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ldap and network outage


I would like to setup a ldap server to manage centralized password on 40 unix/linux machines.
For security reason, we have 6 sub networks protected by firewall. I would like to know what the best practice to build an LDAP architecture that still allow people to login if there is a network outage in the sub network where the LDAP server is.
Using a slave doesn't seem to solve this problem.

I would like to know if it's possible to get a local copy of password on each machines.
I understand that it can be a security hole in case somebody stole the file on one computer. But  the risk that people cannot login is more important to me.

Or maybe there is an other solution.



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