My university uses an elaborate network registration system that I have not been able to find anywhere else; I was hoping someone could help me identify the hardware/software involved.
When a new user tries to connect to the university network they are given a private IP address (i.e. 10.10.xxx.xxx). When they try to surf the web, they are redirected to a DNS registration page that requires them to authenticate (using their preassigned ID and password) and create a hostname for their computer (i.e. mylaptop). If the hostname is not in use then it is associated with the requesting computer's MAC (which it obtained via network voodoo).
Once the registration process is complete the user can reset their dhcp settings and get a new public IP address (that when resolved against DNS will point to mylaptop.university.edu).
How the hell do they do all of that? Is it a custom piece of software or have you seen this in other places?
Sounds like hotspot behaviour to me. Client obtains IP via DHCP. Browser hits a transparent proxy where credentials and chosen hostname are requested. Backend script creates a DHCP reservation for your MAC against a free IP which will then be assigned back to you (along with your hostname) on next renewal. As for identifying the solution in use, try looking at the HTML source for the registration page. Could be a number of different solutions or something homegrown.
24th Dec 2009