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Replication for high availability?

(This question is unrelated to my other posts.) My LDAP server went was down for ~hour today, which caused chaos at my site, because it does login authentication. I would like to avoid such problems in the future by setting up a cheap box that replicates its database and could be used in its place. The trouble is, how do I configure my client machines to use the slave in the event of the master's failure? Can anyone suggest some neat trick involving DNS or virtual interfaces or some such magic?