Microsoft® Windows® NPS Alternative

Windows NPS

As IT admins look for RADIUS server options, many are looking for a Microsoft® Windows® NPS alternative. The on-prem open source FreeRADIUS solution is usually the obvious choice, which has served as a RADIUS server for many years. So, how does FreeRADIUS compare to Windows NPS? We’ll discuss that further down the page, but first, let’s outline Windows NPS and why admins are looking for an alternative. 

Overview of Windows NPS

Windows NPS (Network Policy Server) is Microsoft’s solution to a RADIUS server. It lives as a Windows Server role. Windows Server is Microsoft’s operating system for enterprise server workloads (usually hosted in data centers), and included within Windows Server is, of course, Active Directory® (AD) as well.

Microsoft created their proprietary RADIUS implementation (i.e., NPS) to help authenticate and manage access to network infrastructure such as VPNs, WiFi, switches, routers, and more. The idea was to enable IT admins to connect their users to network infrastructure gear with seamless integration into AD, usually their core identity provider (IdP).

For Windows-based, on-prem networks, the Windows NPS solution provides another capability in an already fairly robust infrastructure for identity and access management (IAM). As most already know, Active Directory is widely regarded as the legacy, on-prem market share leader in directory services. 

Yet, IT admins also know that a Microsoft identity management implementation is partial to Windows infrastructure. Even their new Azure Active Directory® (Azure AD) solution—which is not a cloud replacement to AD—functions more as an extension to on-prem AD for Azure, another Microsoft solution rather than a cloud directory service.

So, it’s really no surprise that admins are looking for a Windows NPS alternative. After all, modern networks are leveraging a wide variety of different network infrastructure equipment including VPNs and wireless access points which aren’t tied to the Windows operating system. Yet, Microsoft is constantly trying to limit your ability to leverage non-Windows platforms by not offering native support.

Essentially, the fact that Microsoft solutions are not designed to work seamlessly with non-Windows resources is a big problem for IT. (Read more...)

*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from Blog – JumpCloud authored by Vince Lujan. Read the original post at: https://jumpcloud.com/blog/windows-nps-alternative/

Vince Lujan

Vince is a documentation and blog writer at JumpCloud, the world’s first cloud-based directory service. Vince recently graduated with a degree in professional and technical writing from the University of New Mexico, and enjoys researching new innovations in cloud architecture and infrastructure.

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