Edge Connect Quick Start Guide

 

Prerequisites

Prior to purchasing the Edge Connect API, it is extremely important to verify that the Product complies with the following:

First, Edge Connect does not include a CBRS Access Point (AP) or associated CBRS Network setup requirements, such as connectivity to the Spectrum Access System (SAS). If you do not have a pre-existing CBRS Network, please consider deploying one or contact one of Alef’s partners who can help you deploy one.

Secondly, you will need a device that is compatible with Band 48 i.e. CBRS. Here is a list of Native CBRS devices currently available in the market.

Introduction

Take control of your network with Alef’s Private Edge Platform. By leveraging Edge Connect, any enterprise can deploy and commission a private LTE network in minutes. Edge Connect perfectly integrates mobile infrastructure and network management expertise in the cloud for economies of scale and maintaining low latency application performance, as well as operational efficiencies for the Enterprise customer.

The rest of this document will go through every step from creating an account on the Alef Developer Portal to the final configuration of the product. If any issues are encountered, please reach out to support@alefedge.com for assistance.

Create Developer Private Edge Portal Account

Prior to subscribing to any service that Alef offers, the user must create an Alef Developer Portal Account. This section will take the reader through every step of the account creation process. To begin, please go to developer.alefedge.com and follow the directions below.

Begin Sign Up Process

Once on the Home Page, click the “Sign Up” button on the top of the page, to continue the workflow.

Enter Profile Information

As part of the sign-up process, fill out the data fields provided and upload a profile picture, limited to 2MB, to personalize your Alef Developer Portal space. All required fields are denoted by an asterisk. Once completed, click the “Next” button to continue. The profile picture is not mandatory, but optional.

Please note, for the Phone Number data field, you will not enter your country code. Instead, the country must be selected from the dropdown indicated by the icon of a flag. Once the country is selected from the dropdown, please enter your phone number details. If the details for your country are not included in the dropdown, please create a support ticket and it will be rectified shortly thereafter. 

Confirm Account Details

Please ensure all information entered is correct, then click the “Next” button to continue.

Create Account

To finalize account creation, agree to the Alef Acceptable Usage Policy and Alef Privacy Policy by clicking the checkboxes to the left of the respective documents, complete the reCAPTCHA activity and click “Create Account”. The account creation workflow will continue via an email to the address entered.

Verify Email Address

After completing account creation, an Email will be sent to the address provided. Click the hyperlink to verify the email address and confirm the account creation. If the hyperlink is not working, please copy and paste the provided URL into the browser’s URL bar.

Set Password

Once the email address has been verified, a page will render to set a password. The password must be at least 8 characters in length with 1 capital letter, 1 lower case letter, 1 number, and 1 symbol, full requirements can be seen by hovering over the red “i” icon. Click the “Update Password” button to complete the account creation process and receive your final confirmation email.

Explore the Edge

After a password has been set, a final confirmation email containing the username and API key associated with your account will be sent to the provided email address. Sign up for a subscription and start exploring the Edge today.

Create Edge Connect API Subscription

In order to create a service, all Developers must first create their Developer Portal account. Please go back to section two and follow that workflow if you have not already done so. This workflow will assume the user is logged into and the user is currently on the Developer Portal Home Page.

Select a Product

To create an Edge Connect Subscription, from the Home Page, please click “Products” from the Horizontal Navigation Bar. Clicking “Products” will reveal a drop-down please click “Edge Connect” to subscribe to the product.

Alternatively, the “+” sign in the “My Services” Box on the Home Page will reveal a Product list. Click on “Edge Connect” to subscribe to the product.

Add a Service Page Navigation

Once Edge Connect is selected from the dropdown, it will redirect to the Edge Connect “Overview” page. From the “Overview Page”, select “Pricing” from the Vertical Navigation Bar on the left side of the page.

Subscribe to a Service

On the “Add a Service” page, the first step is to select the Edge Point Location closest to the end user location. The Location dropdown is on the top right of the page under the Horizontal Navigation Bar. Once a Location is selected, the purchase button below the subscription offer will be available. Click “Purchase” at the bottom of the Subscription tile.

Confirm Service Details

Once the subscription has been purchased, a screen for confirmation will appear. The Product, Location, and Plan information will all be preloaded onto the page. The user will be required to fill in a unique Service Name, the number of eSIMs that are required, as well as billing information. Please note, for post paid plans there is no charge at the time of purchase, billing will be completed at the end of the month via an invoice. Once completed, the user will have to click “Confirm” to finalize subscription creation. You will then be brought to the Configuration page for the newly subscribed service. Instructions on how to Navigate to this page are included below. As a check, the service should now be visible on the user’s Developer Home Page.

