Configuring a Daily Usage Quota Policy
Posted by Sachin Mehra on 27 August 2010 01:06 PM
Daily Quota (DQ) policies help service providers enforce "network fair usage". Using DQ policies,  subscribers can be restricted to a maximum download (or upload) limit per day. Apart from the data transfer limit, subscribers may also be assigned a "time spent on network" threshold.

The DQ limits are apart from the usual monthly or billing cycle usage limits that may also be set on a Rate Plan and consequently a subscriber.

DQ policies must be linked to a Rate Plan which a subscriber has purchased. DQ policies are configured by editing a Rate Plan.

When editing a DQ policy, the following parameters must be set:

Field Name    : Enabled/Disabled
Set if the policy should be applied. Default is disabled.

Field Name     : Volume Restriction Type
Various options are possible
  • None - Policy will not limit usage by volume of bytes in subscriber sessions
  • Upload and Download - Policy will limit usage by volume of bytes transferred as a sum total of upload & download bytes
  • Download - Policy will limit usage by volume of bytes downloaded
  • Upload - Policy will limit usage by volume of bytes uploaded
  • Download and Upload separately - Policy will limit usage by volume of bytes transferred in either direction. The limit will be triggered if either of the two hit the target value

Filed Name    : Time Restriction Type
  • None - Policy will not limit usage by time connected to the network
  • Hours - Policy will limit usage by target hours connected to the network

Field Name     : Inclusion/Exclusion Time bands
Sometime you may want certain days or time bands (peak days, holidays) to be included/excluded when calculating Daily Quotas. These exception (or inclusions) can be addressed by creating entries in the time-band table.

Some examples of usage of time-bands could be:
  • Night time surfing needs to be exempted from DQ calculations
  • Certain days like weekends need to be exempted from DQ calculations

DQ policies can also be used to trigger automated actions when a given quota threshold is reached. For example, one may wish to block a subscriber if he/she has already consumed their daily quota on a given day.

The UNIFY handles such automated actions as an integral part of the daily quota policy. Following action types are supported:
  • Block Account - block any further network usage of the account
  • Change QoS - degrade the service to a lower CIR/BIR data rate. E.g. Downgrade from 2Mbps to 64kbps to avoid continued high usage by subscriber

For these automated actions to be triggered, administrators need to tell the UNIFY how and when such actions will be set off. These triggers are defined as part of the DQ itself in the form of min-to-max usage ranges denoted in a percentage.

For example, in a 512kbps Internet plan, one may set the daily quota to 1Gbyte Download/day. The plan may then require that upon usage reaching 900Mbytes in any given day, the speed (QoS) should drop to 128kbps automatically. Further, if the usage exceeds 1Gbyte on the same day, the QoS should further drop to 64k. Lastly, if the usage continues and crosses 1.15Gbytes in the same day, then block the account.

For configuration of the above example, one needs to create multiple min-to-max threshold pairs that will trigger the associated actions. The threshold pairs are created as percentage minimum and maximum values thereby creating a range of usage. E.g. 900Mbytes-to-1Gbyte range, 1Gbyte-to-1.15Gbyte range and 1.15Gbyte-to-Infinity range are required to be created to address our example above. 

Min Threshold (Inclusive)    :
Set this to be the minimum utilization in percentage of the daily quota before any action will be triggered. For example, 90% to address the sample case discussed above to set a limit of 900Mbytes out of a daily quota of 1Gbytes. Once this threshold is reached, the action will be triggered and can be "Change QoS" or "Block Account".

Max Threshold (Exclusive)    :
Set this to be the maximum utilization in percentage of the daily quota which will establish the upper range of the threshold. A value of zero will mean infinity. Again from our above example, this could be set to 1Gbyte to address the range of 900Mbytes-to-1Gbytes. 

You may set any number of such Min-to-Max threshold pairs as long as they do not overlap or contradict each other. The UNIFY will not validate this logic so be careful. Thresholds also are valid for qutoas set in bytes, time or both.
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