|ClearBox Server v1.2 User's Guide|
Accounting is the process of keeping track of a user's activity while accessing the network resources, including the amount of time spent in the network, the services accessed while there and the amount of data transferred during the session. Accounting data is used for trend analysis, capacity planning, billing, auditing and cost allocation.
The RADIUS/TACACS+ client manufacturer will decide which types of accounting request are sent, and under which conditions. It's also the client's responsibility to ensure that the server receives accounting requests (in case of RADIUS). Most clients will retry periodically for an almost unlimited period of time until the server responds.
Independently from the authentication and the authorization, with RADIUS or TACACS+ the NAS usually sends start accounting messages to the server to indicate the beginning of an accounting session and stop messages to indicate that the accounting session is over.
The stop message usually contains also additional information related to the session which has just been ended, such as the duration (time) of the session and the quantity (traffic) of the data exchanged during the session.
Some NASes can be configured to send periodic update accounting messages when user is still working, and this message can contain interim data. These messages are used to record a "snapshot" of statistics regarding the connection. One message will contain the current value of every statistic that this NAS is capable of recording about this type of connection.
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