Controlled and secured access to a network or device is of prime concern across service provider, enterprise, and commercial deployments. Identity networking solutions that provide mechanisms to control network access are of high interest to such customers.
Cisco® Secure Access Control Server (ACS) is an industry-leading access control server that provides a comprehensive identity-based networking solution to enterprise customers for network access (wired, wireless, remote access) and device administration. Cisco Secure ACS extends security to users, machines, and device administrators by providing authentication, authorization, and accounting (AAA) services through robust access policies. The policies that define AAA access are managed from a centralized, identity-based networking framework that gives enterprise networks greater flexibility, mobility, and security, resulting in user-productivity gains.
The Cisco Secure ACS family of products introduces the new Cisco Secure ACS Express 5.0 that is intended for commercial (fewer than 350 users), retail, and enterprise branch office deployments. The product offers a comprehensive yet simplified feature set, cutting edge user-friendly GUI, and an attractive price point that allows customers to deploy this product in situations where Cisco Secure ACS for Windows or Cisco Secure ACS Solution Engine may not be suitable.
Cisco Secure ACS Express is available as a 1-rack-unit (RU), security-hardened appliance with a preinstalled Cisco Secure ACS Express license. Cisco Secure ACS Express supports a maximum of 50 AAA clients and 350 unique user logons in a 24-hour period.
Cisco Secure ACS Express 5.0 provides the functionality listed in Table 1.
Table 1. Features and Benefits of Cisco Secure ACS Express 5.0
Appliance form factor
Cisco Secure ACS Express is offered as a hardened appliance with the software preinstalled for deployment ease.
The Cisco Secure ACS Express GUI is designed to be easy to use and at the same time encompass the intricacies of defining a highly evolved identity policy.
Ease of use and low complexity would help enable small deployments to quickly set up and deploy an identity solution in their organizations.
Flexible access policies
Cisco Secure ACS Express offers a simplified yet comprehensive access policy that allows the definition of multiple profiles for network access, wireless access, remote access, and device administration seamlessly.
These flexible policies allow an identity deployment to support multiple access types from a single central identity server.
External database support
Cisco Secure ACS Express supports Active Directory, Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) and one-time password (OTP) servers that allow deployments to integrate with customers' user repositories.
Native access to Microsoft Active Directory
Cisco Secure ACS Express allows users to authenticate against Active Directory seamlessly. There is no need to install or configure any agent on either the Cisco Secure ACS Express appliance or any other server to interact with Active Directory.
Cisco Secure ACS Express supports a wide array of access protocols such as RADIUS, Extensible Authentication Protocol (EAP), and TACACS.
This provides customers the ability to control access to varied connection types into the network.
Cisco Secure ACS Express supports high availability between a Cisco Secure ACS Express pair.
This allows customers to achieve redundancy if one Cisco Secure ACS Express server is unavailable from a network device's point of view.
Cisco Secure ACS Express can be upgraded and patched remotely.
This provides administrators with the ability to remotely manage their Cisco Secure ACS Express deployments.
Cisco Secure ACS Express can be securely administered from the Web GUI (HTTPS) or through the scriptable command-line interface (CLI).
These administrative interfaces provide flexibility in remotely managing individual Cisco Secure ACS Express appliances directly or in bulk through the use of automated scripts.
Cisco Secure ACS Express 5.0 will be orderable beginning October 12, 2007. Customers interested in purchasing this product can place orders through their normal sales channels.
Cisco offers a wide range of services programs to accelerate customer success. These innovative programs are delivered through a unique combination of people, processes, tools, and partners, resulting in high levels of customer satisfaction. Cisco services help you to protect your network investment, optimize network operations, and prepare your network for new applications to extend network intelligence and the power of your business. For more information about Cisco services, see Cisco Technical Support Services.