Archive for February, 2007

FreeRADIUS drives RADIUS standards

Wednesday, February 14th, 2007

After a decade of working with RADIUS, and almost 8 years of driving FreeRADIUS, I'm happy to say that FreeRADIUS will finally be mentioned in a standards-track RADIUS RFC. The draft is titled “Common RADIUS Implementation Issues and Suggested Fixes“, and it is currently in “last call” on the IETF RADEXT working group. The document is a “grab bag” of topics, and covers a wide variety of issues in the RADIUS space.

The abstract says:

This document describes common issues seen in RADIUS implementations and suggests some fixes. Where applicable, ambiguities and errors in previous RADIUS specifications are clarified.

I expect that this document will become one of the canonical must-reads for RADIUS implementors. The guidelines it proposes, and clarifications it covers are the result of years of real-world experience with RADIUS implementations.

Plus, it mentions FreeRADIUS! Section 2.1.2 of the document describes an algorithm for managing EAP sessions that was first implemented (so far as I know) in FreeRADIUS by Raghu Dendukuri. The previous method documented in the RFC that defined EAP over RADIUS was complex and fragile. Raghu's design is beautiful in its simplicity. It's so good, in fact, that all RADIUS servers now implement his system for managing EAP sessions.

Not surprisingly, when the opportunity came up to write this document, I jumped at at. It means that I get published as the author of a RADIUS RFC, and that the “FreeRADIUS way” becomes documented as an industry standard. So FreeRADIUS is now officially an industry leader in the RADIUS space!

MySQL goes public: FreeRADIUS doesn't.

Thursday, February 1st, 2007

MySQL AB has announced that they are preparing for an IPO this year. The points I picked up on are:

  • An install base of 10 million site,
  • 10,000 paying customers.

With the recent survey indicating that the FreeRADIUS install base is close to 100,000 systems, we can immediately see why FreeRADIUS isn't going IPO any time soon. If MySQL can convert only 1/1000 of their install base to paying customers, we would expect FreeRADIUS to do about the same. That conversion rate would suggest that there are about 100 paying customers for FreeRADIUS, which fits in with what I've heard from companies doing support for FreeRADIUS.

With only 100 paying customers, it's nearly impossible to have a company, much less go IPO.

So I won't be getting rich off of FreeRADIUS, but I can at least take satisfaction in the knowledge that it's used by hundreds of millions of people every day to get on the net.