Towards automated test and validation of SIP solutions
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IP networks are currently the major communication infrastructure used by an increasing number of applications and heterogeneous services, including voice services. In this context, the session initiation protocol (SIP) is a signaling protocol widely used for controlling multimedia communication sessions such as voice or video calls over IP networks, thus performing vital functions in an extensive set of public and enterprise solutions. However, the SIP protocol dissemination also entails some challenges, such as the complexity associated with the testing/validation processes of IMS/SIP networks. As a consequence, manual IMS/SIP testing solutions are inherently costly and time consuming tasks, being crucial to develop automated approaches in this specific area. In this perspective, this article presents an experimental approach for automated testing/validation of SIP scenarios in IMS networks. For that purpose, an automation framework is proposed allowing to replicate the configuration of SIP equipment from the production network and submit such equipment to a battery of tests in the testing network. The proposed solution allows to drastically reduce the test and validation times when compared with traditional manual approaches, also allowing to enhance testing reliability and coverage. The automation framework comprises of some freely available tools which are conveniently integrated with other specific modules implemented within the context of this work. In order to illustrate the advantages of the proposed automated framework, a real case study taken from a PT Inovação customer is presented comparing the time required to perform a manual SIP testing approach with the one time required when using the proposed automated framework. The presented results clearly corroborate the advantages of using the presented framework.
KeywordsSIP Automated testing Automated validation IMS networks VoIP Telecommunication protocols
This work has been supported by FCT—Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia within the Project Scope: PEst-OE/EEI/UI0319/2014. This research work was developed within the collaboration of PT Inovação (http://www.ptinovacao.pt/en/).
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