Activating and Deactivating Subscriber Services by Using Mutex Groups Overview

Service Manager supports two methods that use RADIUS COA-Request messages to activate and deactivate subscriber services and that can also dynamically change a service that is currently provided to a subscriber.

In the first method, you use a COA message with the Activate-Service VSA to activate the new service; you can optionally include the Deactivate-Service VSA to deactivate the subscriber’s existing service. This method is described in Activating Subscriber Service Sessions Using RADIUS.

The second method uses mutual exclusion (mutex) groups to create mutex services. With this method, you group services together in a mutex group. When you use a COA message to activate a service that is in a mutex group, Service Manager activates the new service and implicitly deactivates any existing service that it is a member of the same mutex group as the newly activated service. Service Manager does not deactivate an existing service that is a member of a different mutex group or is not a member of a mutex group.

Using mutex services results in an more reliable activation and deactivation process than the original COA-Request method. With mutex services, Service Manager always activates the new service before deactivating the existing service. This ensures that the subscriber is never without an active service. In the original COA-Request method, the order of activation and deactivation is random—in some cases the existing service might be deactivated before the new service is activated, or the new activation might fail. In these cases, the subscriber might be without an active service.

If statistics are enabled when you activate a mutex service, Service Manager sends a RADIUS Acct-Stop message for the deactivated service.

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