Vircom Proxy and Roaming RADIUS Server: A dependable remote authentication tool for ISPs

By ServerWatch Staff (Send Email)
Posted Jun 5, 2002

Designed for the ISP market, the Vircom Proxy and Roaming RADIUS Server is a Windows NT RADIUS (Remote Authentication Dial-In User Service) server that can integrate with ISP billing packages (Platypus, IBOB, RODOPI, Emerald, and Worldgroup) to provide both authentication and billing information.

This server fills a specific niche: authenticating dial-up connections to a network access server or terminal server.

This server fills a specific niche: authenticating dial-up connections to a network access server or terminal server. User authentication can be performed against an ODBC database, an NT SAM file, UNIX password files, or text-file databases.

Traffic information is saved to logfiles, where information can be analyzed and printed using standard reporting software, such as Crystal Report. It would have been better to have this information analyzed and printed within VOP RADIUS instead of relying on a third-party solution.

Unique in VOP RADIUS is the ability to manage simultaneous login control. Since many ISPs are offering unlimited usage in most accounts, they're not tracking user logins as closely as they could, leaving open the possibility that malevolent users could share their account information with their friends. With VOP RADIUS, the server tracks who is using each dial-up line, and if a user is already logged on, the server then denies the request from the other user. This information can also be remotely viewed by an administrator via a Web server.

User information is cached, making VOP RADIUS a good solution as a backup to a larger, more powerful RADIUS server. In this instance it acts as a proxy, granting access to users and storing account information when the main RADIUS server is down.

VOP RADIUS also supports "roaming" through the recognition of Internet domain names, which are configured in a user's dial-up settings. Roaming allows a dial-up request to be routed securely through the Internet to the RADIUS server of another ISP, allowing ISPs to provide local access by forging cooperative agreements with ISPs in other areas. Support for roaming makes VOP RADIUS attractive to ISPs needing such flexibility.

VOP RADIUS Server isn't for everyone, but for ISPs that want a dependable proxy RADIUS server and the ability to offer roaming, then VOP RADIUS is a solid choice.

Pros: Can act both as a main or proxy RADIUS server, 7 prevents multiple logins with one account, 7 caches user information in the case of a main RADIUS failure, 7 Roaming feature should be attractive to smaller ISPs.
Cons: No native logfile-analysis tools, 7 Essentially a niche tool, even in the ISP world.

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