TACACS+ is a protocol which provides access control for routers, network access servers and other networked computing devices via one or more centralized servers.
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Salient Product Features
TACACS+ is based on AAA model:
- Authentication – The action of determining who a user is.
- Authorization – The action of determining what a user is allowed to do. It can be used to customize the service for the particular user.
- Accounting – The action of recording what a user is doing, and/or has done.
- TACACS+ generic software application was provided as an OS module to the client, including functionality and CLI commands.
- The TACACS+ client module supportssingle session on a single TCP connection.
- The TACACS+ client module returns to the calling application all possible failure reasons.
- The TACACS+ client module supports for showing debugging information if needed.
- The application supports a maximum of 5 servers.
The TACACS+ remote access environment has three major components:
- Access client
- TACACS+ client
- TACACS+ server
The access client is an entity which seeks the services offered by the network. TACACS+ client running on the device, process the requests from the access client and pass this data to TACACS+ server for authentication. The TACACS+ server should authenticate the request, and should authorize services over the connection. The TACACS+ server does this by matching data from the TACACS+ client`s request with entries in a trusted database.
The AAA security model, upon which TACACS+ protocol is based, states an exact distinction between the three functionalities of network user access:
Authentication, Authorization and Accounting. The activation of each of these three functionalities can be configured independently on the TACACS+ client.
TACACS+ server decides whether to accept or reject the user’s authentication or authorization. Based on this response from the TACACS+ server, the TACACS+ client should decide whether to establish the user’s connection or terminate the user’s connection attempt.
The TACACS+ client also sends accounting data to the TACACS+ server to record in a trusted database.
Key Customer Value
In some networking infrastructure TACACS+ can be used as the AAA method. By supporting TACACS+ also in their product along with RADIUS the customer was able find more market for their product.