Executive Introduction to Directory Services Using the X.500 Protocol (RFC1308)
Original Publication Date: 1992-Mar-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2019-Feb-11
Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)
C. Weider: AUTHOR [+1]
This document is an Executive Introduction to Directory Services using the X.500 protocol. It briefly discusses the deficiencies in currently deployed Internet Directory Services, and then illustrates the solutions provided by X.500. This memo provides information for the Internet community. It does not specify an Internet standard.
Network Working Group C. Weider Request for Comments: 1308 ANS FYI: 13 J. Reynolds ISI March 1992
Executive Introduction to Directory Services Using the X.500 Protocol
Status of this Memo
This memo provides information for the Internet community. It does not specify an Internet standard. Distribution of this memo is unlimited.
This document is an Executive Introduction to Directory Services using the X.500 protocol. It briefly discusses the deficiencies in currently deployed Internet Directory Services, and then illustrates the solutions provided by X.500.
This FYI RFC is a product of the Directory Information Services (pilot) Infrastructure Working Group (DISI). A combined effort of the User Services and the OSI Integration Areas of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF).
The Internet is growing at a phenomenal rate, with no deceleration in sight. Every month thousands of new users are added. New networks are added literally almost every day. In fact, it is entirely conceivable that in the future every human with access to a computer will be able to interact with every other over the Internet and her sister networks. However, the ability to interact with everyone is only useful if one can locate the people with whom they need to work. Thus, as the Internet grows, one of the limitations imposed on the effective use of the network will be determined by the quality and coverage of Directory Services available.
Directory Services in this paper refers not only to the types of services provided by the telephone companies’ White Pages, but to resource location, Yellow Pages services, mail address lookup, etc. We will take a brief look at the services available today, and at the problems they have, and then we will show how the X.500 standard solves those problems.
DISI Working Group [Page 1]
RFC 1308 Executive Intro to X.500 March 1992
2. CURRENT SERVICES AND THEIR LIMITATIONS
In the interests of brevity, we will only look at the WHOIS service, and at the DNS. Each will illustrate a particular philosophy, if you will, of Directory Services.
The WHOIS service is maintained by the Defense Data Network Network Information Center, or DDN NIC. It is currently maintained at GSI for the IP portion of the Internet. It contains information about IP networks, IP network managers, a scattering of well-known personages in the Internet, and a large amount of information related specifically to the MILNET systems. As the NIC is responsible for assigning new networks out of the pool of IP addresses, it is very easily able to collect this information when a new network is registered. However, the WHOIS database is big enough and comprehensive enough to exhibit many of the flaws of a large centralized database. First, centralized location of the WHOIS database causes slow response during times of peak querying activity, storage limitations, and also causes the entire service to be unavailable if the link to GSI is broken. Second, centra...