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Testing With dsTest

Test Smarter, Not Harder…

Developing Solutions has simplified testing of the core packet network while still giving you the flexibility to create complex scenarios that span multiple interface applications without writing a single script. You can verify the capabilities of your network elements quickly, without having advanced protocol knowledge, because our interface applications implement the procedures defined in the applicable standards and our comprehensive measurements and reporting features highlight problem areas. You can test your server network elements’ capacity and performance with our client simulators, use our server node emulators to provide network services for your test bed, or surround systems under test with a mix of client simulators and server emulators to provide full interface test coverage as shown in the MME/Gateway testing scenario below.

dsTest, Developing Solutions, Comformance Testing, EPC Testing

The keystone to almost every test scenario is dsTest’s Subscriber Database, which is provisioned with all of the information associated with mobile subscribers. Each node emulator may be configured with its own database but the true power of the database is realized when it is shared among multiple nodes. In the latter case subscriber information is shared among nodes and information learned through transaction processing by one interface application becomes available to another application.

Information that may be common for many subscribers is stored in subscriber profiles that are focused on functional areas — subscription, policy and charging, IMS, SMS, or UE capabilities, for example. Subscribers are arranged in groups that define the information that must be unique for each subscriber — identities and authentication keys — and information that pertains to a particular subscriber’s current state, such as location information or serving gateway, that may be either pre-configured or learned during transaction processing. Subscriber groups are then associated with the profiles that pertain to the interface applications used in the test. Profile assignments may also be changed while the test is running, enabling you to simulate subscription or policy changes.

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…With SmartProfile

dsTest’s SmartProfile gives you maximum control over your test scenario by altering the behavior of interface applications, altering or validating message content, simulating network latency, or defining explicit message flows for select protocols.

  • SmartEvents — a programmable state machine that operates independently for each subscriber that can alter application behavior, coordinate behavior across multiple interface applications, randomize subscriber actions, or validate the content of messages received.
  • SmartMonitor — trace a subscriber’s journey through your SmartEvents state machine while the test is running and get real-time feedback on all subscriber’s current position.
  • SmartMessageElement — used in conjunction with SmartEvents to alter message content — adding vendor-specific AVPs, for example — or to perform negative testing.
  • SmartFlow/ServiceFlow — define explicit message flows for select protocols, each with a programmable state machine that can also interact with SmartEvents.

…With Smarter Message Handling

Our protocol dictionaries can be used for more than reference materials. dsTest can be configured to validate all incoming messages against the base dictionary, ensuring compliance with the applicable specifications. You can also define custom dictionaries for use in your tests to validate expected values in message content, including dynamic values drawn from the subscriber database.

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…With Smarter Reporting

dsTest produces a extensive and comprehensive set of operational measurements (OMs) that give you immediate insight into your test’s progress or to diagnose the root cause of failures. Measurements are collected at configurable intervals of 1 second or longer and are written to an SQLite database. Reporting features range from sampling snapshot OM values using dsClient Terminal‘s command-line interface to the rich reporting features found in dsClient Desktop. View chart or tabular reports in dsClient Desktop while the test is running or after it has completed. Use our SmartReport feature along with your customized pass/fail criteria to see at a glance whether or not the test was a success, or use SmartReport’s statistical analysis and troubleshooting capabilities to home in on difficult performance issues. To aid in automated testing, dsClient Desktop can write the information from SmartReport’s dashboard to an HTML file using your customized template.

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Subscriber Event Log provides a different type of report as it records every event, or just the events associated with errors or failures, for each subscriber while the test is running. You can also include in the log the content of the Diameter messages sent and received. As with OM reporting, automated tests can query snapshot views while the test is running. You can use dsClient Desktop to search or stream the log content and view it in a color-coded, hierarchical display.

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…With Smarter Rates

Loading a device under test with millions of subscribers is a great way to test capacity but if they are all simulating the same activities and using the same timing then the test is not modeling live network activity and may not expose race conditions or other defects. With Traffic Profile you can draw the shape of the traffic levels you are trying to achieve across time and dsTest takes care of calculating the rates necessary to reach your targets based on the subscribers provisioned for the test. You can also set thresholds which, when crossed, will trigger a rate adjustment — to determine the maximum achievable rate under stressful load, for example. Combining this feature with SmartEvents and groups of subscribers provides you with the tools to more closely simulate real-world network activity.

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…And Capture the Packets

Use dsTest’s Packet Capture feature to capture all incoming and outgoing traffic during your test without missing a beat. Apply filtering by protocol, port, or connection to capture only a portion of the traffic. As with the reporting features, you can use dsClient Desktop to stream the live capture to your Wireshark application while the test is running or download the capture and view it after the test is complete.

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