in vs. out

wlan at wlan at
Thu Oct 4 08:11:10 CEST 2007

>> In RFC 2866, it says:
>>   Acct-Input-Octets =  This attribute indicates how many octets have
>> been received from the port over the course of this service being  
>> provided.
>   Remember, this is from the view that users connect to a port on the
> NAS.  So data received "from the port" means "from the user".  See  
> also
> the Livingston Portmaster documentation:
>   They are the people who wrote the original RADIUS specification, so
> they should know what it means.

It is curious, then, why the RFC isn't as definitive in the  
definition... I suppose it is intentionally left open for vendor  
interpretation. As such, portmaster being more specific as it relates  
to their products isn't surprising. But, is that the 'standard', a  
'best practice', or just one vendor's (albeit, a very in-the-know  
vendor's) implementation? I do agree with the point of view (of the  
port), in theory. However, in practice, I guess the best answer is  
that it is vendor specific.. hmm.

>> In the manual of a popular commercial access controller, it says:
>> Acct-Input-Octets =  Number of octets/bytes received by the customer.
>   That is wrong.  It is number of bytes received FROM the customer, TO
> the NAS.
>> Which is a rather "outward" way of looking at the "port" referred  
>> to in
>> RFC. I have also seen it defined in the reverse way. To be  
>> standard with
>> commercial gear, I have taken the above definition as being the  
>> 'right
>> way' ... other opinions?
>   Follow the standards.  Do not follow broken vendors.

It actually isn't just that one vendor... in fact, if not mistaken,  
much of the commercial wlan gear I've worked with used the above  
meaning. It would be curious to see a list of vendors and how they  
implemented their accounting...  if we all checked the manuals of the  
devices we use, we could all help build that list in the freeradius  


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