Dynamic Bandwidth Shaper for ISPs, the Hospitality Industry, and Education
 
Frequently Asked Questions
General FAQs
Q: What is IPES?
Q: Do you support the management of any other routers besides Mikrotik?
Q: What versions of the Mikrotik Router OS are supported by the DBS?
Q: Can ISPs write their own scripts for traffic shaping?
Q: What happens if the DBS cannot connect to a router that has had its queues reshaped by the DBS?
Q: What configuration changes need to be made to our Mikrotik routers for management by the DBS?
Q: Can the DBS be used with a DHCP server?
Q: Can the DBS be used with a Radius server?
Q: Is the DBS currently integrated with any existing ISP billing solutions? If not, can it be?
Q: Has the DBS been integrated with any hotspot servers?
Q: How many routers can the DBS manage within the service terms of say, 500 IP addresses?
Q: Can we customize and brand the subscribers' bandwidth usage statistics web page with our own look and feel?
Q: How does the DBS manage Quality of Service (QoS) issues for a network?

Appliance Platform related FAQs
Q: How does the DBS staff access the Appliance for support purposes when it's installed behind our firewall?
Q: How is the DBS software updated on the Appliance?
Q: How do I find the IP address of the Appliance?
Q: Can I manually configure a static IP Address?
Q: Do you provide an Uninterruptible power supply (UPS) with the DBS Appliance purchase?

Cloud Platform related FAQs
Q: How does the DBS gain access to internal network routers?
Q: I'm in the middle of nowhere and my ISP runs off satellite. Will the round trip time (RTT) affect the DBS management?
Q: How is a particular subscriber identified when accessing their own bandwidth usage statistics without a unique login?


General FAQs

Q: What is IPES?

A: Internet Protocol based Entertainment Services (IPES) includes, but is not limited to, Internet video services such as Netflix, YouTube, and Hulu.

Q: Do you support the management of any other routers besides Mikrotik?

A: No, not at this time. It's our belief that Mikrotik routers and the Router OS provide the best cost, versatility, and speed of any router on the market. If you don't currently use Mikrotik routers, no problem! Simply pick one up (power appropriate) and drop it in the middle of your bandwidth pipe and the DBS can manage your entire network provided all subscribers have a unique IP address.

Made for Mikrotik

Q: What versions of the Mikrotik Router OS are supported by the DBS?

A: We've tested on versions 4.16, 5.0, 5.1, 5.5, 5.6, 5.7, 5.12, 5.20 - 5.25 extensively. Support for 6.0, and 6.1 is now available. There's a chance that versions prior to 4.16 would work fine but we can't guarantee it.

Q: Can ISPs write their own scripts for traffic shaping?

A: Yes. With version 1.1, customers are now given access to the script directory via an FTP connection. Scripts are written in Java and can be downloaded from the DBS server, modified locally with development tools such as Eclipse, and then uploaded back to the server. The DBS monitors the script directory for changes. When a change is detected the script is automatically compiled, and if successful, is hot swapped out with the currently executing script.

Q: What happens if the DBS cannot connect to a router that has had its queues reshaped by the DBS?

A: At the ISPs option, fail-safe scripts can be installed onto each router that could restore all router queues to a default setting after a designated time of no connection by the DBS.

Q: What configuration changes need to be made to our Mikrotik routers for management by the DBS?

A: You'll need to open the API port in the firewall, as well as enable the API.See "Configuring your Mikrotik Router for use with the DBS" for more information.

Q: Can the DBS be used with a DHCP server?

A: Yes. In the hospitality industry it would be common to allocate a block of IP addresses in the DBS that are automatically assigned by DHCP that have a basic service level. If a guest (or subscriber) needs a higher level of service, the MAC address of the guest would need to be made static on the DHCP server.

When using a Mikrotik DHCP server, the DBS seamlessly integrates with DHCP through its MAC Ticket Request system. A ticket is entered by an administrator with the guest's MAC address of their laptop, or other device, and the desired tier of service. The DBS then monitors the DHCP leases and automatically identifies the guest upon connection to the network (within five minutes or less) and configures their tier of service. If an expiration date / time is entered on the ticket the previous settings are restored at the end of their term and the guest is automatically returned to the basic level of service.

Q: Can the DBS be used with a Radius server?

A: Yes, when a Mikrotik router provides the DHCP pool on behalf of a Radius server. Please see the previous Q & A on using the DBS with DHCP above for more details.

Without a Mikrotik DHCP server it's problematic, but sometimes yes. A Radius server traditionally manages access to a network by MAC address, where the DBS manages bandwidth by unique IP address. Therefore, only after a particular MAC address has been bound to a unique IP address can the DBS properly manage the bandwidth.

Q: Is the DBS currently integrated with any existing ISP billing solutions? If not, can it be?

A: None yet. However, a new Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) based API is now available, which provides access to virtually all of the configuration functions of DBS' web based user interface. Thus, a seamless integration with the DBS is now possible with any existing ISP billing solution that can support the SOAP protocol.

