One way to manage how much data your users can use over a certain period of time is by implementing Quotas.
WHAT IS A QUOTA?
By giving your users a Quota, you can give your users a certain amount of data over a set period of time, and penalise users who exceed that quota by limiting the amount of bandwidth they can get.
SETTING UP A QUOTA LIMIT
In the Sonar GUI, navigate to System -> Billing Control. Here, you can manage and create Rate limits for users and specify data limits for users and groups.
- Click "Add New" to begin creation of a new Rate plan. This will open a new window where you can configure the appropriate options for your new rate limit.
- Give the Rate plan a meaningful name, something like "Student Quota" or "Staff Quota".
- If you're setting up a pay-per megabyte plan, you can set the Rate In and Rate Out for how much you want to charge per megabyte.
- If you're setting up just a standard quota limit based on how much megabytes a user has over a set period of time, you can set it in Bytes Limit (KB), for example, if you set it 100000, that gives your users a 100MB Quota.
- You can enter in a description if you like that explains what the Quota is set up for.
- The Notify User option, if ticked, sends the users an email letting them know what their quota is, or if you've changed their quota limit, it will notify them as well. The Notify Admin Email option gives you the option of sending a notification to a selected email address.
- Click OK to finish.
APPLYING THE QUOTA TO A GROUP
We are now ready to apply that rate limit to a group. In the Sonar GUI, navigate to Groups and select the Group you want to apply a quota limit to. Double click this group, it will open the Maintain Groups window.
- Click on Settings -> Billing tab to access the billing configuration settings for that group.
- Next to Billing Rates, click on the ellipsis button to select the appropriate rate limit you created earlier. When the window opens, click "Add" and select the billing rate you want. It will appear in the Group Billing window. It is now applied to the group, so you can close the window but clicking "Close".
- The Billing Cycle drop down menu allows you to select how long you want this group to have their quota limit. You can select from various periods of time, from day, week, month, year, etc.
- The Data Threshold option allows you to specify whether you want it to be Bytes In, or Combined. "Bytes In" only counts downloads towards their quota limit. "Combined" countes both uploads and downloads towards their quota limit.
- Effective Limit shows the maximum quota that you have set in the Billing Control option.
- The Data Accounting Source gives you the option of applying the quota to proxy traffic or firewall traffic. If both are ticked, it counts quota for things going through the proxy, as well as the firewall. If they are unticked, this does not count towards their quota.
- Proxy Charging Policy gives you the option of applying All Data to their quota limit, or Non-Cache data only. "All Data" means everything, including data grabbed from the cache will count towards the quota limit. "Non-Cache data" will only count data NOT coming from the cache.
That should be it! If you want users to be able to track their data usage, you will have to set up Internet Plans for this and link groups or users to that plan (see Creating an Internet Billing Plan). Users can view their data usage via the MySonar portal.