Etherway — Cost-efficient Network Equipment Upgrade

February 23, 2021
Etherway — Cost-efficient Network Equipment Upgrade
The challenge of replacing outdated equipment is always a high-cost issue for many operators. Frequent network crashes and equipment breakdowns affect the quality of communication services, which negatively affects loyalty and customer flow.

Etherway is an Internet Service Provider based in Cheboksary, Russia. The company provides home and public Wi-Fi, digital TV, CCTV, and telephony to more than 1000 houses connected to the network.

The provider needed a solution for:

  • Replacement of unstable hardware
  • Traffic control and analysis
  • Application of tariff plan policy to subscribers
  • Data collection

VAS Experts offers a BNG solution that is affordable even for small operators and helps to build a reliable network core.

Tasks

Originally built on SmartEdge SE100, the network scheme required an upgrade after the Ericsson company has announced the end of support. In fact, every 2 years the equipment was completely out of order, and network cards broke down periodically. Subscribers began to notice interruptions in the quality of services.

When choosing an alternative, the following functions were important for the Etherway provider:

  • traffic policing and prioritization
  • authorization and tariffication for subscribers
  • data collection for the Regulatory Compliance task

Affordable price and uninterrupted operation of equipment and software also mattered for a small operator.

Choice

SSG-20 (10 Gbit full-duplex) with BNG, DPI, CG-NAT functions, and statistics upload for LI

3n+1 redundancy scheme

 

woman in a server room

Solution

By the time of the network upgrade, the ISP had already implemented the Stingray platform for traffic filtering according to governmental blocklists. Stingray Service Gateway platform has become a solution for several tasks at once: BNG in L2 and L3 modes, Carrier-Grade NAT, prioritizing external traffic, filtering by lists in accordance with federal communications laws, and data collection for Lawful Interception.

Solution characteristics:

  • BNG manufacturer: VAS Experts
  • Modes: L3 IPoE, L2 DHCP, L2 VLAN/ARP
  • DHCP mode Radius: Proxy
  • Access: Ethernet FTTB
  • Billing: Hydra

DHCP operates in Proxy mode — traffic that comes via DHCP protocol is transmitted to Radius, which determines itself: what kind of subscriber it is, what type of authorization it has, and what kind of IP address to allocate, what policy to assign, and what services to provide.

Network scheme

etherway network scheme

Result

Based on the results of Stingray SG implementation, Etherway operator:

  • replaced NAT 1:1 technology with a specific external IP with L2 DHCP
  • prioritizes subscriber traffic by protocols which lead to increasing of Quality of Experience
  • fulfills the requirements of the legislation in terms of Lawful Interception
  • uses all the necessary BNG-related functionality.

After understanding how the solution works, implementation was easy. Thanks to the VAS Experts engineers and developers for the patient and thorough explanation of the BNG principles and tips on how best to configure the functionality.

Andrey Ermishin, Etherway Architect Engineer
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