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dsTest, Developing Solutions, Gx Interface, PCRF, GGSN, PGW, Policy and Charging Control

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.

Comprehensive sets of operational measurements for the Gx Interface, Diameter, and socket level are collected at configurable intervals and stored in a SQLite database on the dsTest server.  Real-time measurements may be retrieved through our dsClient CLI interface or graphed via our dsClient GUI interface.

Read more about our Policy Management testing capabilities.

Read more about our Diameter functional and compliance testing options.

Implementation

The Gx Interface application implements the following procedures:

On the PGW/GGSN PCEF:dsTest, Developing Solutions, Gx Interface, EPC Testing, PGW Testing, PCEF Testing, PCRF Testing, Policy Testing

  • 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.

A complete set of events that can be generated with the Gx interface can be found here.

PGW(PCEF) 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.

Read more about our PCRF Emulator.

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.

Read more about dsTest Capacity and Performance.
Read more about our Testing Policy Management capabilities.

Advanced Testing Features

Enhance your testing with Developing Solutions advanced testing features.

Define a set of message templates against which all messages will be validated with our  Diameter Dictionary.  Every Diameter message is validated, even under load conditions.

Insert, delete, or replace AVPs in your messages with our SmartAVP solution.  SmartAVP enables you to define proprietary signaling or to corrupt AVPs to facilitate negative testing.

Configure commands to define the series of actions and rates that each subscriber takes.  Advanced profiles can be created using SmartEvents to define a mix of traffic based on probability assignments.  With SmartEvents, you can specify when your SmartAVPs are used.

Read more about our SmartEvents feature.
Read more about our Advanced Diameter Testing Features.

 Supporting Standards

  • Gx – 3GPP TS 23.203 and TS 29.212
  • Diameter – RFC 6733, RFC 3588 and RFC 5516
  • SCTP – RFC 4960
  • TCP – RFC 793

General Reference Guides

Read more about dsTest.