Apache HTTP Server Version 2.0
Apache Module mod_ldap
|Description:||LDAP connection pooling and result caching services for use by other LDAP modules|
|Compatibility:||Available in version 2.0.41 and later|
This module was created to improve the performance of websites relying on backend connections to LDAP servers. In addition to the functions provided by the standard LDAP libraries, this module adds an LDAP connection pool and an LDAP shared memory cache.
To enable this module, LDAP support must be compiled into
apr-util. This is achieved by adding the
flag to the
configure script when building
# Enable the LDAP connection pool and shared
# memory cache. Enable the LDAP cache status
# handler. Requires that mod_ldap and mod_auth_ldap
# be loaded. Change the "yourdomain.example.com" to
# match your domain.
Deny from all
Allow from yourdomain.example.com
LDAP connections are pooled from request to request. This allows the LDAP server to remain connected and bound ready for the next request, without the need to unbind/connect/rebind. The performance advantages are similar to the effect of HTTP keepalives.
On a busy server it is possible that many requests will try and access the same LDAP server connection simultaneously. Where an LDAP connection is in use, Apache will create a new connection alongside the original one. This ensures that the connection pool does not become a bottleneck.
There is no need to manually enable connection pooling in the Apache configuration. Any module using this module for access to LDAP services will share the connection pool.
For improved performance,
mod_ldap uses an aggressive
caching strategy to minimize the number of times that the LDAP
server must be contacted. Caching can easily double or triple
the throughput of Apache when it is serving pages protected
with mod_auth_ldap. In addition, the load on the LDAP server
will be significantly decreased.
mod_ldap supports two types of LDAP caching during
the search/bind phase with a search/bind cache and
during the compare phase with two operation
caches. Each LDAP URL that is used by the server has
its own set of these three caches.
The process of doing a search and then a bind is the most time-consuming aspect of LDAP operation, especially if the directory is large. The search/bind cache is used to cache all searches that resulted in successful binds. Negative results (i.e., unsuccessful searches, or searches that did not result in a successful bind) are not cached. The rationale behind this decision is that connections with invalid credentials are only a tiny percentage of the total number of connections, so by not caching invalid credentials, the size of the cache is reduced.
mod_ldap stores the username, the DN
retrieved, the password used to bind, and the time of the bind
in the cache. Whenever a new connection is initiated with the
mod_ldap compares the password
of the new connection with the password in the cache. If the
passwords match, and if the cached entry is not too old,
mod_ldap bypasses the search/bind phase.
During attribute and distinguished name comparison
mod_ldap uses two operation caches
to cache the compare operations. The first compare cache is
used to cache the results of compares done to test for LDAP
group membership. The second compare cache is used to cache
the results of comparisons done between distinguished
mod_ldap has a content handler that allows
administrators to monitor the cache performance. The name of
the content handler is
ldap-status, so the
following directives could be used to access the
mod_ldap cache information:
By fetching the URL
the administrator can get a status report of every cache that is used
mod_ldap cache. Note that if Apache does not
support shared memory, then each
httpd instance has its
own cache, so reloading the URL will result in different
information each time, depending on which
instance processes the request.
The ability to create an SSL connections to an LDAP server
is defined by the directives
LDAPTrustedCAType. These directives specify the certificate
file or database and the certificate type. Whenever the LDAP url
mod_ldap will establish
a secure connection to the LDAP server.
# Establish an SSL LDAP connection. Requires that
# mod_ldap and mod_auth_ldap be loaded. Change the
# "yourdomain.example.com" to match your domain.
Deny from all
Allow from yourdomain.example.com
mod_ldap is linked against the
Netscape/iPlanet LDAP SDK, it will not talk to any SSL server
unless that server has a certificate signed by a known Certificate
Authority. As part of the configuration
mod_ldap needs to be told where it can find
a database containing the known CAs. This database is in the same
format as Netscape Communicator's
database. The easiest way to get this file is to start up a fresh
copy of Netscape, and grab the resulting
|Description:||Maximum number of entries in the primary LDAP cache|
Specifies the maximum size of the primary LDAP cache. This cache contains successful search/binds. Set it to 0 to turn off search/bind caching. The default size is 1024 cached searches.
|Description:||Time that cached items remain valid|
Specifies the time (in seconds) that an item in the search/bind cache remains valid. The default is 600 seconds (10 minutes).
|Description:||Specifies the socket connection timeout in seconds|
Specifies the timeout value (in seconds) in which the module will attempt to connect to the LDAP server. If a connection is not successful with the timeout period, either an error will be returned or the module will attempt to connect to a secondary LDAP server if one is specified. The default is 10 seconds.
|Description:||Number of entries used to cache LDAP compare operations|
This specifies the number of entries
will use to cache LDAP compare operations. The default is 1024
entries. Setting it to 0 disables operation caching.
|Description:||Time that entries in the operation cache remain valid|
Specifies the time (in seconds) that entries in the operation cache remain valid. The default is 600 seconds.
|Description:||Sets the shared memory cache file|
Specifies the directory path and file name of the shared memory cache file. If not set, anonymous shared memory will be used if the platform supports it.
|Description:||Size in bytes of the shared-memory cache|
Specifies the number of bytes to allocate for the shared memory cache. The default is 100kb. If set to 0, shared memory caching will not be used.
|Description:||Sets the file containing the trusted Certificate Authority certificate or database|
It specifies the directory path and file name of the trusted CA
mod_ldap should use when establishing an SSL
connection to an LDAP server. If using the Netscape/iPlanet Directory
SDK, the file name should be
|Description:||Specifies the type of the Certificate Authority file|
The following types are supported:
DER_FILE - file in binary DER format
BASE64_FILE - file in Base64 format
CERT7_DB_PATH - Netscape certificate database file ")