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Manual Chapter: Enforcing Bandwidth Control Provisioned by PCRF
Manual Chapter
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Overview: Enforcing bandwidth control provisioned on PCRF

Policy Enforcement Manager™ (PEM) can enforce bandwidth limits provisioned by the PCRF using dynamic PCC rules. You do this by creating a dynamic bandwidth controller with the name dynamic_spm_bwc_policy. This bandwidth controller must be created on the BIG-IP system® using this predefined name. It does not need to be associated with an enforcement policy in PEM. Subscribers are assigned bandwidth in proportion to their configured rates. So for example, if subscriber A is assigned 4Mbps, and B is assigned 8Mbps, B will always get twice the bandwidth that A gets.

Task Summary

Creating a dynamic bandwidth control policy for PCRF

To set up bandwidth control through PCRF, you must have bandwidth control rules configured on the PCRF.
You can create a dynamic bandwidth controller so that PEM™ can enforce the maximum bit rate configured on the PCRF. You must follow the steps exactly as described here using the specified name for the bandwidth controller, and you must create the associated categories.
  1. On the Main tab, click Acceleration > Bandwidth Controllers .
  2. Click Create.
  3. In the Name field, type the name dynamic_spm_bwc_policy.
  4. In the Maximum Rate field, type a number and select the unit of measure to indicate the total throughput allowed for the resource you are managing.
    The number must be in the range from 1 Mbps to 320 Gbps. This value is the amount of bandwidth available to all the connections going through this static policy.
  5. From the Dynamic list, select Enabled.
    The screen displays additional settings.
  6. In the Maximum Rate Per User field, type a number and select the unit of measure.
    For example, use 50Mbps.
    The number must be in the range from 1Mbps to 2Gbps. However, the value you use is just a place holder and is never used by the system. For this example, the value is overridden by the PCRF.
  7. Enable the Measure setting, if you want to measure bandwidth on all future instances of this bandwidth control policy.
    The system measures bandwidth with the frequency you specify in the Log Period setting, and sends it to the log publisher you specify using the Log Publisher setting.
  8. Leave the IP Marking (TOS/DSCP) and L2 Marking (802.1p) values set to Pass Through, the default value.
  9. Click Finished.

Note: After you finish configuring the bandwidth controller, the Bandwidth Controllers screen opens.

  1. Click the Bandwidth Control policy name, that you configured.
    The Bandwidth Controllers policy page opens.
  2. In the Categories field, add up to 32 categories of traffic that this bandwidth control policy manages.
    All the categories share the specified bandwidth, in accordance with the rate specified for each category.
    Note: Use the Categories setting only if you have not set values for the IP Marking (TOS/DSCP) or the L2 Marking (802.1p) setting.
  3. In the Category Name field, type a descriptive name for the category.
  4. In the Max Category Rate field, type a value to indicate the most bandwidth that this category of traffic can use, and select the unit of measure from the list, or select % and type a percentage from 1 to 100.
    If you specify a rate, the number must be in the range from 500 Kbps to the rate specified for the Maximum Rate Per User setting. A percentage indicates that this category can use up to the specified percentage of the maximum per-user rate. These values are upper limits (not minimum or guaranteed), so the sum can exceed the value you specified for the Maximum Rate Per User setting.
  5. From the IP Marking (TOS/DSCP) list, select Specify and type a number between 0 and 63 to assign a Type of Service (ToS) level to packets that exceed the Max Category Rate.
    If you do not want to set a ToS level, maintain the default setting, Pass Through.
  6. From the L2 Marking (802.1p) list, select Specify and type a number between 0 and 7 to assign a Quality of Service (QoS) level to packets that exceed the Max Category Rate.
    If you do not want to set a QoS level, maintain the default setting, Pass Through.
  7. Click Finished.
If this is the first bandwidth control policy created on a BIG-IP® device, the system also creates a default static bandwidth control policy named default-bwc-policy to handle any traffic that is not included in the policy you created. If you delete all bandwidth controllers, this policy is also deleted.
For PEM to enforce bandwidth control, you need to create a listener (Policy Provisioning and Online Charging Virtuals) with a Gx interface configured.

Creating a listener for subscriber discovery and policy provisioning

You can create listeners that specify how to handle traffic for policy enforcement. Creating a listener does preliminary setup tasks on the BIG-IP® system for application visibility, intelligent steering, bandwidth management, and reporting. You can also connect with a Policy and Charging Rules Function (PCRF) over a Gx interface.
  1. On the Main tab, click Subscriber Management > Control Plane Listeners .
    The Control Plane Listeners page opens.
  2. In the Policy Provisioning and Online Charging Virtuals area, click Add.
    The New Configure Diameter Endpoint Provisioning and Online Charging screen opens.
  3. In the Name field, type a unique name for the listener.
  4. In the Description field, type a description of the listener.
  5. For the VLANs and Tunnels setting, move the VLANs and tunnels that you want to monitor from the Available list to the Selected list.
  6. To connect to a PCRF, from the Diameter Endpoint list, select Enabled and select Gx or Sdfrom the Supported Apps options.
  7. In the Product Name field, type the product name which is used to communicate with the PCRF.
  8. In the Origin Host field, type the fully qualified domain name of the PCRF or external policy server, for example, ocs.xnet.com.
  9. In the Origin Realm field, type the realm name or network in which the PCRF resides, for example, xnet.com.
  10. In the Destination Host field, type the destination host name of the PCRF or external policy server, for example, pcrfdest.net.com.
  11. In the Destination Realm field, type the realm name or network of the PCRF, for example, net.com.
  12. For the Pool Member Configuration setting, add the PCRF servers that are to be members of the Gx endpoint pool. Type the Member IP Address and Port number, then click Add.
  13. In the Message Retransmit Delay field, type the number of milliseconds to wait before retransmitting unanswered messages in case of failure from the BIG-IP system to the PCRF over the Gx interface. The default value is 1500.
  14. In the Message Max Retransmit field, type the maximum number of times that messages can be retransmitted from the BIG-IP system to the PCRF. The default value is 2.
  15. In the Fatal Grace Time field, type the time period in seconds that a diameter connection can remain disconnected before the system terminates all sessions associated with that diameter endpoint. The default value is 500.
  16. Click Finished.
    The Policy Enforcement Manager creates a listener.
When you create a listener, the Policy Enforcement Manager™ also creates virtual servers for each type of traffic (TCP, UDP, or both), and a virtual server for HTTP traffic. The system sets up classification and assigns the appropriate policy enforcement profile to the virtual servers. The system also creates a virtual server for the Gx interface with a diameter endpoint profile. If you are connecting to a RADIUS authentication server, a virtual server for RADIUS is also added.

Implementation result

When traffic flows through the BIG-IP® system, the system limits the aggregated bandwidth for all subscribers to the Maximum Rate specified in the dynamic_spm_bwc_policy bandwidth control policy. The PCRF provides the Maximum Rate Per User for each subscriber, overriding the value in the bandwidth control policy. Policy Enforcement Manager™ restricts subscribers to the maximum user rate, and bandwidth is spread among subscribers fairly, on a best effort basis.

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