UNMS v1 - Suspension and Traffic Shaping


Overview


This article discusses the new advanced network features of Suspension and Traffic shaping, available for UNMS versions 0.14.0+ and 1.0.0+ These features strongly focus on helping ISPs manage their network. This article will cover how they work, configuration instructions and requirements needed for feature functionality.

NOTES & REQUIREMENTS: Please note that the features described in this article require the latest firmware and a correctly configured main gateway.

Table of Contents


  1. Introduction
  2. Quick guide
  3. Traffic Shaping
  4. Suspension
  5. Aggregation
  6. Related Articles

Introduction


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In UNMS version 0.14.0+ and 1.0.0+, it is recommended to perform both suspension and traffic shaping through the gateway. Alternatively, it is possible to do traffic shaping on Ubiquiti CPE devices as well.

There is a difference in how this is done between both versions. On version 0.14.0 traffic shaping is manually configured directly on Client Sites; while on version 1.0.0. it is possible to use the new integrated CRM module to manage suspension and traffic shaping according to ISP business plans and tariffs. The management is performed through a service created in CRM and paired with a client site. The administrator can identify whether a client site is connected to CRM by opening its dashboard in Network module:

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In order to manage traffic shaping, UNMS gathers all IP addresses of all devices attached to a Client Site. Then it discards those IP addresses which are not in the defined internal network range (which can be configured in Settings > Network > Addresses). All management IP addresses are discarded as well at this point. For all remaining IP addresses, a rule is created on the gateway with a specified data transfer speed limit. In the case of Gateway + CPE traffic shaping, those rules are pushed to a specific CPE device, which connects a given Client Site to its parent Site.

NOTE: UNMS monitors any IP changes on shaped or suspended devices and alters the rules on the gateway or CPE accordingly. Please note it can take several minutes to distribute the changed rules through the system. 

Quick guide


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  1.  Set up a gateway in UNMS Network module.
    Go to Settings > Network > Gateways and click the 'Add New Gateway' button. It is necessary to select an EdgeRouter device which is the main gateway in its network. For now, Allow Traffic Shaping and Allow Suspend can stay disabled.

  2. Add a Client and Service in the CRM module.
    Adding a new client is super easy in CRM. To begin,  make sure CRM is enabled under UNMS > Settings first. To add a client go to the CRM section > Clients and create a Client by clicking on the “+” button. Fill in all the necessary information about the client and save the data. Then create a service for the client. When adding a service to the client, a Client site is automatically created.

  3. Add the device into a Client Site in the Network module.
    If the device, which is intended to be shaped, is not already in UNMS it needs to be added either through discovery or by inserting the generic UNMS key directly in the device's UI. Then, the device needs to be authorized by adding it into a Client site that was automatically created in step 2.  

  4. Check that the IP of the connected device is within the subnet range.
    It is critical that the IP address of the shaped device fits in the Monitored IP subnets ranges. Those can be found in the Settings > Network > Addresses. Easy way to do this is to open Client Sites view from the left UNMS menu, go to the gear icon on the top right and select to display the IP addresses column. Then select the Client Site from step 3, if there is no IP address connected with it, double-check the device had been really authorized for that Client Site. If the IP address is there compare it with the Monitored IP subnets range.

  5. Enable the suspension/traffic shaping feature.
    At this time everything should be prepared to go. Go back to Settings > Network > Gateways and click the edit icon of the gateway from step 1. Enable Allow Traffic Shaping and/or Allow suspend depending on which service should be used. 

Traffic Shaping


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NOTE: Shaping for ONU devices is supported from UNMS version 1.1.0+. 

There are many ways to perform traffic shaping on a network. UNMS focuses on two of them:

Gateway Only: All traffic shaping rules are configured on the main gateway. It is important to make sure all internet connections are going through that device in order to make the traffic shaping work correctly. UNMS supports multiple gateways with the expectation that there won't be dozens of them. We recommend the EdgeRouter with FW 2.0.6+ as a gateway device. MediaTek EdgeRouters, like ER-X, will be supported with FW 2.0.7+ and UNMS 1.1.0+. Here is an article about gateway configuration options.

Gateway + CPE: It is not possible to configure the traffic shaping only on CPE devices as that may lead to conflicts with gateway settings. The gateway has to be aware that traffic shaping is enabled. It is important to mention that each traffic shaping method has its own pros and cons. Traffic shaping in UNMS is done on WLAN only (Ingress and Egress). This method lowers the load on the CPE's CPU and provides the best ratio between CPU load and traffic shaping accuracy. Please note that traffic shaping config can be inserted into a CPE only if there are no existing traffic shaping rules defined there. Supported CPE devices for this version are airMAX AC, airMAX M, and airFiber in both router and bridge modes. Be aware that at this moment ONU devices are not supported.

Both traffic shaping and suspension can be enabled from the gateway create/edit menu:

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The specific limits are configured per client in the CRM module. It is possible to set up limits for both download and upload, as well as aggregation. 


Aggregation


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What does aggregation means? From the viewpoint of an ISP, when 100Mbps is provided with the aggregation of 10 then any Client Site can get 100Mbps at best (when only CPE devices from that Client Site are downloading) and 10Mbps at worst (when CPE devices from all 10 Client Sites are downloading as much as they can). When aggregation is enabled, UNMS configures the gateway to provide 100Mbps to a Client Site (and all its CPE devices) at most. Aggregation will not work without the gateway.


Suspension


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It is vital to have the main gateway defined in order to make the suspension feature work. The recommended device is the EdgeRouter with the appropriate firmware. The minimum is firmware 2.0.6, though we would recommend using the latest available firmware. MediaTek EdgeRouters, like ER-X, will be supported with FW 2.0.7+ and UNMS version 1.1.0+. 

Another requirement for functionality is customer internet connectivity through that specific gateway. Since there can be more than one gateway defined in UNMS it is vital to make sure this is correctly set up. The suspended Client Site and devices attached to it will not disconnect from UNMS and it will be possible to manage them remotely despite the suspension.

Admins may set up other IP addresses which customers should be able to visit despite being in the suspended state. This is useful to allow customers to pay for the service or have access to some form of communication with the ISP. When a suspended customer tries to visit any page outside of the mentioned whitelist, the traffic is redirected to a suspension page with information about the suspension and an option to temporarily cancel it in order to allow payment.

NOTES: 
  • A suspended client's devices can still reach UNMS since the default exception is created for them. The client also has access to a suspension page where a temporary "un-suspension" can be performed to allow payment for the service.
  • When suspended users visit an HTTP page they are redirected to the suspension page every time. In some cases, this doesn't work for HTTPS pages though. It is not a bug, some HTTPS pages are designed in such a way that they cannot be redirected in this way.

Related Articles


UNMS v1 - Global Features for Networks


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