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Automating IP Assignments, Data Rates, and Network Access in Sonar

Morgan Wynnes Updated by Morgan Wynnes

Read Time: 5 mins

Whether you’re a new ISP or you’ve been serving customers for some time but want details about exactly what Sonar does for your connection type, this document should clarify the various methods Sonar offers of provisioning your clients & controlling their access to services.

Sonar offers integrations with various hardware manufacturers, support for multiple simultaneous connection methods, historical tracking, and automatic provisioning based on account status or activity.

Managing end-user IP Assignments

When assigning IP addresses in Sonar, there are three possible approaches you can explore:

These methods can work independently for your whole network or be combined with the other methods on a per subnet basis within a single Sonar instance.
  1. Assigning the IP Address in Sonar and having the IP push down to the customer device
    1. With this approach the initial IP assignment occurs in Sonar where the IP address is assigned either manually, or by selecting an IP pool and letting Sonar find the next available address in that Pool.
    2. Once the IP is selected the IP assignment will be sent out as a static lease to either a DHCP server, RADIUS Server, or LTE Core to assign the IP address. Different IP subnets can be used for different methods of IP Address assignment.
  2. Using your DHCP Server, PPPoE Pool, or LTE Platform to assign an IP Address to the client device and have that server send the IP information to Sonar as a “Soft Assignment”, meaning assigned by server software.
    1. Using this approach, a DHCP server would use a script and collect the requests in the DHCP Batcher. Address assignment would then occur by matching the requester MAC address with the client MAC Address in Sonar, based on the inventory item assigned to the account.
    Enabling Option 82 on select devices to soft assign IP Addresses to accounts where the router is customer owned without needing the manually update the MAC Address store on the customer account.
    1. An IP assignment can be made directly from a PPPoE Pool and have the IP address handed off to the RADIUS server, which in turn will send the assignment to Sonar to post an IP address to the account which contains the stored RADIUS Credentials.
    2. An LTE platform can take an IP assignment from an IMSI/IMEI and forward that IP Address to Sonar as a soft assignment to an account which contains the IMSI/IMEI on one of its inventory items.
    3. IP assignments can be made through the API. So long as it's possible to trigger a script when an assignment is made, it is possible to automate the IP address entry into Sonar.
    Our DHCP Batcher is integrated directly into Sonar, to read more on this option (and learn how to configure it) click here.
  3. If IP addresses are statically assigned, those assignments can be entered into Sonar. While changing these IP addresses in Sonar will have no effect on the devices, when they're entered here, Sonar's IPAM can become your sole source of IP address management.

Controlling Account Data Rates & Network Access

Sonar’s approach to controlling account data rates and network access typically involves grouping IP addresses assigned to accounts based on account traits, followed by forwarding those groupings to a device that can affect changes directly in the network.

Account Data Rates and Network Access can be controlled by Sonar through several methods, listed below:

  1. MikroTik as an inline device
  2. FreeRADIUS as a RADIUS Server
  3. LTE
    1. Telrad
    2. Baicells
  4. Preseem as a native integration
  5. API and Webhooks
Everything you see in the Sonar web client has an API endpoint and every action has a webhook.
These different provisioning approaches to managing account data rates and network access can be mixed and matched through your network and configured per subnet.

Getting Data Usage from Customer Devices into Sonar

When it comes to bringing Usage Data into Sonar there are a variety of methods that may be applied. More than one method may be applied at the same time to aggregate all data. A brief summary of each method, as well as links to that methods setup, are available below:

Netflow

Netflow data from any inline device capable of producing this data is added into Sonar accounts based on the Src. IPs and Dst. IPs being assigned to a device on an account or to the account itself.

RADIUS

When a RADIUS session is terminated, usage data from the radacct tables in your RADIUS server is transferred to any any accounts where that RADIUS username is stored.

Preseem

Usage data is collected by the Preseem appliance and gets associated to accounts in Sonar based on IPs being assigned to a device on an account or to the account itself.

API

Data gets driven back to an account based on API endpoints that reference the account ID. Typically a middleware server aggregates this usage from one or more sources, then writes it into Sonar periodically.

PacketLogic

Usage data is collected by the PacketLogic appliance and gets associated to accounts in Sonar based on IPs being assigned to a device on an account or to the account itself.

SaiSei

Usage data is collected by the SaiSei appliance and gets associated to accounts in Sonar based on IPs being assigned to a device on an account or to the account itself.

Similar to shaping and filtering covered in the last section, these approaches can be mixed and matched throughout your network based on subnet.

 

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