By Zach DeMeyer Posted June 21, 2019
Is there an option to have a Windows® Network Policy Server (NPS) from the cloud? The short answer is yes, but the solution isn’t from Microsoft®, nor is it specifically for Windows. This solution is a next-generation cloud RADIUS offering that’s giving IT organizations an easy option to implement RADIUS services in cross-platform system environments. Let’s explore the concept of Windows NPS from the cloud.
What is Windows NPS?
Windows NPS has historically been Microsoft’s RADIUS server proxy offering to enable authentication through network infrastructure equipment such as WiFi access points, VPNs, switches, network gear, and more. For IT admins that run on-prem Windows-based networks, NPS can be quite useful.
NPS seamlessly integrates with Microsoft Active Directory®, enabling IT admins to leverage one set of credentials for users to access networks or infrastructure gear. Since Active Directory (AD) is such a mainstay among IT admins, it makes sense to use a network authentication solution designed to specifically integrate with AD in traditional environments.
The Rise of the Cloud
The challenge for IT admins is that as IT networks shift to the cloud, an on-prem identity and access management (IAM) infrastructure based around AD struggles with connecting users to cloud-based resources. AD simply wasn’t designed with the cloud in mind, so using it to manage cloud resources requires a significant amount of add-on solutions, not to mention a lot of work for admins.
The other issue many IT admins face is that they are searching for solutions to off-load said work and effort of managing their infrastructure. Yet, a legacy directory services solution like AD only further entrenches the organization on-prem. This search for ‘as-a-service’ solutions are ultimately driving admins away from using AD and NPS to manage their network access.
Windows Network Policy Server from the Cloud
The good news is that there is a Windows Network Policy Server alternative from the cloud that solves a number of issues surrounding an on-prem RADIUS infrastructure. This RADIUS-as-a-Service allows IT admins all of the benefits of using NPS or another on-prem RADIUS server, and alleviates all of the work involved with using hardware (i.e. setup, configuration, maintenance, etc.).
RADIUS-as-a-Service is a part of the JumpCloud® Directory-as-a-Service® product. Directory-as-a-Service has reimagined the AD experience for modern IT admins. Much like AD in a Windows domain, Directory-as-a-Service connects users to virtually all of their IT resources using a single set of credentials. This True Single Sign-On™ (True SSO) experience is what has made JumpCloud a popular choice among more than 75,000 organizations worldwide.
Additionally, since RADIUS-as-a-Service is integrated with Directory-as-a-Service, IT admins can forego the integration work of connecting their user identities to an external RADIUS server. They can simply enable network access (and more) from one cloud admin console.
Try RADIUS-as-a-Service Free
RADIUS-as-a-Service and the whole of Directory-as-a-Service are available completely free. Just sign up for a JumpCloud account, which includes ten complimentary users in the platform, and authenticate user access to networks, systems, applications, and more today.