Emulation of IP Core Network for Testing of the Serving GRPS Support Node (SGSN) Routing Application (Electronics Project)

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This study aims to investigate a method and tool for emulation of the General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) core network needed as an environment to test the routing functionality. GPRS is the most widely adopted mobile packet data delivery technology in the world. It utilizes an Intranet Protocol (IP)-based core network and involves significant changes to the way the Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) air interface is structured. It also forms the basis of the future structure of mobile network transmission and switching.

The Serving GPRS Support Node (SGSN) is the most fundamental node in GPRS. Ericsson produces and manages an increasing number of SGSN nodes in the world. One of main functionalities of SGSN node is to forward IP packets according to the destination address in the IP header on IP core network.

In each new release of SGSN, or when implementation or upgrades have been done on routing application on SGSN, design and test engineers at Ericsson need to emulate the IP core network. This must be done with use of many routers to generate huge amounts of data that can simulate the real world IP core network.

The major goal of this study was to analyze and verifying the use of a suitable and economical solution to emulating IP Core Network of the GPRS system for testing of different functionality of the routing application running in SGSN , instead of building up a physical Core Network with different infrastructure and many routers.

The method chosen for emulating the IP core network with many routers, and investigated in the thesis, is based on a Cisco simulator called “Dynamips”, which runs many actual Cisco Internetwork Operating Systems (IOS) with many different models of Cisco products in a virtual environment on Windows or Linux platforms. With this simulator, engineers at Ericsson will be able to use this simulator to emulate IP core network easily and efficiently to accomplish system test cases.

A conclusion of this work is that Dynamics could be used to emulate many complicated IP core network scenarios, with many routers to generate huge amounts of data to simulate the real world IP core network. The emulated system fulfils its purpose for testing of the routing application of SGSN regarding different functionality and characteristics. This is done to ensure and verify that SGSN routing application meets its functional and technical requirements, and also helps to find undiscovered errors as well as helps to ensure that the individual components of routing application on SGSN are working correctly.
Source: Halmstad University
Author: Torkaman, Hossein

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