The DBS API is built upon Apache's Axis2 Web Service container for Java, which enables quick and easy development with tools such as Eclipse.

Q: Has the DBS been integrated with any hotspot servers?

A: Yes. We're now beta testing a companion product to the DBS called the Self-Service Web Portal (SSWP), which integrates Mikrotik's Hotspot Server, DBS, and an e-commerce bandwidth shopping cart into one glorious solution for hospitality venues. For more information, click here.

Q: How many routers can the DBS manage within the service terms of say, 500 IP addresses?

A: Actually the DBS service charges are based upon the total number of potential subscribers managed within the contract. Therefore, there is no limit on the number of routers managed.

Q: Can we customize and brand the subscribers' bandwidth usage statistics web page with our own look and feel?

A: Yes. We can provide the basic web page needed to display subscribers' graphs, you can make your template changes, and then return it to us and we'll post it to your account. Alternatively, you can host the page on your own website and dynamically request graphs directly from the DBS' image server.

Q: How does the DBS manage Quality of Service (QoS) issues for a network?

A: The DBS doesn't manage or address QoS issues. For example, a Mikrotik Firewall can place VoIP outside of the subscribers management and give VoIP priority. QoS tagged packets shouldn't be dynamically managed anyway, which is especially true when IP packets are properly tagged as they're created.

Appliance Platform related FAQs

Q: How does the DBS staff access the Appliance for support purposes when it's installed behind our firewall?

A: There are two options here:

The Appliance come with two LAN ports. One port can be connected on the public side of your network and accessed via a individual Public IP. The second port can be connected to your internal network. There is no internal route between the interfaces so they can safety be connected to two separate networks.

The second option requires that port forwards be setup on the public side of your network. Our support staff requires access to the appliance via internal ports 22, 80, and 8080.

Q: How is the DBS software updated on the Appliance?

A: Our support staff needs to be able to login to the Appliance via SSH to perform software updates or to extend the digital subscription certificate.

Q: How do I find the IP address of the Appliance?

A: By default, the Appliance's LAN ports are configured to use DHCP to dynamically assign IP addresses. If your using a Mikrotik DHCP server simply, go to the [Leases] tab for the DHCP server and look for the \“DBS Server".

Q: Can I manually configure a static IP Address?

A: No. The Appliance is configured to use the DHCP protocol. If you need have static IPs assigned then you'll need to let us know before shipment so we can configure it for you. In a future version, we plan to provide the ability to reconfigure LAN ports.

Q: Do you provide an Uninterruptible power supply (UPS) with the DBS Appliance purchase?

A: No. An uninterruptible power supply is highly recommended but must be purchased separately.

Cloud Platform related FAQs

Q: How does the DBS gain access to internal network routers?

A: The DBS gains access to routers on internal NATed networks through the technique of port forwarding.

You must configure a router with a public / static IP address where the DBS can make it's initial connection, open the desired ports in the router's firewall to only the DBS server, and finally set up individual IP port forwards for each additional router that you want the DBS to manage. For the sake of this conversation it's assumed that you're using a Mikrotik router as the DBS primary point of contact.

Security is a concern here and when you open the desired firewall port(s) associated with each port forward, make sure that only the DBS server is allowed to pass through and make a connection to your internal network by specifying the server's IP on the firewall rule with the parameter “src-address=[Server IP]”.

Port forwarding is a name given to the technique of translating the address and port number of an IP packet to a new destination. For example, using Mikrotik's firewall facility the following shows you how to forward port (tcp 49152) to an internal IP using a NAT destination of 69.69.69.69 (an example static IP), 192.168.1.101 is the desired internal destination, and port 8728 is the default Mikrotik API port used by the DBS.

/ip firewall nat add chain=dstnat dst-address=69.69.69.69 protocol=tcp dst-port=49152 \
    action=dst-nat to-addresses=192.168.1.101 to-ports=8728

Q: I'm in the middle of nowhere and my ISP runs off satellite. Will the round trip time (RTT) affect the DBS management?

A: No. The DBS operates upon the routers' statistics and not the time it takes to collect those statistics.

Q: How is a particular subscriber identified when accessing their own bandwidth usage statistics without a unique login?

A: If the subscriber's IP is public then the bandwidth usage statistics web page can be assessed directly on the DBS web server. If the subscriber's IP is NATed then you'll need to set up a local web server on your network and serve up the page directly, or alternatively perform a URL redirect to the DBS web server that includes the subscriber's internal IP address.

URL for subscribers with public IPs:

http://{DBS Hosted Instance}/subscriberView.php

URL redirect for NATed IPs:

http://{DBS Hosted Instance}/subscriberView.php?as={subscriber's IP}

... the Dynamic Bandwidth Shaper is killing it for us. Over the Easter weekend we had 18 guests in one RV park land in the “penalty box” before the 24 hour period was up. Without the DBS the Metro Wi-fi would have been impacted by those people who overuse the service ...

River District Manager, Swift Wireless

 

“Automatically manage open Wi-Fi traffic 24/7”

 

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