Linux® RADIUS Server

Written by Zach DeMeyer on September 16, 2018

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Our modern society is almost completely dependent on the internet. Nowadays, with the Internet of Things, even mundane objects like refrigerators have internet connectivity. While it is incredibly useful for linking people together and being a worldwide database of information, the internet also has its drawbacks. Given that almost anyone can access it, the internet opens up doors for malcontents to tap into sensitive data. Due to this vulnerability, it is imperative for organizations to closely manage and monitor their networks. The RADIUSprotocol is a great way of doing so. A long used method for RADIUS implementation is the on-prem Linux®RADIUS server. In this day and age, however, the Linux RADIUS server is falling out of favor, and new options are hitting the market to replace it.

What is RADIUS?

What is RADIUS

Before we can analyze these options, it is beneficial to comprehend the bigger picture of RADIUS. RADIUSstands for the Remote Authentication Dial-In User Service, and was developed to allow internet service providers to control who could access their dial-up networks. RADIUS has since expanded to the organizational level, acting as a gateway to allow IT admins to better control who can get on to their network and how their infrastructure is accessed. One of the most popular implementations of the protocol is FreeRADIUS. FreeRADIUS is an open source tool that people can use to implement their own RADIUS instances, generally via a Linux RADIUS server.

Although the idea of being able to run your own RADIUS server sounds appealing, there is more behind it than meets the eye. In order to properly set up and manage a Linux RADIUS server, you need strong knowledge of Linux, FreeRADIUS, and networking, not to mention a host of other technologies.

This can present a challenge to even the savviest sysadmins, as it requires a complete integration into the core directory service, WAP, switches, routers, systems, etc. Additionally, once the Linux RADIUS server is set up and in place, it requires continuous maintenance and management to ensure that it is working properly and correctly integrated into the existing infrastructure. Especially as technology continues to progress, ensuring a RADIUS instance is up to date is of the utmost importance. Both of these factors introduce a large amount of work into the already-busy day of an IT admin. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to enable RADIUS authentication in your organization without all of the hassle?

Eliminate the Linux RADIUS Server with RADIUS-as-a-Service


Well, there is a third party solution to help with your RADIUS implementation needs, called RADIUS-as-a-Service. With RADIUS-as-a-Service, all of the time and effort required to create a Linux RADIUS server is off-boarded to a hosted, cloud-based service. RADIUS-as-a-Service can be seamlessly integrated into IT environments, and is a part of the JumpCloud® Directory-as-a-Service® platform.

JumpCloud Directory-as-a-Service (DaaS) is a full-featured, cloud-based directory service. RADIUS-as-a-Service is just one of the many functions of DaaS, but is available on an a la carte basis with JumpCloud’s One Protocol pricing tier. The One Protocol pricing tier allows JumpCloud customers to choose either the RADIUS, LDAP, or SAML protocols to be leveraged by their organization at a discounted cost. Of course, if you are interested in the entire DaaS platform, you can opt for the Professional tier, which includes all that JumpCloud has to offer.

If you are interested in either solely RADIUS-as-a-Service or the entire Directory-as-a-Service suite, consider signing up for JumpCloud. It’s completely free to sign up, requires no credit card, and includes ten users free forever, so you can get your feet wet with the service before you buy. To learn more about RADIUS-as-a-Service and JumpCloud as a whole, you can check out our YouTube channel or contact us.

Zach DeMeyer

Zach is a Product Marketing Specialist at JumpCloud with a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines. He loves being on the cutting edge of new technology, and when he's not working, he enjoys all things outdoors, music, and soccer.

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