Diameter Router Agent (DRA) Testing
The volume of Diameter signaling traffic in LTE and IMS networks is large enough; operators are proactively architecting signaling controllers. Diameter signaling controllers (DSC) or Diameter router agent (DRA) or Diameter agent (DA) is at the core of the Diameter network that helps to alleviate Diameter traffic. The major use cases that needs to be tested are:
- Centralized routing – aggregates and offloads Diameter routing requirements from individual nodes for congestion control
- Roaming – LTE to LTE, LTE to 2G/3G and other access networks including interoperability, scalability and mitigating security risks
- HSS address resolution – maps subscriber identity with HSS by performing subscriber location function
- PCRF binding – dynamic load balancing across multiple PCRFs, binds subscriber session to ensure correct billing and tracking service usage
EXFO’s Diameter DRA testing is the only solution in the market today that tests all of the DRA use cases generating hundreds of thousands of stateful Diameter transactions with large number of subscriber simulation. It can be used to characterize the DRA that supports different behavior of DRA such as Relay, Proxy, Redirect, and Translation. EXFO’s DRA test solution can help you ensure that all the diameter sessions are routed to the correct network element as well as functionality of 3G/4G roaming and interconnect functions of DEA.
DRA Testing Solution Highlights:
- Wide range of Diameter interface support (S6a, Gx, Rx, Sd, Ro, Sd and more)
- Mimic real-world conditions across multiple stateful nodes and interfaces
- Identify capacity and performance ceilings
- Easy to use even for the test engineers having minimum or no protocol knowledge
- Flexible to customize messages and behavior for specific network deployment configuration
Policy and Charging Function Testing (PCRF Testing)
PCRF acts as the decision point for policy and charging actions in the network by managing rules across subscribers, devices and networks that use Diameter messages. As such, it is one of the most critical components in IMS, 3G and 4G LTE networks.
PCRF communicates with PCEF (policy control enforcement function) like packet gateways (PGW) and deep packet inspection (DPI), online charging system (OCS), and offline charging system (OFCS) functions and more. Testing these critical functions in the labs before deployment is important for MNOs to differentiate services and maximize the revenue.
EXFO’s Diameter PCRF testing solution offers surround testing of PCRF by emulating devices and interfaces to ensure that appropriate amounts of bandwidth are dynamically allocated to each service in real time, thus making the most efficient use of network resources for delivering advanced services such as VoLTE and WebRTC. It supports the complete set of procedures as defined in 3GPP specifications including but not limited to:
- Installation, modification and removal of PCC rules
- IP-CAN Session establishment, termination and modification
- Gateway control session procedures
- Binding and QoS parameters mapping
- Application detection and control
- Requesting and reporting the usage
- Failure and restoration