Client Case Study: RADIUS AAA Policies

Carefully designed AAA RADIUS server policies can significantly lower the load on a database

One of our clients with a support contract had performance issues. We tracked this down to inefficient usage of AAA policies. Having tuned the policies the load on our client’s database dropped by a factor of 400 which saved them from an expensive hardware upgrade.

Project description

A customer created the AAA policies for their organization using their in-house expertise. As their user base grew, the customer started to see performance problems. The customer used their existing support contract to obtain our help.

How we solved it

Our approach

By comparing the customer’s requirements to the RADIUS server logs, we determined that the system was overloading the user information database. When we examined the AAA policies that they had written, the cause was clear.

We re-wrote key portions of the policies to add more preconditions on the database queries. We were able to fine-tune the policies so that queries were sent only when strictly necessary, rather than for every request. This solution was accomplished without affecting any other policies on the system.

The results

When the new policies were deployed, the load on the customer’s database dropped by a factor of four hundred (400). This decreased load allowed the customer to stay with their current systems and saved them from an expensive hardware upgrade.

When the customer purchased a support contract from us, they expected to use it to obtain answers to their questions. The additional benefit they saw was that the support contract saved them money.