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  • Matthew Hardin

Large University Switches to Symas OpenLDAP, Sees Immediate Success

In 2001, a well known private university in Northern California with annual enrollments of over 16,000, was juggling its directory services using a Netscape Directory Server. Due to increasing demand, staff added more servers. The required throughput needs of the university meant a sudden jump from four to seven (one master and six replicas). Corruption problems were increasing; they needed new software to meet the needs of a growing campus.

Symas Troubleshoots, Fixes Issues

OpenLDAP was the only solution that completely addressed all of the university’s needs, including the need for hands-on support. As they began testing OpenLDAP as a replacement for Netscape DS, they encountered numerous performance issues, culminating in an invitation for Symas CTO Howard Chu to come on-site to troubleshoot. This was the beginning of an extended, ongoing relationship between the university and Symas.

"Our general experience with the switch from Netscape DS to OpenLDAP was, while it took six servers to handle the query load from the various applications in use at that time with Netscape DS, a single OpenLDAP instance could handle the full load generated," said the principal software developer during the switch.

Through the years that followed, despite university staff turnover and other changes, the university has retained Symas to provide "additional brain power," staff training and software maintenance. Symas wrote most of the OpenLDAP software; according to the technical manager, "Why not just go to the horse’s mouth?" Thanks to the knowledgeable support that Symas provides, the university has been able to maintain steady uptime and achieve smooth implementations of various projects, such as moving to Multi Master and cloud-provided disaster recovery servers.

RESPONSIVE TECH SUPPORT, ALWAYS Thanks to efficient tech support from Symas, the IT Team has been able to reallocate valuable hours to other needs. RESPONSIVE TECH SUPPORT, ALWAYS "You’ve helped us save time," said a software developer very familiar with the project. Thanks to efficient tech support from Symas, the university team has been able to reallocate valuable hours to other needs.

"Symas is good about responding to [support] tickets in a fairly short time," And not just initially, but during "the ongoing back and forth."

In the software developer’s words: "They’re very responsive to the tickets; that’s important."

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