RADIUS protocol support in AMSD® BillingSystem™.
AMSD® RADIUS Server™ is a mediator between AMSD® BillingSystem™ and various RADIUS compliant devices (gateways, routers, content servers, telephone exchanges, playing machines etc.), giving them access to all the capabilities and benefits of AMSD® BillingSystem™ (flexibility, scalability, easy remote administration).
- Who the [censored] is RADIUS?
RADIUS protocol (Remote
Dial-In User Service) is one of the most popular AAA (remote authentication, authorization and accounting) protocols. Its initial field of application was network access but nowadays it is used widely by providers of other services, including voice over IP (VoIP).
Thanks to the extensibility resource provided by its developers and early adopters, RADIUS gave birth to a family of industrial standards, including the standard way of H.323 session description. RADIUS protocol is protected by an 128-bit MD5 encryption with the use of a unique (never-repeated) packet identifier and a shared secret never passed by network.
AMSD® RADIUS Server™ supports not only generic RADIUS protocol but also alternative, non-standard session flow if a certain RADIUS client violates a certain part of the specification (RFC).
Currently we have at least two solutions proven functional, with Cisco hardware and with Mediant gateways.
- Cisco H.323 compliant hardware support
Cisco gateways support (tested at
Cisco 2650 under IOS 12.2(8)T) includes reproduction of all AMSD® BillingSystem™ functions
including "hot billing" and interactive voice response (IVR).
- Mediant (AudioCodes) gateways support
AMSD® BillingSystem™ - Mediant2000 solution (under TrunkPack 1610 or higher) implements "warm" billing (accounting is performed at session termination), supports IVR and debitcard activation. More info on Mediant servers capabilities is available at the BrizNet Ltd site.
AMSD company is eager to test the compatibility of your RADIUS compliant hardware with AMSD® RADIUS Server™, with further integration, configuration and deployment assistance.
Characteristic features of AMSD® RADIUS Server™
AMSD® RADIUS Server™ has the following specific features making it different from other RADIUS servers available at the market:
The client data storage layer is an SQL data base, not the operating system. It means that you can rely on the centralized billing system in the fields of data integrity, visual presentation and security of user credentials. You will no more have to type config files like the following:
- just the same information will be generated automatically from three logically separate sources (subscriber management, account management, pricing policy) administrable by three logically different database operators (or one, combining the privileges of the three). Your RADIUS client will not have to track the remaining credit amount, it will only report the session time and, optionally, traffic transferred.
The highest accountable entity under AMSD® RADIUS Server™ is session, not packet. Therefore AMSD® RADIUS Server™ allows you to customize the session flow and process incoming RADIUS packets according to the current session statement, adding one more "fool proof" level to the protocol implementation.
AMSD® RADIUS Server™ functions
- Security and billing capabilities (AAA field)
- Procession of standard Access-Request è
- Step-by-step authentication (with or without the Access-Challenge tech),
allowing to identify different subscribers by different sets of credentials.
- Two methods of elapsed session time estimation before obtaining the precise Acct-Session-Time from the RADIUS client.
- Opening a session by Accounting-Start packet, or just after subscriber authorization, or by a special signal.
- Linking the accounting session (as a chain of packets) by the standard Acct-Session-Id attribute, or by the Class attribute, or by H.323 conference ID.
- Support of "how long left?" request without opening a new session (enabling "hot billing").
- Dealing with network delays, timeouts and non-standard session termination scenarios.
- Interaction with the subscriber (IVR)
AMSD® RADIUS Server™ includes an IVR forms (such as VXML forms) processor, understanding multiple h323-ivr-out attributes. The interactive voice response (IVR) supports debit card activation, reference output, phone book management etc.
AMSD® RADIUS Server™ processes MIAVA rules (Markup Initiative for Ad-lib
Value Articulation) of customizable speech synthesis. Support of MIAVA language on the RADIUS server side brings a significant facility to numeric value spelling, reduces the RADIUS client load, simplifies roaming and hardware upgrade. MIAVA is an easy tool to describe most Indo-European grammars, various (not only decimal) numeric notations, composition of various currency units (1 dollar = 100 cents, 1 pound = 20 shillings = 240 pences).
The current version of AMSD® RADIUS Server™ is supplied with MIAVA rule samples for Russian, English, German and Chinese languages.
Formal specifications and system requirements
AMSD® RADIUS Server™ implements the up-to-date specification of RADIUS protocol(access according to
RFC 2865, accounting according to RFC 2866; no problems with earlier RFC 2138 and RFC 2139 detected either).
H.323 session description is implemented according to
Cisco Systems vendor-specific instructions. More vendor-specific extensions are expected to be implemented in future versions (backward compatibility is guaranteed).
AMSD® RADIUS Server™ has been run under Windows NT, Windows 2000 and
Windows XP, and proven stable. AMSD® RADIUS Server™ may be installed either as a WinNT service (preferable) or run as a console application (for visual monitoring of client activity or like), on the same computer where the billing system is installed or on a different one. Integrated NT security may be used to access the SQL server.
AMSD® RADIUS Server™ uses UDP datagrams to communicate with the NAS (network access server, or RADIUS client); two configurable UDP ports are used (one if necessary). The NAS can be located in the same LAN, or remotely in the Internet, even behind a firewall.