dsTest supports server emulation and client simulation for the 3GPP Diameter Gxx Interface. Test Serving Gateway (SGW) Gxc interfaces in LTE Evolved Packet Core (EPC) networks and Access Network Gateway (AGW) Gxa interfaces in trusted IP Connectivity Access Networks (IP-CAN) with our Policy Control and Charging Rules Function (PCRF) Emulator. Use the Gxx Interface application to simulate a Bearer Binding and Event Reporting Function (BBERF) to test the capacity and performance of a PCRF. Use the PCRF Emulator and Gxx Interface application in tandem to test Diameter Routing Agents (DRA), Diameter Proxies, Relay Agents, and Redirect Agents. dsTest provides more tools for LTE testing. The Gxx Interface is specified in 3GPP TS 23.203 and TS 29.212.
The Gxx application implements the following procedures:
- Bearer control mode selection;
- Provisioning of Gxx event triggers;
- QoS rules request;
- QoS rules provision;
- Gateway control session termination;
- Request of gateway control session termination.
The PCRF emulator executes procedures based on configurable subscriber profiles and PCC rules, responding to requests and reports from BBERFs and eliminating 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:
- Register or cancel event triggers in the BBERF;
- Install, modify, or remove QoS rules in the BBERF.
When the Gx interface is also present, session binding is supported, along with QoS rule synchronization between Gx and Gxx, and complete policy and charging control emulation for non-3GPP access is possible.
PCRF Testing (Client Simulation)
The Gxx Interface application can be used to simulate SGW or AGW BBERF functionality to determine the impact of new PCRF features and standards before they are deployed in a network. The Gxx Interface application allows users to validate PCRF performance and capacity in a realistic network environment, replicating the deployment configuration.
- Start and stop specified subscriber sessions, simulating real-world subscriber activity;
- Simulate gateway control session modifications with QoS rules update requests, modifying previous requests for resources or adding new requests.
Multiple SGW and AGW 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 also 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 Gxx 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.