dsTest supports PCRF emulation and PGW(PCEF)/GGSN simulation with the 3GPP Diameter Gx interface. Test Packet Data Network (PDN) Gateway Gx interfaces in 4G/LTE networks and Gateway GPRS Serving Node (GGSN) Gx interfaces in 3G/UMTS networks with our Policy Control and Charging Rules Function (PCRF) Emulator. Test your static and dynamic Policy and Charging Control (PCC) functionality by using the Gx Interface application on our PGW and GGSN nodes to simulate the Policy Control Enforcement Function (PCEF) to test the capacity and performance of a PCRF. Test VoLTE and PCC interactions by using the Gx Interface Application with other dsTest Interface Applications such as Rx, Sd, Ro, Rf, Sy, and S9. Use the PCRF Emulator and Gx Interface application in tandem to test Diameter protocol compliance, functionality and capacity of Diameter Routing Agents (DRA), Proxies, Relay Agents, and Redirect Agents. For CIoT/NB-IoT, dsTest can surround a CIoT Serving Gateway Node (C-SGN) with all the interfaces needed to verify the MME, SGW, and PGW functions required of the C-SGN.
The Gx Interface application implements the following procedures:
On the PGW/GGSN PCEF:
- Initiate an initial Credit Control Request (CCR-I) for an idle transaction
- Initiate a Credit Control Update Request (CCR-U) for an active transaction
- Initiate a Credit Control Terminate Request (CCR-T)for an active transaction
- Initiate Event Triggers;
- Initiate Indication of IP Connectivity Access Network (IP-CAN) Service Establishment;
- Initiate Indication of IP-CAN Service Modification;
- Initiate Indication of IP-CAN Service Termination.
On the PCRF:
- Initiate an Abort Session;
- Initiate an Reauthorization Request (RAR);
- Initiate a Termination request from an active transaction;
- Initiate a rule install for an active transaction;
- Initiate a rule remove for an active transaction;
- Initiate an Application Detection and Control (ADC) rule install for an active transaction;
- Initiate an ADC rule remove for an active transaction;
- Initiate an event to update Quality of Service (QoS) Information.
PGW(PCEF)/C-SGN and GGSN Testing (Server Emulation)
The PCRF Emulator provides policy and charging control services for the Gx interface—all of the functionality required by a PGW(PCEF) or a GGSN. The PCRF Emulator executes procedures based on configurable subscriber profiles and service profiles, responding to requests and reports from PCEFs and eliminates the need to dedicate a production server to lab activities. You can execute a test event chain with a run-time command or during an automated test to request IP-CAN session terminations for specified subscribers or to simulate changing network conditions. Reconfigure your subscriber database in seconds rather than hours by simply loading a new configuration file.
One PCRF Emulator can support any mixture of up to 1000 simultaneous interfaces. When both the Gx and Rx interfaces are present, IMS-initiated bearer activation is supported.
Multiple PCRF Emulators can be instantiated on a single server. In this mode each emulator can support multiple interfaces, up to an aggregate of 1000 client connections across all emulators. The emulators are fully independent and their subscriber databases may also be independent, overlap, or be duplicated.
Multiple PCRF Emulators can run simultaneously, emulating roaming scenarios or testing capacity and performance of Diameter agents.
Use cyclical event chains to trigger PCRF-initiated procedures with a run-time command or during an automated test.
- Install, modify, or remove dynamic PCC rules in the PCEF;
- Activate or deactivate predefined PCC rules in the PCEF;
- Request session terminations.
You can also use the control interface to change the emulator’s behavior. Simulate a non-responsive server by pausing the emulator or simulate intermittent issues by pausing and resuming. Modify subscriber profiles during run time, simulating administrative policy or subscription changes in active sessions.
When the Gxx interface is present, complete policy control for non-3GPP access is possible and session binding is supported. When the Rx interface is also present, IMS-initiated dedicated bearer activation is supported. Alternatively, you can simulate IMS interaction or other conditions in the test network with run-time commands that result in PCC rule installation, modification, or removal.
PCRF Testing (Client Simulation)
The Gx Interface application can be used to simulate PGWs or GGSNs to test the PCRF. The Gx Interface application allows users to validate PCRF performance and capacity in a realistic network environment, replicating the deployment configuration.
Execute timed chains of test events with a run-time command or during an automated test to trigger client-initiated procedures.
- Start and stop specified subscriber sessions, simulating real-world subscriber activity;
- Request policy decisions for UE-initiated dedicated bearer activations;
- Notify the PCRF that dedicated bearers have been modified or terminated;
- Accept event trigger registrations and simulate event reporting with timed events.
Multiple PGW and GGSN nodes can be instantiated on a single server, each with scalable subscriber loads and transaction rates. In this mode, up to 1000 independent nodes may be simultaneously simulated. The nodes are fully independent and their subscriber configurations may be independent, overlap, or be duplicated.
Advanced Testing Features
SmartEvents — Alter application behavior or coordinate multiple interface applications with SmartEvents. Our programmable, subscriber-level state machine gives you the ability to define handlers for specified application events that can then cause an event in another application to be executed. You can also configure handlers to modify subscriber information during run-time, introduce timers, or randomize subscriber behavior based on configurable probabilities to name a few of the many options in one of dsTest’s most powerful features.
SmartMessageElement — Insert, delete, or replace elements in Diameter, RADIUS, MAP, LDAP, GTP, REST or SOAP messages with our SmartMessageElement solution. Define proprietary signaling or corrupt elements to facilitate negative testing. You can specify when your elements are used with SmartEvents.
Traffic Profile — Draw the shape of your test actions across time with Traffic Profile. You can define the rate for any action as a static rate or reference a Traffic Profile configuration, which also means that multiple Traffic Profiles can be running currently. Use Traffic Profile in conjunction with the randomizing features in SmartEvents to design a test that more truly simulates real-world network activity.
Diameter Dictionary — Define a set of message templates against which all messages will be validated with our Diameter Dictionary. Whether you’re load testing or testing functionality all messages are validated.
dsTest provides rich sets of measurements for the Gx Interface application:
- Transaction and transport layer attempts, successes, and failures
- Transaction duration, transactions-per-second, and round-trip delay
- Message and byte counters
- Errors encountered and error indications received in messages
You can read more about the reporting features offered with dsTest and dsClient here.