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Network Accounting

The RADIUS protocol as well as play the role of authentication and authorization service for remote access of network devices, it allows to manage the accounting of the connections. In other words, this is a AAA system (triple A means Authentication, Authorization and Accounting) and with the support for the Accounting provides accounting of the duration and of traffic in download and upload generated of the connections. The purpose of this paper is the description of the implementation of the RADIUS accounting in FlexBill obtained by the FreeRADIUS server available on it.

Managing accounting
FlexBill can receive accounting requests from any network device that communicates this information using the RADIUS protocol. Examples of such devices are:
  • Wireless Access Point
  • VPN Router
  • Ethernet switch set Port-Based access via 802.1x
  • Captive Portal Router
Specifically FlexBill manages the following attributes from RADIUS requests:
  • User-Name (username also with the suffix @domain)
  • Calling-Station-Id (Client's MAC address)
  • Framed-Ip-Address (The IP address assigned to the client)
  • NAS-Identifier (the IP or the hostname of the Network Access Server such as a Wi-Fi Access Point)
  • Acct-Input-Octets (number of bytes transmitted from the client and incoming to the NAS)
  • Acct-Input-Gigawords (64-bit extension of the previous field)
  • Acct-Input-Packets (number of packets transmitted by the client)
  • Acct-Output-Octets (number of bytes leaving from the NAS and received by the client)
  • Acct-Output-Gigawords (64-bit extension of the previous field)
  • Acct-Output-Packets (number of packets received from the client)
  • Acct-Session-Time (Length of the connection)
FlexBill manages, in addition to start and stop requests of the connections, also the so-called Interim-Update requests, with which certain more advanced Network Access Points communicate intermediate accounting information. For these devices the data is updated in real time without waiting for the end of the connection. The captive portal of FlexBill also trasmit Interim-Update packets to update traffic, time and cost of the connection in real-time.

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