With the growth in LTE and IMS, Diameter is now the primary protocol for AAA functions. NETSCOUT’s Spectra2 communications network test solutions provide the capability for Diameter Testing, AAA Services, and Policy management functions, including Diameter Routing Agents (DRA) for both functionality and capacity, while providing full support of legacy TCAP-based protocols. This rich Diameter functionality complements the robust suite of protocols that span SIP, H.323 H.323, SIGTRAN, ISUP TCAP, MEGACO/H.248, RTP, and many more.
Testing Policy Control and Charging Functions – PCRF and PCEF
Policy and Charging rules are driven by the PCRF (Policy Charging and Rules Function), PCEF (Policy Control Enforcement Function) and the Charging Functions in the IMS and EPC core networks. These elements provide carriers with the ability to differentiate services while maximizing revenue.
AAA Ecosystem on Diameter
Every carrier service has unique bandwidth requirements. Policy control within the PCRF and PCEF ensures that appropriate amounts of bandwidth are dynamically allocated to each service in real time, thus making the most efficient use of network resources. Prior to launching a new service like VoLTE carriers need to test and validate their policy rules within the PCRF and PCEF to ensure the services are delivered with integrity and to ensure that there is sufficient capacity to provide the requested services. Charging rules are very similar and also must be validated. A service provider may implement a multitude of charging rules for each service; and these rules may differ based on a variety of conditions, for example: Customer Service Level Agreement, time of day, or network conditions.
PCRF and PCEF Validation Solution
To validate policy, you need to be able to simulate the PCRF and PCEF, the Application Functions (AF) and the Charging Functions. By simulating these elements with NETSCOUT’s Spectra2, you can test your network elements for successful rules implementation, for error handling, and for the ability to perform under stress conditions.
Policy and Charging Test
Results Investing in the validation of your policy and charging elements ensures that your equipment vendors' software applications perform in accordance with your installed policies. Testing with NETSCOUT's Spectra2 solutions also guarantees that human errors in policy administration can be found and fixed prior to service launch.
Assessing Diameter Performance
Investing in the validation of your policy and charging elements ensures that your equipment vendors’ software applications perform in accordance with your installed policies. Testing with NETSCOUT’s Spectra2 solutions also guarantees that human errors in policy administration can be found and fixed prior to service launch. Testing also ensures that your network elements are engineered for peaks in capacity, so you’ll need to have a reliable tool, such as Spectra2, that can drive the expected maximum loads of traffic.
Ultimately, the testing and monitoring of your policy and charging functions guarantee your services can be delivered appropriately, which leads to customer satisfaction and a guaranteed revenue stream.
Testing Non-Standard Diameter Interfaces
What if you need to test a non-standard Diameter interface or Application? By using NETSCOUT’s Spectra2 Flexible Diameter Signaling, custom Diameter messages and message sequences, and even malformed PDUs, can be used to validate the functionality and performance of your custom Diameter interface.