By Greg Keller Posted May 18, 2017
The RADIUS protocol was created in 1991 (Wikipedia). When comparing that time to today there are a lot of differences, and it is a wonder that in the technology world something has stood the test of time for over 25 years. This feat is very impressive, and it speaks to the value that the RADIUS protocol brings to the IT networking community.
With the move to the cloud, a core question that we are frequently asked is “What is the future of RADIUS?” Our answer: cloud RADIUS.
Moving RADIUS to the Cloud
Moving RADIUS to the cloud may seem like an obvious answer, as the common trend is seeing everything move to the cloud, but there is much more to the thought process than you might think. By moving to the cloud, RADIUS will be much more integrated into the core infrastructure of an IT organization. Rather than thinking about it as a separate solution or component to implement, cloud RADIUS will become more of a specific protocol or feature that organizations will leverage. Additionally, there won’t be any additional work or infrastructure to build, just a specific way to leverage the functionality within a broader platform.
That approach is already being implemented by the cloud identity management platform Directory-as-a-Service®, where cloud RADIUS is one of the many features and functions of the cloud directory service. To use this feature, IT admins simply need to point their networking infrastructure to authenticate from the virtual RADIUS endpoint. The RADIUS server at the other end is in the cloud and managed by the third party provider rather than being implemented and managed by the IT team. This concept extends to other areas as well, including LDAP, SAML, and other authentication protocols.
This is how JumpCloud believes a modern identity provider should work. A core database, with user identities federated out to whatever types of IT resources that are needed. These resources could be hardware devices, software applications, storage systems, or networking gear. Whatever protocol that those IT resources need, the cloud identity management platform provides.
Easier on IT
IT admins don’t need to have an Active Directory server, LDAP instance, FreeRADIUS infrastructure, or any of that additional hardware. All of these features are integrated into Directory-as-a-Service. One unified cloud directory service for whatever IT resources an organization has.
Returning to RADIUS, the big picture innovation is going to be delivering RADIUS-as-a-Service from the cloud. This feature will enable every organization to leverage RADIUS as a core protocol within their infrastructure, and allow them to reap the benefits of it. Additionally, this can all be achieved without the heavy lifting of implementing RADIUS in house, and managing it manually.
Learn More about Radius-as-a-Service
If you would like to learn more about the future of RADIUS, take a look at our cloud RADIUS approach. Or drop us a note and we’d be happy to discuss RADIUS-as-a-Service with you. Also, feel free to sign-up for a free account and give our cloud directory a try for yourself. Your first 10 users are free forever.