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Mobile Data Growth Drives the Standardization on Diameter

December 12, 2011 — by Nir Ilani0

As mobile data and the demand for extensive bandwidth-hungry content and applications continues to grow, service providers are forced to evolve and migrate legacy high-touch services, and in particular, their authentication, authorization and accounting (AAA) infrastructure. In addition, as Evolved Packet Core (part of the 4G-Long Term Evolution) is able to address extensively higher traffic capacity, offer flexible charging models, deliver innovative services and seamless access connectivity, messages-based protocols, like Diameter, are more high touch than ever.

Along with traffic growth, network infrastructure, AAA, application and billing elements should all be able to address connection growth and connection bursts to guarantee “carrier grade” high availability.  Also, the major trend towards data center consolidation driven by cost reduction and operational efficiency, introduces Diameter based entities that will provide mobile carriers with resiliency, scalability and quality of experience. Today mobile carriers seek a solution that will:

  • Ensure Diameter service resiliency and uptime – otherwise revenues and end-user satisfaction are degraded
  • Guarantee Diameter scalability and agility to support more subscriber traffic and connections cross Call Session Control Function (x-CSCF), service switches (Cx) as well from SIP application servers (Sh)
  • Deliver best Diameter Quality of Experience (QoE) to ensure highest end-user satisfaction and productivity through minimal latency and faster response time
  • Enable greater cost reduction by simplifying network and operations and driving consolidation through virtualization of high-touch network service elements

 

Diameter = 2 x RADIUS

Diameter (the successor to the RADIUS protocol – hence its name J) improves upon many previously-known limitations, such as a built-in fail over mechanism, better transport compatibility by operating over TCP or SCTP transport protocols with inherent packet loss and retransmission capabilities, improved security protection by utilizing secure TLS or IPSec connectivity, and better session control by decoupling the accounting and authentication messaged to different servers. All of these new capabilities introduced by Diameter make it a better suited high-touch infrastructure in “carrier grade” environments. Along with RADIUS backward compatibility, Diameter is the de facto leading AAA protocol, ensuring the connectivity and high availability of network elements.

Radware Mobile Service Edge (MSE) Solution for Diameter Environments

Radware MSE offers the service intelligence needed to effectively manage next-generation Diameter networks, including HSS, MME and PCRF, to enhance the resilience, quality of experience and scalability of Diameter networks while reducing costs.   Key value proposition includes:

Highly performing Diameter network – by providing multi-level TCP and Diameter session splitting, Radware MSE optimizes bursts distribution and isolates Diameter end-point failures.  The result is increased service responsiveness to end users through intelligently addressing traffic peaks and bursts resulting from high reconnection rates following infrastructure element failure.

Resilient Diameter operations – Acting as a Diameter Routing Agent (DRA), relay or proxy, Radware MSE continuously monitors the Diameter network elements to identify and bypass transaction failures via the solution’s health checks including session initiation and client authentication.

Diameter scalability, locally and across geographical domains – by leveraging Radware’s application delivery controller (ADC) virtualization capabilities, Radware MSE enables to allocate a separate ADC service (vADC) per each mission-critical infrastructure service (such as Diameter), providing the capabilities to introduce new Diameter based business and customer service models.  As a result, mobile carriers can easily migrate from complex network architecture towards agile, cost effective and easy to operate networks.

Complete Diameter Awareness – Attribute/Value Pair (AVP) service contextual awareness persistency and load balancing capabilities allows operators to enforce business, customer and service based polices, eliminating backend synchronization and ensures session data consistency

Read our whitepaper on “Ensuring Undisrupted and Resilient Diameter

Learn more about Radware’s Mobile Service Edge

Until next time,

Nir

Nir Ilani

Nir Ilani owns the global product strategy and practices of Radware’s Cloud Security services including Cloud DDoS Protection, Cloud WAF and Cloud Acceleration. He has over two decades of diverse engineering and product management experience including managing the design, development and release of industry-leading, high-scale solutions. Nir is an expert in Cloud Computing, Cyber Security, Big Data and Networking technologies, and a frequent speaker in technology events. Nir holds a Bachelor in Computer Science and Business Administration as well as MBA, both from Tel-Aviv University. Nir writes about trends, technological evolution and economic impact related to Cloud, Security and everything in between.

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