profile recommendation from the IMS specifications. Clearly the discussion was reaching the limits of my expertise (while
I’m quite confident in the LDAP area, IMS is not something that I’ve
followed), but it was very informative.

The one thing that I really found interesting in this discussion: at no
time, the consideration of performances was mentioned. It seemed obvious
for all parties that LDAP directory services (and probably more
specifically our Directory Server) do have the capability of keeping
with the high throughput and low response time requirements of the
network equipments.

And in fact, they really do. We will have some evidence of this with Directory
Server Enterprise Edition
6.0 very soon.