VLAN Management Policy Server
The primary goal of VMPS is VLAN assignment for general network management purposes, but can also be used for providing security through segregating clients with an unknown MAC address, or through further extension of the protocol to provide login for Cisco AClS. This last functionality is now depreciated by Cisco, in favour of 802.1X, and as the VMPS technology is Cisco proprietary, the VLAN assignment can now be carried out in the 802.1X framework.
Client switches query the VMPS server using the VLAN Query Protocol, or VQP. Only Cisco produces hardware with VMPS client functionality, and is currently fully supported across their IOS switching lines. Cisco officially only supports the use of Catalyst 4000, 5000 and 6500 switch platforms (with appropriate firmware) as VMPS servers, but these have limited functionality, and only support a static text file transferred into them with tftp.
Third party servers
To enhance functionality, which can talk to SQL or use external programs to decide on network access for a given request. The first publicly available of these was OpenVMPS, by Dori Seliskar and others, with FreeRADIUS, FreeNAC and Icarus VMPSd available and including additional management tools to help manage hundreds or thousands of clients and MAC addresses and their VMPS support.
FreeNAC is an OpenSource tool that includes OpenVMPS for communication with the switches, but also adds a database, automation, reporting and SNMP scanning to allow VMPS to be more easily used in larger environments.
- Cisco document on VMPS
- OpenVMPS on Sourceforge
- Icarus VMPSd on Sourceforge
- OpenNAC on Sourceforge
- FreeRADIUS Download page
- FreeNAC website
- NetSheperd; commercial VLAN administration suite
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