By Zach DeMeyer Posted April 16, 2019
As more IT infrastructure components shift to the cloud, is there a free cloud RADIUS platform that IT admins can use? Historically, IT admins have had to operate their own RADIUS implementation themselves, which can be time consuming and expensive. For example, some leveraged FreeRADIUS, an open-source solution that requires fairly intensive manual management. Now, a new cloud-based RADIUS platform is replacing the need for IT organizations to run their own RADIUS infrastructure.
What is RADIUS as a Whole?
Before diving into what this free cloud RADIUS platform can do and how it works, we should step back and understand the value of a RADIUS infrastructure. RADIUS started as an authentication, authorization, and accounting platform for dial-up networks. As such, this status was responsible for the apt acronym: the Remote Authentication Dial-In User Service protocol.
Over time, RADIUS became a mainstay for IT organizations and network operations teams to connect users to their network infrastructure gear, such as VPNs, switches, routers, and more. Unlike standard WiFi authentication, which used shared SSID phrases as login credentials, RADIUS relies on using unique credentials for authentication. By doing so, RADIUS creates a more secure wireless network overall, as it only lets in identities that are trusted by the network, rather than any device with the correct passphrase.
What is FreeRADIUS?
By increasing network security so effectively, RADIUS quickly became a go-to for IT organizations. One of the most popular RADIUS instances is FreeRADIUS. FreeRADIUS is an open-source implementation of RADIUS which is leveraged from on-prem servers.
While FreeRADIUS might be free to use, that doesn’t mean it comes without cost. As an open-source solution, FreeRADIUS requires keen technical skills on the part of the IT admin implementing it. Without advanced networking knowledge, IT admins would not be able to properly and fully configure and maintain their FreeRADIUS instance in line with their organization’s needs. Over time, this difficulty creates quite the time sink for IT admins and network engineers, who already have enough on their plates as is.
Free Cloud RADIUS
In light of the difficulty inherent in implementing FreeRADIUS, it arises the question, is there a free RADIUS solution hosted from the cloud? A cloud hosted RADIUS implementation would forego the need for intensive set-up and continual managing of FreeRADIUS. An additional benefit of cloud RADIUS would be the lack of on-prem hardware, reducing costs and other maintenance needs.
Of course, having a third party host your organization’s RADIUS needs probably isn’t a cheap endeavor. But, there is a solution on the market that offers free cloud RADIUS, hosted remotely for convenience. Users of this RADIUS-as-a-Service can leverage a free cloud RADIUS service for up to 10 users forever. IT organizations simply point their WiFi access points and VPNs to this cloud RADIUS service and they are up and running. Past ten users, there is a per user pricing model for you to pay as you grow that is highly cost-effective.
This cloud RADIUS-as-a-Service is a smaller part of the greater JumpCloud® Directory-as-a-Service® platform, a cloud directory service for the modern organization. Like RADIUS-as-a-Service, Directory-as-a-Service is cloud-hosted and completely free for the first ten users of an organization, forever. Take advantage of this today by signing up for JumpCloud.
If you are interested in learning more about free cloud RADIUS and cloud identity management from Directory-as-a-Service, simply contact us. We can guide you through your JumpCloud experience. You can also learn more from our blog or YouTube channel.