EdgeRouters from Ubiquiti have been deployed in WISP networks dating back to the product launch in December of 2010. While lacking in speed management features, they more or less compete on most of the points of interest for WISPs. If I was a Ubiquiti shop, I could see the value as they would integrate directly with UNMS, providing a single application for network management.
Unfortunately, it is really hard to design a network with a single vendor. Each company in this market space has flagship products that perform better than others. Using the right tool (or in this case, product) for the job is critical, regardless of the vendor.
The biggest drawback of EdgeRouters is the lack of bandwidth management features from a provisioning standpoint. Unless you are using UNMS, there is not an automated entry point for third-party vendors to integrate.
If you have EdgeRouters or are curious about them, let’s discuss the ways to integrate them with our VISP billing system for automated suspension, speed, and bandwidth rules.
EdgeRouters as a DHCP-Relay
The recommended path is to configure the EdgeRouter to be a DHCP Relay pointing back to a Mikrotik DHCP server somewhere on your network.
If you have an appliance like Preseem or Saisei, which both have direct integrations with VISP, the Mikrotik could even be running on a virtual machine using the Cloud Hosted Router (CHR) version of Mikrotik. Otherwise, an inline Mikrotik somewhere within the flow of traffic is required.
For small to medium-sized WISPs, we often see this functionality performed on the Core router at the NOC(s).
EdgeRouters as a PPPoE Server
Yep… PPPoE is still a thing. Honestly, I am surprised. There is a lot of overhead and customer impacting issues. They range from MTU problems to customer routers requiring reconfiguration when replaced.
Regardless, we still see requests for PPPoE from time to time. Sometimes this can be the acquisition of a legacy network that you didn’t design. While this method will handle authentication and deny access to the network for non-payment, a Preseem or Saisei appliance would still be required for bandwidth control.
In conclusion, there are a few ways we can work around and integrate our solutions with EdgeRouters, however, they typically require a third party appliance, Preseem or Saisei, or a MikroTik router.
Whatever your specific case may be, VISP.net has dedicated integration and network engineers available to you during your on-boarding to develop a solution to best implement our automation and authentication into your specific network. Give us a call at 541.955.6900 or reach out to us and learn more today.
Jeremy Davis – WISP Engineer and Consultant at Visp.net
A wireless/network/software engineer with 17 years of experience in the WISP industry, Jeremy has a deep respect for WISP owners and operators as today’s explorers. They use their drive and ingenuity to connect rural citizens with internet service; and they always get the last mile deployed. Jeremy’s adult life has been spent in this industry, forging a strong emotional bond and commitment to WISP client success.