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Designing large environment

I have started to put some though into how I would
deploy OpenLDAP for a largish environment and some
questions have come to mind.

I am planning on having a single master and about 5-6
or so read-only replicas.

Hopefully someone with experience can answer these:

1) Is it a good idea to also run a read-only
replica/secondary server on my master server, so I can
point clients to it as well?  I could then put my
master on a different port I guess.  I think I have
seen people recommend this instead of going directly
against your master server.  Any opinions?

2) I have seen some people mention having a "hot
standby" master server or something, but nothing like
that is in any documentation or articles that I can
find on the web.  I couldnt even find anything in the
list archives.

Does this mean something different than a replica
server? If so how would I implement one?

3) I am going to be forced to use the OpenLDAP that is
included with Redhat Enterprise 4, which is 2.2.13.  

Should I try to use Syncrepl or should I stick with

Thanks for any advice, I am nervous about putting in
this deployment.   It's basically going to replace 15
years of various NIS environments and replicated local
/etc/passwd files that have grown over the years for
hundreds of systems in several locations.


Don Hoover