Microsoft has announced plans to help enhance Storage Area Network (SAN) security. The company is working with the storage industry to promote the adoption of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) standard Remote Authentication Dial-In User Service (RADIUS) protocol, which is part of its Windows Server 2003 and Windows 2000 OS platform and integrates with Active Directory (AD). Microsoft's industry partners for RADIUS include SAN fabric vendors such as Brocade Communications Systems, McDATA, and QLogic.

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Many different networking environments use RADIUS for authorizing and auditing users and devices. The IETF has acknowledged the need for a mandatory protocol for switch security and recommends using RADIUS for this purpose. Microsoft hopes that many companies will adopt RADIUS in Windows Server for SAN security because of RADIUS's easy integration with pre-existing Windows networks. Microsoft will work with its partners to promote best practices for stronger security implementation and management of SANs. Working with Microsoft, Brocade expects to incorporate RADIUS for Windows-based SANs by the end of the year. McDATA and QLogic haven't yet provided implementation dates.

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