Livingston Ras

Written by Clive Swanepoel
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The Livingston Portmaster Remote Access Server (RAS) is generally recognized as being the first remote access server supporting PPP and Remote Authentication Dial-In User Service or RADIUS. Livingston Enterprises, the company that invented the RADIUS authentication system, was sold to Lucent Technologies in 1999. Lucent later discontinued the Portmaster line and only refurbished servers are now available through third party support specialists.

The First Remote Access Server

Improvements in RAS Technology

RAS technology has come a long way since the first Livingston RAS became commercially available. Today the RADIUS authentication system is standard in all types of remote access devices. Patton Electronics, a leading manufacturer of connectivity devices, is one manufacturer that offers RADIUS support in its line of chassis based dedicated remote access servers as well as its enterprise line of server based RAS adapters.

These new Patton RAS devices offer many improvements over the discontinued Livingston RAS, including as standard issue, features like modem pooling, monitoring and maintenance software, and advanced fax capabilities. Modern remote access servers have been designed for greater reliability and lower maintenance. They are easier to install and to upgrade and are easily scaled to meet increased capacity requirements.

Chassis based RAS are dedicated devices that are connected to the network, while the server based adapters are PCI cards that can be plugged into a standard PCI 2.1 slot. Enabling remote access is no longer a major undertaking for network managers. All that is needed is to plug the adapter into the server, install the device driver software and configure the ports.

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