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This article discusses how to more efficiently implement the referential clean up done in a subtree delete in a Directory Server.
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Subtree Delete Optimization in an LDAP Directory Server
Directory Servers support a subtree delete operation, where a client requests that all entries below a specific point in the tree be deleted. Any time an entry is deleted the server must delete all references to the entry. The current implementation goes entry by entry to delete all references to entries one by one. This is time consuming.
How to support a subtree delete in a distributed directory.
In a distributed directory member entries, and group entries may reside on different servers depending on how the data is partitioned. To perform a delete in a distributed directory environment each entry must be deleted, then for each deleted entry subsequent group referential integrity requests must be sent to all the servers in the distributed directory environment. This is even more time consuming than in a single directory server environment.
To solve this problem in a single directory server a new extended operation called delete subtree references can be used to tell the server to delete all references with a parent DN of "o=example". When this request is received the server needs to visit each group entry only once looking for members who's DN has the left most sub-string of "o=example". This means each group will only be updated once, where in the previous implementation each group could be touched multiple times, once for each member in the subtree.