dsTest supports PCRF emulation and CSCF simulation capabilities for the 3GPP Diameter Rx interface. Test Call Session Control Function (CSCF) Application Function (AF) Rx interfaces in the IMS with our Policy Control and Charging Rules Function (PCRF) Emulator. Use the CSCF simulation in the Rx Interface application to test the capacity and performance of a PCRF in 4G and LTE networks. Test VoLTE and Policy and Charging Control (PCC) interactions by using the Rx Interface Application with other dsTest Interface Applications such as Gx. Use the PCRF Emulator and Rx Interface application in tandem to test Diameter Routing Agents (DRA), Proxies, Relay Agents, and Redirect Agents. dsTest provides more tools for IMS Testing.
The Rx application implements the following procedures:
- Initial provisioning of session information
- Modification of session information
- AF session termination
- Subscription to notification of signalling path status
- IP-CAN session termination
- Service data flow deactivation
- IP-CAN type change notification
- Access network charging information notification
A complete set of events that can be generated with the Rx interface application can be found here, and our Diameter Dictionary can be used to construct, test, validate, and interpret the results of your Diameter testing.
CSCF Testing (Server Emulation)
The PCRF Emulator executes procedures based on configurable subscriber profiles and PCC rules, responding to requests from CSCFs 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 simulate subscriber session termination, service flow deactivation, loss of signaling, or other bearer events for which the CSCF subscribed.
When the Gx interface is also present, the PCRF emulator supports session binding and IMS-initiated dedicated bearer activation, and provides end-to-end policy control between the core network and the IMS, incorporating the Media Content Descriptions received from the CSCF into PCC rule formulation.
The PCRF Emulator provides policy and charging control services for the Rx interface—all of the functionality required by an AF, and you can reconfigure your subscriber database in seconds rather than hours by simply loading a new configuration file. 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. You can modify subscriber profiles during run time, simulating administrative policy or subscription changes in active sessions.
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.
PCRF Testing (Client Simulation)
The Rx Interface application can be used to simulate CSCFs to test the PCRF. The Rx Interface application, in conjunction with the Gx, Gxx and other dsTest interface applications, allow users to fully validate PCRF performance and capacity in a realistic network environment, replicating the deployment configuration.
- Start and stop specified subscriber sessions, simulating subscriber IMS activity
- Subscribe to notification of loss of signal path status events from the PCRF and cancel previous subscriptions
- Notify the PCRF that CSCF session information has changed
Multiple CSCF 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. In this manner, roaming scenarios can be simulated, and the capacity and performance of Diameter agents can be tested.
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 Rx 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.