North American Network Operators Group

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Re: Metered IP billing is indeed possible

  • From: Vadim Antonov
  • Date: Wed Aug 26 02:22:13 1998

Bruce Hahne wrote:
> So, umm, who here recently claimed that packet metering and billing in an
> ISP/IP setting is technically impossible?  In my mailbox this evening I see:
> > Cisco, Solect Offer Usage-Based Billing Solution
> >
> > Cisco Systems, Inc., a global leader in Internet
> > networking, and Solect Technology Group, a leading provider
> > of infrastructure software solutions for service providers,
> > have announced current availability of IAF/NetFlow, an
> > advanced usage-based billing system integrating Cisco's
> > NetFlow software into Solect's Internet Administration
> > Framework (IAF) product used by high-speed, broadband
> > network and service providers for commercial and business
> > users.

Aw.  A sign of neophyte.  If Cisco sells something it doesn't mean
it makes any sense.  Where Cisco (Con)Fusion went?  And, yeah, the
wonderful clustering solution to the eternal not-enough-speed-
and-not-enough-ports screams from ISPs.

Did anyone actually try to collect detailed billing-ready information
on customer traffic flows on any decent size backbone?

Oh, well.  That kind of traffic analysis can make sense in corporate
networks (though fast LANs are _cheap_).  Few people really understand
how huge the Internet is.  So huge, in fact, that anything requiring
more than O(log N) operations to compute is not feasible on a daily
(where N is the number of end-hosts).

And yes, Internet is growing faster than box performance -- so things
which are not feasible now aren't going to be feasible tomorrow.  Quite
opposite, if anything.  How about collecting billing records at a
per second?  That kind of speed is demonstrably doable with today's