Apr 20, 2009

Some thoughts about Diameter

Is there a need in Diameter cards ? I looked at some SS7 and Sigtran projections a few days ago, there is a market for SS7 and Sigtran cards, this is a market along the stack market and actually even bigger.
I’m personally not sure there is a need for Diameter cards, I think IP based protocols market behave differently, but time will tell.

Apr 4, 2009

The amount of Diameter signaling

I come across more and issues regarding the amount of Diameter signaling and how it affects service providers networks.
Diameter is coming out of the labs, and when it’s moving to working environment the real network issues are starting to emerge.
So why Diameter is creating so much signaling, I believe the main issues are:
- Diameter is TCP/SCTP based compared to legacy signaling protocols like RADIUS that where mostly UDP based.

- Network fragmentation - in NGN like architectures, the number of network components is increasing, and many components were divided (for example the softswitch was divided to three different CSCF functionalities)

- Nature of new services – many of the services and applications (AS) are heavy signaling generators – like Presence and Location servers that create heavy signaling load or Policy servers (PDF/PCRF/RACS) that are creating heavy policy and enforcement Diameter traffic.

- Direct connectivity – in NGN connectivity between the components was defined directly, point to point - from functionality to functionality, at the time the standard bodies didn’t believe “in-between” components are needed, well I guess they skipped the history lessons especially the chapters about routers, STP’s and SBC’s – this is also contributing to the heavy load, complexity and lack of ability to balance and manage the Diameter signaling.

- New charging models and closer integration of BSS and network, which create heavier network load, in both the network side (Diameter signaling) and the BSS (CDR’s).

I believe this is only the tip of the iceberg, Diameter today is really still mainly in testing and within the labs, I think the amount of signaling issues will only increase in the coming years directly with Diameter adoption. It’s defiantly going to be interesting.