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RADIUS by Jonathan Hassell

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Using the LDAP Directory Service

The ever-present complaint of systems administrators who deal with multiple user databases across multiple platforms is that of efficiency. Why can’t all of my users be listed, configured, and managed from one set of tools? Why can’t my various application servers—secured Web, email, newsgroups, and others—all tie into that one database and use its list? Without a centralized repository for user information, the effort of simply changing a password is multiplied by the number of systems on which a unique copy of the password is stored.

Fortunately, there is an answer, and better yet, it’s standards based. The Lightweight Directory Access Protocol, or LDAP, is a directory-based database of information about users of a particular network. LDAP is a protocol that uses standard queries, much like SQL, to talk with a compliant backend. Using LDAP allows applications that support it to communicate with a centralized database and use its information in their internal operations. While a discussion about LDAP could fill volumes (and, in fact, has), the important fact to take away from this commentary is that FreeRADIUS has full and complete support for LDAP. This is part one of the equation. I have an LDAP client, but it needs something to talk to.

Enter CommuniGate Pro, an excellent email server product from the fine folks at Europe-based Stalker Software (http://www.stalker.com). CommuniGate Pro is designed to run on any number of processor architectures: ...

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