Provisioning

Billing system rates consumed services on a 24-hour basis and debits money from customer accounts. A customer may either have a used up high-speed traffic package or be on the verge of a zero balance. All of these cases influence Internet access and its parameters. To integrate Hydra with your network, our standard license includes Provisioning—a module to manage the services that you offer via customer and provider equipment.

Hydra Provisioning is compatible with any vendor hardware or software managed via RADIUS, SNMP, API, or ssh. Here are popular vendors and kinds of hardware used with provisioning by many service providers.

Broadband services:

  • Cisco (7200, 7600, ASR, etc.),
  • Juniper (MX, ERX, etc.),
  • Ericsson SmartEdge, and
  • Mikrotik (all router series).

Television (CAS):

  • Irdeto
  • CTI, and
  • XCrypt.

Telephony:

  • Asterisk,
  • Avaya Definity, and
  • Huawei SoftX3000.

To learn more see the Technical Information section.

Hydra Knows All About Your Network

Hydra provisioning keeps all the data necessary for management:

  • provider equipment and its components (e.g., ports) with their properties, such as module number, port number, and VLAN ID;
  • provider equipment management settings, such as IP address, login and password, and SNMP community string;
  • customer premises equipment (CPE): models and properties, such as MAC address, IP address, serial number, telephone number, and international mobile subscriber identity (IMSI);
  • connection between CPE and the provider’s equipment ports; and
  • current state of the network equipment and customer sessions.

The process of Hydra implementation includes data migration when Provisioning is filled with data on the customer and provider equipment. If you purchase a substantial amount of equipment after having implemented Hydra, you can simply load the data from a CSV file or via the API.

Profile-based RADIUS

In the Hydra web interface, specify the kind of data Provisioning gets from billing to manage customer access to services.

All the data is used by Provisioning to shape customer profiles. This allows CPE authentication and authorization as well as command generation to manage it.

Hydra Provisioning includes a RADIUS server based on FreeRADIUS. It refers to customer profile attributes, for example, to check the password or to set session parameters, such as bandwidth, priority, quota, and permitted duration.

If authentication in your network is set so that a customer must connect to it from an assigned place (for example, it is a FTTH network with DHCP Option 82), engage the provider profiles in Hydra.

In this case, the RADIUS server determines whether the port through which a customer tries to access matches the port to which the CPE is bound in the Hydra inventory database.

Equipment Management via Events

Provisioning is not limited only to authentication and authorization. Provisioning tracks changes in billing and updates profiles. When an attribute changes its value, provisioning generates commands for updating the network access parameters, for example CoA or SNMP requests, or API calls.

If a profile becomes inactive, provisioning generates a command to terminate all current customer sessions. Without an active profile, CPE cannot be authorized by the RADIUS server.

Generated by Provisioning, all commands are registered in the asynchronous message queue. Provisioning includes the agent application, which receives commands from the queue and executes them. Having this major part ready, you need only to write a few scripts for equipment management (which is usually done while implementing Hydra)—to have all billing events rendered at your network.

Scaling and Fault Tolerance

Provisioning allows servicing up to 1.5 million customers. Being a critical part of the system, the RADIUS server is most reliable, able to scale linearly, and fit to serve any number of customers. On a commodity hardware, it processes 500 requests per second. You can successfully use any quantity of such servers (we recommend at least two for backup purposes).

Hydra’s authentication, authorization, and accounting (AAA) server is autonomous due to its own profile database. Often when choosing a cloud version of Hydra, our clients prefer running the RADIUS server on their premises for more reliability and quicker authentication and authorization.

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