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8 posts

Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 79270 23-Jul-2007 11:02
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Bung:
Shturm:

Sorry to drag this out, but the Telecom NZ, Ltd/Xtra "technician" claimed to be pinging (and receiving a response from) a device which was not plugged into the network or even powered on.



The term technician is used almost as loosely as "engineer".

These days are you even speaking to someone from Xtra or Telecom let alone somebody with a technical background until your fault has been escalated upwards.

The only problem I've had was the initial install when the call center operator assured me that the problem was a locked port and he had reset it. Next day the fault was looked at again by someone else who understood what the mistake was and did a reset that worked. Obviously the system isn't fool proof :)




I couldn't agree more. In the case outlined above the Telecom/Xtra staff always claimed to have remotely unlocked the port even though they'd initially denied it was a Telecom/Xtra fault and even though the fault was still evident. It wasn't until the guys from Downer Engineering travelled to the exchange and reset the port on the equipment there that the issue was ever resolved.

Somebody told me that Orcon is/was very geek-friendly and had actual technical staff rather than clueless $10-per-hour folk reading scripts. How true that is I don't know but it sounds wonderful after dealing with all these people who know nothing but are working towards MS-cert. ;-)

Oh and I have many actual engineer friends (because of the industry I'm in). Guys who spent years at universities obtaining actual, real Engineering Degrees. They get *very* cranky when hearing others without uni engineering degrees claiming to be "engineers"! :-)

836 posts

Ultimate Geek

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  Reply # 79459 24-Jul-2007 17:11
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The "ATM Ping" is called an ATM OAM ping, you either do it segment (to the next device on the PVC path) or end to end (strangely enough end to end over the PVC).

FFI http://www.cisco.com/univercd/cc/td/doc/product/software/ios120/120newft/120limit/120s/120s21/12atmpng.htm

ISPs use a variety of measures to bill customers, mostly based on the networks they sell or resell and how they wish to bill for data. Common ones include RADIUS session figures, Netflow, per port and a combination of the above.

8 posts

Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 79510 24-Jul-2007 21:51
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Fraktul: The "ATM Ping" is called an ATM OAM ping, you either do it segment (to the next device on the PVC path) or end to end (strangely enough end to end over the PVC).

FFI http://www.cisco.com/univercd/cc/td/doc/product/software/ios120/120newft/120limit/120s/120s21/12atmpng.htm

ISPs use a variety of measures to bill customers, mostly based on the networks they sell or resell and how they wish to bill for data. Common ones include RADIUS session figures, Netflow, per port and a combination of the above.


But it still won't ping a device that isn't connected to a/the network. ;-)

27 posts

Geek


  Reply # 79655 25-Jul-2007 18:08
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Back to the topic "how" - from my experience, the easiest way is to try to put in a false username/password, if you are still able to get a connection, then it's identified by line; otherwise mostly likely be user name or IP.

59 posts

Master Geek

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  Reply # 79669 25-Jul-2007 20:01
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nhe911: Back to the topic "how" - from my experience, the easiest way is to try to put in a false username/password, if you are still able to get a connection, then it's identified by line; otherwise mostly likely be user name or IP.


That would depend on the plan that you're on.  Go Large is non authenticated so you can put whatever you want in it and still connect.  WBS (like the old Jetstream) is counted on the line but still needs to have a valid username and password to authenticate and UBS is done by user so authenticated and needs a valid username or password.

26 posts

Geek


  Reply # 81462 7-Aug-2007 15:24
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Shturm

I love your story! Reminds me of the good old days from working on a broadband helpdesk.

The locked ports you speak of were infact little devices that looked like a 4 port switch called 'Conklins'. Having to manage and fix these was not being caught with your pants down, it was more like dropping the soap in a prison shower and being gang raped!

Conklins (i'm not sure what you know about them) are like small routers. They allow 8 phone lines to be connected to them and enable broadband. You can attach upto 6 more expansion units to the conklin to give it 48 ports. This was useful for telecom where they could place them in small roadside cabinets in rural areas. This all sounds good - except, although you can connect 8 lines to the unit and 8 lines to each expansion, each unit could only handle a 2Mbit PCM link. So if all 8 lines were connected, they would all have to share a 2Mbit link.

They also behaived like a cheap and nasty hub/switch and after so many data packets had been through them, they would just die, for no apparent reason. I know this because looking at the management console of several hundered of these little buggers, more than half of them would be red to indicate a fault/locked port.

When the helpdesk said everything was fine their side, they were 50/50 telling truth/lies. First they do an ATN check which on a conklin, only checks to the port, and if it was locked, to the ATM testing interface, it looked like the port was live. If that particulr agent had access to the tools to manage the conklins and ports they would have then seen the port was locked (perhaps not as the conklin can take quite some time to update its management application) and clicking the "unlock" option had about a 1/10 chance of working.

I do feel soory for you and anyone else on a conklin. Telecom have been doing their very best to remove these devices from the network because it is costing them HEAPS to run them. They are now being swapped out with ASAM's in exchanges and mini asam/isams in cabinets which are much more reliable and efficient.

2020 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 81482 7-Aug-2007 18:19
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To answer the initial question:

RADIUS records.

When you sign into your ISP you authentic, this creates a RADIUS start message. The ISP's router starts counting all data on that PPP session that's been setup. When you disconnect, and at fixed times, the router (ISP's, not yours) will generate RADIUIS accounting records, which is sent back to the RADIUS logging device in the ISP's network. These records include the amount of data that's been sent/received (as recorded by the router)

By going through and looking at those RADIUS records, an ISP can calculate how much data you've used.

This is obviously quite a simplified breakdown of events, but it's pretty much how it happens.

836 posts

Ultimate Geek

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  Reply # 81492 7-Aug-2007 19:36
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If your using PPP then this is one way yes - As I mentioned above there are many different ways depending on what the network access is and how this is provided in conjunction with how you wish to bill :)

The main problem with relying on just PPP session figures is that the PPP session counters count everything and you may not want to bill for everything, eg think VoIP traffic - you may use a combination of approaches in this instance.

24 posts

Geek


  Reply # 81560 8-Aug-2007 12:24
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Heres a good link on how most ISP's (AFAIK) would do accounting.

http://www2.rad.com/networks/2000/radius/account.htm

B - Callplus/Slingshot Operations

836 posts

Ultimate Geek

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  Reply # 81642 8-Aug-2007 21:41
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Hey guys - I've just found this great thing call RADIUS!

Comes with a government health warning that it may cause inability to read threads fully before posting, so user beware!

1240 posts

Uber Geek

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  Reply # 81651 8-Aug-2007 21:55
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Clearly they count the packets carried by the pigeons...

24 posts

Geek


  Reply # 81677 9-Aug-2007 08:13
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Fossie: Clearly they count the packets carried by the pigeons...


Thats a secondary confirmation method ... :)

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