Re: Access97, RadiusNT, ODBC, Running as a service, Multiple Radius Servers, Lions, Tigers & Bears

Dale E. Reed Jr. ( (no email) )
Fri, 11 Apr 1997 02:40:21 -0700 (PDT)

> We installed RadiusNT on a Pentium 100, installed it as a service, set up
> a System DSN, connected it to an Access95 database via ODBC and all was
> good. We saw ODBC response times of 400ms - 1500ms. Then we grew.

Thats not bad. My heavy testing of Access 7.0 and about 100 users
was VERY random of 800ms to well over 15000ms. About half the time
it would be over 5000ms, which isn't acceptable. This is on an NT 4.0
workstation with 96 megs of ram, doing nothing else. Performance
got worse the longer it ran.

> Here's what we have now:
> RadiusNT is running off text files with 6500 users in them because
> whenever we start it from the command line with "radius -x -o" it would
> run for about 15 minutes and then start showing ODBC response times of
> 15000ms (no typo - 15000ms). A restart of RadiusNT would cure the problem
> for another 15 minutes or so...Obviously, if allowed to run, the
> portmasters would get upset and not authenticate anyone because of the
> latency.

There is a known bug in the Access ODBC driver that leaks
memory. This could be causing the latency problem. Access
itself is really bad for this high of numbers, though.

All I can say is get SQL Server. 6500 users in a text file is suicide.
Access would croak. If your educational, SQL Server is cheap. If you
are in bussiness (paying accounts) you can't afford NOT to use
SQL Server.

We have several sites running 20,000+ users with RadiusnT/SQL Server
and it flies right along with any of the issues you note above.

> These are some things I may have not included above:
> When we configured the ODBC, we allowed Office(95&97) to install it's ODBC
> drivers and then configured RADIUS as a SYSTEM DSN (on all three computers)
> We are setting the registry with RadAdmin and then starting from the
> command line with "radius -x -o"

You really shouldn't run production in debug. It does slow down
RadiusNT about 30-50%.

> So here are my questions:
> 1) Why will RadiusNT not start as a service if it is not on the same
> machine as the ODBC database?

Because the service is starting as a system service and does
not have networking permissions when it does. Start it as a user, not
the system service.

> 2) Why does Access97 show such poor performance on the ODBC end?

Because it was NOT designed for this type of abuse. ESPECIALLY
the multi-user part. Its a kludge and a bad one at that.
Microsoft will even tell you that.

> 3) We are migrating to a Cascade ax1600 - anyone had any experience with
> this monster and RadiusNT?

I played with one for a little bit, but nothing extensive. It
authenticated and did accounting, I moved on. :)

> My appologies:
> If these were covered on the list in the past...sorry I missed it. I
> scanned
> (briefly) the archives and could not come up with a match. I have been
> following the list for a while now, but it's a lot of mail!!!!

You have some good questions.