Service Configuration

Once a subscription to Edge Connect has been confirmed, the developer must first configure their service in order to use any Edge APIs. After confirming their subscription, the Developer will be taken to the Configure page. The configure page is within the “My Services” section of the Developer Portal. There are instructions on how to get to this section below the “Configure a Service” section of this document

Configure your Service

After creating and confirming your Edge Connect subscription, the following step in the workflow is to configure the Service. “Configure” is an option on the “My Services” page. The following sections will highlight the process for configuring the Edge Connect product.

Configure Page Navigation

By default, after a subscription’s purchase is confirmed, the user will be taken to the configuration page of the subscription just created. If the user cannot configure their service at that time, here are the different workflows to get to the configuration page.

My Services Home Page Widget

Starting from the Home Page of Alef’s Developer Portal you can get to the configuration page of any service with just two easy steps. The first step in the process is to identify the service you need to configure under the “My Services” section, which is in the top left of the Developer Portal homepage. After the subscription that needs to be configured is identified, the second step is to left-click on that row containing the identified service. The user will then be taken to the “Configuration Page” of the subscription.

My Private Edge Horizontal Navigation Bar

Starting from anywhere on Alef’s Developer Portal, the configuration page can also be navigated by selecting “My Private Edge” from the Horizontal Navigation Bar and then selecting “My Services”. The user will be taken to a table that lists all the services that the account has subscribed to. Find the row of the subscription that needs to be configured. Once identified, please click the button all the way to the right of the row. The user will be taken to the “Configuration Page” of the subscription.

Configuration of the Edge Connect API

Once on the configuration page, a data field is presented to the developer. For Edge Connect, the data field has already been prepopulated. Next, please click the “Submit” button in the bottom right hand of the page. Once selected, the page will refresh and the “Submit” button will be grayed out. There will also be a black pop-up at the bottom of the page indicating that the Configuration Data has been onboarded successfully.

Private Edge Network Configuration

Now that the service has been purchased and configuration on the portal has been completed, the developer/user will have to configure their Edge Connect components. The configuration of the Edge Connect components occurs outside of the portal.

Once this set of activities is completed, the Enterprise Network is integrated into the Private Edge Platform, and you will start receiving the benefits of ultra-low latency and ultra-high bandwidth that Alef’s Edge delivers to turbocharge your applications!

Obtain eSIMs

In order to connect to Alef’s neutral host Edge Connect, users will need to obtain and activate an eSIM from Alef. The Alef eSIM Service Command Line Interface (CLI) Utility is used to generate eSIM QR codes that will be used for eSIM activation. This process is described below.

About Alef eSIM Service CLI Utility

The Alef eSIM service is a Command Line Interface (CLI) utility to invoke Private Edge eSIM service REST APIs.

It is supported on Windows 10, Ubuntu 20.04, Debian 8.7, Windows 10, and iOS.

The eSIM Service CLI Utility is to be used in conjunction with the Developer Portal. Once you purchase eSIMs from the developer portal, you must use the eSIM Service CLI utility to generate eSIM QR codes for eSIM activation.

The set of APIs that can be invoked via the eSIM Service CLI Utility can be used to generate eSIM QR codes that are used to activate the eSIM subscriptions of users, apart from other functions such as updating/retrieving a subscriber list and updating/retrieving a list of User Equipment IP addresses.

You can invoke the following APIs with the Alef eSIM Service CLI utility.

 

Install eSIM Service CLI Utility

The installer for the eSIM Service CLI utility is available as a zip or tarball.

You can use the appropriate archive format based on your operating system.

Follow the steps given below to install the eSIM Service CLI Utility.

1.Download the tarball /zip file from the link provided by Alef Edge

2.Untar/unzip the tarball/zip file and run the executable.

Use the eSIM Service CLI Utility

The eSIM service CLI utility is a command line utility that can be used to invoke APIs related to QR code generation for eSIM activation. When you run the utility, the default hostname is displayed in square brackets after the text ‘host’. This is the hostname or the domain name to which you are sending your API requests and receiving the respective responses from.

When you invoke the eSIM Service CLI utility, you can change the hostname before logging in with your username and password, if you wish to install and run the utility on.

You can use the following command line arguments with the eSIM Service CLI utility.

Please follow the following steps to leverage the eSIM CLI Utility:

Select Host

Before you start with any operation on the eSIM service CLI utility, you must check if the host name is correct. This is the host or domain to which your API requests will be sent.

The default host name appears in the square brackets when you run the eSIM service CLI utility.

