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Using Multiple Network Devices in Sonar

Mitchell Paul-Soumis Updated by Mitchell Paul-Soumis

Read Time: 3 mins

Implementing network management in your Sonar instance allows you to use several integrations to control customer connectivity, network activity, and individual account restrictions. Whether you're implementing DHCP servers, RADIUS accounts, or inline devices, you can configure multiple external devices to manage your network.

Each network device added to Sonar can be configured to serve certain portions of your physical network, which means you may end up with several devices in your instance that all need to work together. With Sonar, your network devices can operate simultaneously, independently, or as a failover system.

How Multiple Devices Work Together

Each integration in Sonar connects and communicates with your devices in different ways. This difference can be noted in how communication with multiple devices occurs across your network.

Cable Modem Provisioning

Configuring multiple cable modem provisioning servers using Incognito will result in each server receiving identical copies of each request through Sonar. Whether the request is a disconnection or new device provisioning, every Incognito server will be notified, however, only the incognito server which manages that portion of your network will be able to action that request.

DHCP Servers

How Sonar handles multiple DHCP servers added to your instance will vary based on how your organization elects to assign IP addresses to your subscribers. When using dynamic leases, your subscriber would first be assigned an IP address from whichever server is managing that portion of your network. This would communicate back to Sonar and populate the assignment on the customer account.

If your organization opts to use static assignments instead, the IP address assigned to the customer will be posted to the DHCP server that has been assigned the IP pool the subscriber's IP address belongs to.

Using a Failover DHCP Server

When configuring multiple DHCP servers in your Sonar instance, you can also create identical servers if desired. These servers would be treated with a shared priority. For this reason, it's recommended to disable one of the two servers to avoid duplicate assignments.

Inline Devices

Inline devices are responsible for managing address lists in your Sonar instance. When any IP address is added to an account, Sonar will check its subnet against any existing address lists and, if there's a match, will send that information to the Inline device. If you have multiple inline devices and the subnets they manage overlap, then Sonar will send the IP address information to every matching device.

This applies to both MikroTik and PacketLogic devices when configured as Inline Devices.

Using a Failover Inline Device

Because Sonar allows you to select specific subnets to manage or all subnets from one inline device, having a failover device for redundancy means creating a duplicate of the inline device and leaving it disabled unless your primary device fails, where it can be quickly enabled.

RADIUS Servers

While Sonar allows for the addition of multiple RADIUS servers, only one should be enabled at any specific moment. Multiple enabled RADIUS servers will result in duplicate sessions across accounts.

When you configure multiple RADIUS servers in Sonar, each RADIUS server will receive an identical copy of every request. There's no way to segment networking with RADIUS at this time.

Change of Authorization requests, however, will be sent independently to each RADIUS server, as long as the CoA ports are configured differently.

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