[Samba] Active Directory Capacity?

Luke Barone lukebarone at gmail.com
Fri Dec 22 17:31:16 UTC 2017

Thank you for the guided input. We are currently using whatever is the
latest version within Debian repos, so we may need to wait for the next
Debian version to see 4.7 or 4.8.

How much memory do you suppose would be adequate for 40,000 users to
authenticate with at each site? We are aiming to use VMs more, but if more
memory is required, we'd like to price out the memory as we build the
servers, instead of later.

On Fri, Dec 22, 2017 at 9:16 AM, Andrew Bartlett <abartlet at samba.org> wrote:

> On Thu, 2017-12-21 at 09:35 -0800, Luke Barone via samba wrote:
> > Hi list,
> >
> > I am wondering if there is a theoretical maximum for an Active Directory
> > forest, according to Samba or MS? My concern comes from this.
> >
> > We are piloting AD with Samba 4 at a couple of our schools. My thought
> was
> > to eventually get the top-level forest hosted at our central office, then
> > setup each school as a "site" with its own AD DC at the site, configured
> to
> > use each school's subnet as the AD server to authenticate with.
> >
> > I ran this by our working group, and they are concerned that with 2000+
> > staff and 40,000 students (just an estimate), that the AD database would
> > grow too large, and take forever for the users to log in. I believe it
> > won't make a large difference, as users would just authenticate against
> the
> > server in their subnet. We have 50 sites that are able to talk to each
> > other through a 10.x.x.x network, each with their own subnet.
> >
> > Is there a concern with capacity in this case? Currently, we have 2 AD
> > servers in each of the pilot sites running as VMs, using 2GB of RAM. Our
> > plan moving forward is to likely keep two AD DCs at each site, but I want
> > to know if we can just setup one large forest, or if each site should
> > remain its own forest.
> A single forest would work fine I think, and avoids trusts which are
> still fairly limited in their support in our AD DC.
> 40,000 is a scale that you can expect Samba to operate correctly at,
> with Samba 4.7 and even more to with Samba 4.8 to be released in March.
>   Make sure to use 4.7.4 (due shortly) to get the fix we just made to
> the DNS performance regression.
> Beyond that, my team at Catalyst is targeting for a client the >
> 100,000 object scale and plan to renovate our TDB based LDB database
> engine to use Symas's LMDB (used in OpenLDAP) for even more scale.
> Regarding operating scale, Samba 4.7 runs with one process per LDAP
> connection and so can require significant memory if there are a lot of
> LDAP connections (you may wish to allocate much more than 2GB).
> Samba 4.8 will provide a 'prefork' mode that reduces that by sharing
> the connections between multiple processes.   (Samba 4.6 and below were
> memory efficient, using one process, but CPU in-efficient using just
> one CPU for all LDAP traffic).
> Finally, do test it out.  Add lots of users and groups if you are
> concerned.  Use TDB_NO_FSYNC=1 during the load to make things faster
> (but of course unsafe) and you can easily add that many users.
> Additionally we now have load testing tools you can use to trial the
> system with a replay of realistic traffic from your network.  These are
> in Samba's master branch and will be part of Samba 4.8.
> Andrew Bartlett
> --
> Andrew Bartlett                       http://samba.org/~abartlet/
> Authentication Developer, Samba Team  http://samba.org
> Samba Developer, Catalyst IT          http://catalyst.net.nz/
> services/samba

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