If the host name is correct, press the Enter key or the Return key, and proceed with logging on to the eSIM Service CLI utility as described in step 2 below. If the host name is other than the required host name, enter the host name on the command line.

In the sample screenshot given below, the host name appears in square brackets, that is, the host name is api.stg-alefedge.com. The host name is changed to api.dev-alefedge.com.

Log on to eSIM Service CLI Utility

Login to the eSIM CLI Utility with the credentials that you are using on the developer portal.

Note: If you are a System Integrator (SI) that is logging in to generate eSIMs for multiple enterprises or customers, you must create and use different user accounts for each Enterprise, via the developer portal, and use the individual accounts to generate QR codes for eSIMs for each of the Enterprises.

Invoke API via the eSIM Service CLI Utility

You must use the up-arrow or down-arrow key on your keyboard to navigate between API options and select the required API to invoke or run the API.

Once you select the API, you must provide values for the relevant arguments when prompted.

The general sequence of invoking the APIs is as follows:

  1. Add user equipment (UE) IP pool
  2. Upload batch to generate QR code
  3. View Batch Status by ID
  4. Upload Subscriber

The other APIs are not required to be run in any specific sequence.

The following sections describe the individual APIs in detail.

Upload eSIM batch file to generate QR Codes

The eSIM batch file will be made available to you by an Alef administrator. Log a Zendesk ticket with Alef Edge for the batch file.

Once the ticket is submitted, you will receive an email containing the file required as a parameter.

Use the eSIM batch file provided by Alef Edge by using uploadActivationCodeBatchFile option. Provide the path to the eSIM batch file. You may, optionally, provide a tag to assign to the batch.

<eSIM batch file- tagname_timestamp> is the naming convention for an eSIM batch file.

You can upload as many batches as you like. You must invoke the API each time you wish to upload a batch file.

Once the batch file is uploaded successfully, a QR code is generated for each eSIM. The QR codes can be used to activate the eSIMs. The number of QR codes generated by the uploadActivationCodeBatchFile API corresponds to the number of eSIMs purchased by you via the Developer Portal.

The batch of QR codes is generally available as a zip file.

You can check the status of the batch upload by viewing the eSIM batch status with the getBatchStatusById API. You must download the QR code zip file from the qr_code_file_path displayed on the console after invoking the getBatchStatusById API.

The password to extract the contents of the zip file is a combination of the first three characters of the email ID and the last three digits of the phone number for your developer portal account. For instance, if your email ID is johndoe@gmail.com and your phone number is 999-888-7787, the password to extract the contents of the zip file will be joh787.

About QR Codes

Each QR code that has been generated via the uploadActivationCodeBatchFile API corresponds to one eSIM and can be used to activate the eSIM.

Get eSIM batch Status by ID

View details and status of the batch by using getBatchStatusById API.  Provide the batch ID while invoking the API.

Following are the possible values for the batch status.

  • READY_TO_DOWNLOAD
  • UPLOAD_QR_CODE_FAILS
  • ZIP_FILE_CREATION_FAILS
  • QR_CODE_GENERATED_FAILS
  • UPLOAD_QR_CODE_FAILS
  • CSV_READER_FAILS

If the batch status is READY_TO_DOWNLOAD, you can download the file from the location specified in the qr_code_file_path variable in the output of the API that is visible on the CLI, as seen in the screenshot above.

In case of failure status, contact support@alefedge.com.

Get Batches for Enterprise

View all batches for an enterprise with the getAllBatches API. No parameters are required to invoke the getAllBatches API.

Add User Equipment(UE) IP Pool

Add or create a UE IP pool using createUeIpPool API. Provide the enterprise ID and a netmask, for example, 122.64.10/28. You may, optionally, provide a tag for the UE IP pool as an identifier to keep track of the batch.

Get List of User Equipment IP Pools for Enterprise

Get the list of all UE IP pools for the enterprise with the getUeIpList API.

Upload Subscriber

Onboard subscribers with the uploadSubscriber API. Provide the batch ID of the batch you want to onboard, and the name of the subscription you bought on the developer portal.

Get Subscriber List

Get subscriber details file  with the getSubscriberList API. Provide the subscription name for which you wish to get the subscriber details.

Software Agent Installation and Set-Up Instructions

To better serve your traffic, Alef has created a Software Agent that enables the automation of the flow of traffic from your existing network to Alef’s Private Edge network. The instructions for how to download and integrate this Software Agent into your Enterprise network are found below.

Architecture

The diagram below shows the overall architecture of a single server installation.

Server Prerequisites

Following are the hardware, software, and networking prerequisites for the server on which you wish to install the Software Agent.

