RADIUSdesk Capacity Planning


  • One of the questions which often comes up is how much users / devices can RADIUSdesk support.
  • There are not a simple straight forward answer and thus we will break it up in two main sections and discuss it further.
    • FreeRADIUS
    • MESHdesk and APdesk


  • The load on FreeRADIUS can be categorized into three categories.
    • Standard Authentication Requests.
    • EAP Authentication Requests.
    • Accounting Requests.
  • To reduce the load on the RADIUS server you can make adjustments to the clients in two places.
    1. With EAP you can enable features like WLAN Roaming. Consult the vendors documentation how to implement it. This will reduce the number of EAP requests as a user approaches and moves away from a certain Access Point which are using WPA2 Enterprise (EAP).
    2. With the Accounting requests one can typically specify if there needs to be Accounting Interval Updates. By limiting the interval to a larger amount of time one can dramatically reduce the Accounting traffic to the RADIUS server.
  • The amount of RADIUS clients does not really impact the server performance, but rather how much traffic the server get from these clients.
  • To go to an extreme to demonstrate the point. One can have 10 000 Dynamic Radius Clients registered but only a few of them have active users. The server will not experience much of a load.
  • On the other hand one can have one Dynamic Radius Client which are using EAP and also Accounting with an Interim Interval of 60 seconds. With 1000 users connected to such a client, the server will definitely be fairly busy.

Next we will be looking at MESHdesk and APDesk.

MESHdesk and APDesk

  • Much of the same principles which applied to FreeRADIUS also apply to MESHdesk and APDesk.
  • Both MESHdesk and APDesk has a heartbeat system which will periodically sent data to the server.
  • By default it is 60 seconds. One can increase that to dramatically reduce the total traffic sent to the server over time.

Going Very Big

  • If you are planning to do deployments where there might be 10 000+ active users, you obviously should look at proper hardware and even redundancy on the MySQL database etc.
  • We would advice that you find expertise in those fields since it is not our primary focus.