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Novell To Support the RADIUS Internet Standard for Network Dial-In Access

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01 May 1997

With the announcement of RADIUS Services for Novell Directory Services (NDS), Novell, Inc. becomes the first network directory services provider to support the emerging IETF Internet standard for establishing and managing remote network access connections.

The addition of Remote Authentication Dial-In User Service (RADIUS) Internet protocol capabilities to NDS simplifies dial-in users' access to the Internet and intranets, makes this access easier to manage, and reduces the cost of ownership for businesses of all sizes.

RADIUS Services for NDS will run on HP-UX, SCO UnixWare, Sun Microsystems' Solaris, Microsoft Windows NT, and Novell's IntranetWare and NetWare environments. RADIUS Services for NDS also supports popular remote access hardware solutions so companies can leverage their existing remote networking systems.

Organizations with NDS-enabled networks will use RADIUS Services for NDS to cut the total cost of network ownership by unifying user administration and new opportunities to outsource dial-in connectivity hardware. The open beta version of RADIUS Services for NDS is currently available, and can be downloaded free of charge from the World Wide Web at; the first customer shipment is scheduled for release in mid-1997.

Delivery of RADIUS Services for NDS reinforces Novell's continued commitment to integrate Internet standards with business networks and to establish NDS as the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) directory of choice. Support for RADIUS also extends the benefits of NDS management to administering remote user access through remote access servers. Companies can now manage and administer physical connectivity to networks and user access rights simultaneously with NDS.

"As business demands more and more mobility and access, the RADIUS standard is becoming a necessity to provide a common way to control remote users' access to networks," said Tom Arthur, vice president and general manager of Novell's Internet Infrastructure Division. "RADIUS Services for NDS unifies dial-in user and hardware administration under the world's most popular directory service to help customers cut their total network ownership costs. With support for LDAP and RADIUS, NDS is now the most open, Internet standards-compliant directory on the market. And, with more than 20 million NDS users worldwide, Novell is clearly the market leading supplier of network directories."

RADIUS Services for NDS adheres to the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) specifications for remote authentication of dial-in users. Novell's complete implementation of IETF RFC2058 unifies network security, authentication and authorization through a single network directory. This adherence to standards ensures Novell's RADIUS implementation will interoperate with companies' existing RADIUS-compliant remote network access solutions from vendors including 3COM, Ascend, Bay Networks, Cisco, Shiva, US Robotics and many more.

Faster, Easier Remote Connections RADIUS Services for NDS allows users to quickly access all assigned resources network-wide through a single user account in NDS. RADIUS support simplifies how a dial-in user's name and password are verified before granting network access to servers, information and software applications.

"Before RADIUS Services for NDS, my plans required two full-time resources to manually administer, through Unix text files and scripting, the 20,000 users who will require remote access to our network," said Sandro

Silvestri, director of Administrative Data and Voice Communications, Henry Ford Community College. "This product leverages our current NDS and NetWare knowledge base, reduces in-service and training requirements across our entire organization, eliminates the need to significantly expand our technical infrastructure, and reduces my internal resource requirements."

Easily Manage Remote User Access According to Gartner Group, organizations incur a significant percentage of their total network ownership costs in network support, including staffing and training employees. RADIUS Support for NDS helps cut those network administration costs by unifying remote user and access management under NDS.

Network administrators and Internet service providers (ISPs) can add dial-in user information to NDS, rather than setting up and maintaining multiple databases. By extending NDS to support remote users and servers, including access servers, NDS provides a single point of network administration.

In addition, RADIUS Services for NDS proxy capabilities allow companies to outsource costly remote access hardware and its administration through ISPs, while enabling corporations to retain management of their users. By implementing an outsourced remote access system, organizations further cut total network ownership costs by eliminating the need to purchase, maintain and upgrade expensive connectivity hardware. They also benefit from larger, more well equipped access systems offered by ISPs.

Companies who deploy the software also gain the flexibility provided by multiple access servers. RADIUS Services for NDS allows for the configuration of a primary RADIUS server and additional back-up RADIUS servers to ensure remote access services continue even if a portion of a network fails. Because of NDS' distributed design, if a connection between any of the servers goes down, RADIUS Services for NDS will continue to operate until the connection is restored, thus providing users and companies with the assurance that remote network access is continuously available.

The Directory-enabled Network

  • NDS is based on open standards, and was designed to support X.500 naming; NDS now fully supports the LDAP V.2 and RADIUS IETF Internet standards, running on HP-UX, SCO UnixWare, Sun Solaris, Windows NT, NetWare and IntranetWare.

  • NDS provides a single point of access to all network resources from server operating systems to physical-network-infrastructure components, networked services, applications and the Internet. With RADIUS Services for NDS, NDS is able to provide remote user access administration.

  • NDS enables global access to network resources by presenting complex networks as a single information system, making network resources easier to locate and access.

  • NDS users have a single network account that enables them to access all network resources, rather than having separate accounts for each individual file server and network application.

  • NDS provides sophisticated, yet easily managed administration to reduce the time and cost of managing a network.

  • NDS security features provide for different levels of user access and authentication privileges, and allows worry-free information and resource sharing.

  • NDS gives ISVs a network directory and security infrastructure, cutting the time required to create and release directory-enabled applications.

Product Availability RADIUS Services for NDS is currently available in open beta as an add-on directory service for NDS, and runs on IntranetWare as well as NetWare 4.1. It will become generally available around mid-1997, free of charge.

* Originally published in Novell AppNotes


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