Hardware

Following is the recommended configuration for the server on which Private Edge Software Agent is to be installed.

  • Intel CPU i-Family, 6th gen or later
  • 6 Cores
  • 32 GB RAM
  • 240 GB Disk (SSD preferred)
  • 2 (or more) Ethernet ports NIC
Operating System

The recommended base operating system is Debian 10 .

Network Cards

All network interfaces should be active (“UP”).

Networking

Following are the network-related requirements for the server on which you wish to install Private Edge Software Agent.

IP Addressing

The Software Agent needs to connect to the Internet via one NIC (static IP/DHCP), and will connect to the CBRS/LTE Access Points (APs) via the second NIC, and will issue IP numbers to these Access Points.

Firewall Configuration

The Software Agent requires for outbound traffic to and from UDP port range 59000-60999 to be allowed on the firewall for VPN communication.

The Software Agent will PASS/NAT all outbound traffic received from APs other than traffic headed to the ePC (like AP management, Spectrum Access System or SAS certification)

Installation

Before you can install the Private Edge Software Agent, you must perform the following steps.

1.Prepare host

A.OS installation

B.User configuration

C.Required packages installation

2.Configure host network/firewall settings

3.Install Private Edge Software Agent

Step 1: Prepare Host
  • OS Installation:
    • Install headless (without desktop environment) Debian 10
    • Disable root login
    • Enable Shadow passwords
    • Enable SSH server
  • User Configuration
    • Create user with username “alef” without password:
useradd -s /bin/bash -m alef
    • Add user to sudo group without password requirement
usermod -aG sudo alef
cat >/etc/sudoers.d/alef << EOF
%alef ALL=(ALL) NOPASSWD:ALL
EOF
    • Add public key to Alef user ,ssh/authorized_keys
mkdir -p /home/alef/.ssh
cat >/home/alef/.ssh/authorized_keys<<EOF
ssh-rsa  AAAAB3NzaC1yc2EAAAABJQAAAQEAo0XncIFysl3KUiEG9uOx0ZMkL1DiVfMFnWMkC9hQY+pSqStfYE2Oam5wvWufsmiMTFO4f07XT/TxwX4xUdFEAuPf3bHiHxHcvnABOlqqUsRmJmCiCGhcZwxBSkt47FjRZGgS6N7z+jDlOiWFQRxocNch8UEeFWwuKjUvH0h7CWI5zeUhTrVdzw1SLmH+hbm0xtovzgUA7f0gG4qRl/i5kTeCKn0D91K7rRav48E2TBpBuDapRpPFNGJAr1gGB9f3skhWDjx8ZlCPWKyDz6G94Iug5oG9LAbViRDojbCon+CjN3acyQtaVF2nr0K+/CnZzTqLN6+FJLdpCjkw0DuOaw== rsa-key-20210625
EOF
chown -R alef:alef /home/alef
chmod 700 /home/alef/.ssh
chmod 600 /home/alef/.ssh/authorized_keys
  • Required packages Installation
    • Install the required packages with the following command
apt install iptables-persistent qemu-kvm bridge-utils libvirt-daemon libvirt-daemon-system virtinst libguestfs-tools vlan
Step 2: Configure Host Network Settings

In the network setup for the Software Agent, the host should have at least two Ethernet interfaces, for instance, eth0 and eth1.

It is required to create two bridges on the host, br0 and br1. Bridge br1 will have eth1 as a port and will issue IP addresses for APs.

Set variable for $nic1 (internet):  nic1=eth0

Set variable for $nic2 (APs):  nic2=eth1

cat > /etc/network/interfaces.d/br0<<EOF
auto br0
iface br0 inet manual
    bridge_ports none

auto br0.4094
iface br0.4094 inet static
    vlan-raw-device br0
    address 169.254.254.251
    netmask 255.255.255.0
    post-up ip route add 100.64.0.0/16 via 169.254.254.1
EOF

cat > /etc/network/interfaces.d/br1<<EOF
auto br1	
iface br1 inet manual
    bridge_ports $nic2
EOF

cat > /etc/network/interfaces.d/$nic2
auto $nic2
iface $nic2 inet manual
EOF

systemctl restart networking

echo "net.ipv4.ip_forward=1" | sudo tee -a /etc/sysctl.conf
sysctl -p

cat > /etc/iptables/rules.v4<<EOF
*nat
-A POSTROUTING -o $nic1 -j MASQUERADE
COMMIT
EOF

systemctl restart netfilter-persistent
Step 3: Configure SDN Controller

An Alef Edge Engineer will configure the SDN controller and provide the required details.

