[ Thanks to American
Dave for this link. ]
“When you have to administer a network of many machines, you
quickly find out how much duplication of effort is involved with
normal administrative tasks. Routine operations like changing
passwords, canceling accounts, and modifying groups become
time-consuming if repeated on many individual machines.
Centralizing user and authentication information can solve these
issues. The former king of centralized authentication systems was
NIS, or Network Information System. NIS is a simple and
well-supported technology, but it’s also insecure. LDAP, short for
Lightweight Directory Access Protocol, is now the preferred way of
managing centralized user accounts.
“LDAP’s purpose is to describe how directory data should be
presented and how it should travel across networks…”