Diameter has emerged as the dominant signaling protocol in mobile networks and good Diameter testing tools are essential to allow network operators to test the interoperability, scalability and security of the Diameter signalling networks.
The latest 4G networks require considerably more signaling complexity to identify users and deliver a variety of services to them and while Diameter signalling allows operators to allocate, control and bill for the services and resources that subscribers consume, the test challenge has increased.
The following is our latest, up-to-date list of Diameter testing tools that may help you to achieve your diameter test objectives:
Seagull is a free, Open Source (GPL) multi-protocol traffic generator test tool which is primarily aimed at IMS (3GPP, TISPAN, CableLabs) protocols. Seagull supports Diameter and is a powerful traffic generator for functional, load, endurance, stress and performance/benchmark tests. It’s CLI-based, but once you figure out how to navigate the various XML setup files, it’s a very flexible and capable Diameter testing tool.
The Netscout SPECTRA2 is a Diameter test tool that provides the capability for Diameter Testing, AAA Services, and Policy management functions, including Diameter Routing Agents (DRA) for both functionality and capacity.
If you’re particularly interested in testing your Packet Gateway (PGW) or PCRF, then Polaris Networks’ Diameter testing tools may be of interest. Their products include a PCRF Functional Tester which supports Diameter Gx, Gxx, Rx, S9 interfaces and a PGW Functional Tester that emulates LTE Core Network entities such as the S-GW, PCRF, OCS and OFCS, allowing the S5/S8, S7/Gx, Gy and Gz interfaces of the PGW to be tested.
Developing Solutions offers the dsTest Diameter test tool for testing of the Diameter core signalling network, including VoLTE testing. Individual nodes can be isolated or may be tested as a system, allowing the testing of Subscriber Management, Policy Control, Online Charging and Offline Charging. Scenarios can be created to match the specific behavior of the subscribers in your network on a scale that exceeds 100 million LTE subscribers.
Another diameter testing tool is the Spirent Landslide Diameter system which can test a wide range of Diameter applications, including policy control and charging, VOLTE and performance testing. Landslide Diameter simulates real-world control traffic scenarios at scale and emulates the interfaces and adjacent nodes required to test all the key AAA nodes including HSS, PCRF, DRA/DSC AND AAA. The solution provides the ability to test the Diameter network from end-to-end or to isolate and test a single Diameter node.
High load and Diameter performance testing can be performed by the Ixia IxLoad platform, which combines IP multimedia service (IMS) testing with Diameter server emulation to measure packet routing performance, load balancing, failover performance, network congestion control, and proxy/relay services. Ixia features SmartAVP™ to enable configuration of mandatory and custom AVPs and also SmartEvents™ to enable state machine configuration.
PureLoad also have some Diameter testing tools, namely the PureLoad PureTest Pro and PureLoad Enterprise tools that can simulate Diameter Rf, Rx, Gx, Zh, Zx, SWx, SWm, S6, Sd, and Sh Interface Application interfaces. Both client and server side simulation is supported.
The Computaris TOP Testing Suite also supports Diameter testing. allowing functional, performance, regression and stress testing. It can be used to simulate both Diameter and SIP signaling used in VoLTE session management, the simulation and analysis of MSCs, SCPs, billing and charging systems and has a graphical user interface (GUI) to enable easy configuration of events capture of measured network protocol data.
The Valid8 Diameter Load Tester allows you to test Diameter clients and servers and enables continuous testing through the network to report quality and find issues. Rules are set up in the tool to cycle through multiple network destinations according to the test plan and it will report on responses received and transaction time. The Diameter message flows are configurable and support is provided for a range of Diameter interfaces including Cx, Dx, Dh, Gq, Gx, Gy, Rf, Ro, Rx, Sh, and Sp.
Well, that’s some of the tools that we have used or are aware of. If you have a tool that you are using, or spotted one that I’ve missed, then please let me know!