Step 4: Install Private Edge Software Agent

Follow the steps given below to download the Software Agent installer image and install the Private Edge Software Agent.

1. Run the following command on the host console to download Private Edge Software Agent image.

wget http://alef-esw.alefns.com/alef-enterprise.qcow2
sha1sum alef-enterprise.qcow2
278ea5b7d33fa5d0e561949df253a2ab05b09b21

2. Copy the file to the image to the designated directory.

mv alef-enterprise.qcow2 /var/lib/libvirt/images/esw.qcow2

3. Input the required variable into the Private Edge Software Agent Image

Set required variable $main_lo:  main_lo=”<ip received from alef>”

Set required variable $sdn: sdn=”<url received from alef>”

virt-edit -a /var/lib/libvirt/images/esw.qcow2   /etc/network/interfaces -e "s/main_lo/$main_lo/"
virt-edit -a /var/lib/libvirt/images/esw.qcow2  /opt/netris/etc/netris.conf -e "s/address=.*/address=$sdn/"

4. Run the following command to install Private Edge Software Agent by using the downloaded Private Edge Software Agent image.

virt-install  -n esw  \
  --os-type=Linux  \
  --os-variant generic \
  --vcpus=4  \
  --ram=$(( 8 * 1024 ))  \
  --disk path=/var/lib/libvirt/images/esw.qcow2,bus=virtio  \
  --graphics vnc,listen=127.0.1.1,port=-1 --noautoconsole  \
  --network=bridge=br0,model=virtio,target=esw-ens3 \
  --network=bridge=br1,model=virtio,target=esw-ens4 \
  --import

virsh autostart esw
virsh net-destroy default
virsh net-autostart default --disable

eNodeB Integration Workflow

An additional step in the configuration of the Edge Connect is to integrate the existing access points into the EPC of Alef’s Private Edge Network. The directions associated with this step of the configuration are detailed below

eNodeB Configuration Instructions

In a typical LTE scenario, the User Equipment (UE), like a mobile phone, talks directly to an eNodeB such as a wireless access point (AP). The eNodeB communicates with the Evolved Packet Core (EPC), which in turn, talks to the Internet. The response communication goes back from the Internet to the EPC to the eNodeB to the UE.

When the user equipment requests content from the Edge via Alef’s Private Edge locations, the Software Agent described in the previous section is used. In this scenario, the Software Agent sits between the eNodeB and the Internet. The request communication happens from the UE to the eNodeB, then from the eNodeB to the Software Agent, and finally from the Software Agent to the Internet. The response communication happens in the reverse order, i.e. from the Internet to the Software Agent to the eNodeB to the UE.

After the UE is authenticated successfully and connects to the eNodeB, the content is served to the UE from the Private Edge location.

This document describes the procedure to configure eNodeBs so that it can communicate with the Software Agent and, in turn, with the Private Edge network.

Before you Begin

Ensure that you have properly installed the Software Agent. If you are yet to install the Software Agent, refer to section 5.2 for detailed instructions on Software Agent installation.

Integrate eNodeB with EPC

The steps to integrate an eNodeB and EPC for the UE to be able to access content served at the edge, are as follows.

1. Connect eNodeB to ESW

To connect an eNodeB to the Software Agent, you must ensure that the eNodeB connects to the Software Agent on the port that is designated for the eNodeB’s LAN/VLAN.

A UE connects to an eNodeB or AP that connects to the Software Agent.

All eNodeBs or APs require an IP address to connect to, and communicate with, the Private Edge network via the Software Agent. Hence, the Software Agent automatically issues an IP address to the eNodeB or AP via DHCP.

Note:  The UE is assigned an IP address (from the range previously specified by the Enterprise) by the EPC.

2. Configure eNodeB with EPC Information

Please note, the following details to configure the eNodeB will be provided to you in the same response that the eSIM batch files are presented.

  • Public Land Mobile Network (PLMN) code
  • Mobile Management Entity (MME) IP address
  • Tracking Area Code (TAC)
  • Serving Gateway (SGW), if required
3. Connect UE to LTE

To connect your UE to the LTE network, configure the following.

  • Access Point Name (SIM)
  • Optionally, select the network if your device does not automatically select the network, and requires you to configure network selection (310550).
  • Open a web browser and visit a website such as www.alefedge.com to check internet connectivity

Once this is done, your UE is all set to be served content from an Private Edge location.

Conclusion

At this point after following all the directions in this document; you have successfully purchased and configured an Edge Connect API. If there are any questions, please do not hesitate in reaching out to us at support@alefedge.com. Enjoy life on the Edge!

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