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Re: What exactly does "backend" mean?

OK, so I've configured an OpenLDAP server and 3 clients. I've seen references to useing different "backends". This would seem to imply that one could first install an LDAP server and use, for example, MySQL as a backend
then, fire up MySQL and do SQL based searches on the database. If this is correct, it would be most useful.

That would be a "frontend". Backends are the places that OpenLDAP can store data. These include embeded databases (the standard ldbm) and relational databases (i.e. SQL-driven databases). But whatever the backend, the data is accessed via LDAP. That's why you deployed an LDAP server, yes?

Also can anyone point me at a good tutorial for authenticateing Win2K and WinXP clients off of OpenLDAP?
Can this even be done? My research to date suggests that it cannot. Toss me a bone here. ;)

It can be done. Basically you set up Samba as a PDC and tell it to store passwords in OpenLDAP. This should not be your first project, though. If you insist on doing it yourself, follow these steps:
1) Set up OpenLDAP.
2) Get a linux machine authenticating off it.
3) Get a Samba server authenticating off it.
4) Get up the Samba server as a PDC.
If you don't insist, hire someone like me. I do stuff like this for a living.