Many multi-national corporations that have data centers in different countries must minimize latency over WAN to ensure acceptable performance for their client applications. To minimize WAN latency, the Directory Server assigns one of two roles to the replication servers: the role of standard replication transmitting updates to the other co-located replication servers; the other role, a WAN-dedicated replication server designed to send updates to other WAN-designated replication servers in other locations. This two-role system minimizes WAN traffic by pushing all replication updates onto the connected replication servers that are designated as WAN Gateway Servers. Only the designated WAN Gateway Servers can transmit the update messages to other connected WAN Gateway servers at other locations.