Outsourcing a modem pool for dialup? Any advice?

Steve Bertrand iaccounts at ibctech.ca
Fri Jun 10 15:02:19 GMT 2005


> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-freebsd-questions at freebsd.org 
> [mailto:owner-freebsd-questions at freebsd.org] On Behalf Of 
> Philip Hallstrom
> Sent: Thursday, June 09, 2005 1:38 PM
> To: freebsd-questions at freebsd.org
> Subject: Outsourcing a modem pool for dialup? Any advice?
> Hi all -
>  	Our company has a product such that a small server is 
> installed at each customer site.  This server dials up to the 
> Internet every night and exchanges some content with a 
> central server in our data center.  Total transaction takes 
> about 5 minutes.
> Customers can have multiple sites.  Our largets to date has 
> three, but some potentials have several hundred.
> In the cases where the site does not have an existing 
> Internet connection we currently use dialup via a major ISP.
> This works for now, but won't for the long haul for a couple 
> of reasons:
> - they all are all sharing the same username and password (yes yes, I
> know...)
> - we're moving into canada and this ISP doesn't have many 
> local numbers up there.
> - Dealing with local numbers and their somewhat frequent 
> changing is a real headache.
> What I want is a modem pool with one local number (tied into an 800
> number) where I can create as many username/password pairs as 
> needed.  I want that local number to never change :-)
> Now... to make it fun...
> - No, I can't install a dialup server in our corporate datacenter.
> - No, I can't setup a freebsd server in satellite office.
> That leaves me with an outsourced solution that needs to work 
> with FreeBSD's PPP.
> Anyone know of anyone that does this sort of thing?  Or an 
> ISP that has a service geared towards this (our current one does not).

Bell Canada can sell you *virtual* dial up ports, and provide you with a
realm (@domain.com). They handle all the dial-up connections for you,
and they handle all the bandwidth as well (on exception of the data that
crosses into your data centre from the clients devices).

All you need is a FBSD box running FreeRADIUS, as when the user dials
in, they will only pass a RADIUS request to you, and your RADIUS server
will allow/deny the login attempt.

They have flexible plans as your needs grow. If you move, it still
doesn't matter. Everything is on their end, on exception of your RADIUS
server. So if you move, you inform them of the new IP for your RAD
server, they redirect the requests for your realm to the new IP and
voila, back in business again.

So, technically, you can go cross border or wherever. The changes are
minimal, and since you control the CPE equipment, you can prepare for
changes in your data storage server (or cluster) IP address(es) on your
client equipment any time.

Saves you from having to handle changes, as well as takes the headache
of managing RAS equipment off your shoulders.

For instance, this is how AOL Canada provides country wide service,
without having a single equipment room in the country. It's all
virtually done, through the big Telco's, and the data simply flows via
TCP/IP to their servers/equipment in the US.


> Thanks!
> -philip
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