For various reasons, operating environment data has become dispersed and fragmented within most enterprises . Often companies do not even know where all this operating environment data resides, let alone how to consolidate it to make it more manageable. Consolidation of naming service data is perhaps the most significant benefit of transitioning to an LDAP-based service.
Consolidation is the process of identifying all your data sources, reconciling conflicts, and creating a single authoritative data source. The process is not an easy one and requires careful planning. Sometimes data sources are used because of historical reasons, that is, we just do it that way. Other times, there are technical reasons such as application dependencies that determine which data sources are required.
There is a financial cost associated with consolidation, therefore tangible benefits must be derived to justify this cost. It is difficult to quantify this return on investment as it varies greatly in different enterprises. However, several factors can be used to evaluate the positive impact of the transition and consolidation.
Once a decision is made to embark on a consolidation or transition project, a number of planning steps are involved. You must first understand your current environment by knowing where data is stored and why it is stored there. See "Understanding Legacy Naming Services" on page 20. Next you must survey all your data sources and identify any overlap. This is discussed in "Migration Planning" on page 26.