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H.248 Gateway Control Protocol Signaling Traffic Related Protocol Analysis

H.248 Gateway Control Protocol Signaling Traffic Related Protocol Analysis

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H.248 Gateway Control Protocol Signaling Traffic Related Protocol Analysis

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  1. H.248 Gateway Control Protocol Signaling Traffic Related Protocol Analysis Antti Miettinen S-38.310 Thesis Seminar on Networking Technology Helsinki University of Technology 07.12.2004

  2. Basic Information • Thesis written at Oy L M Ericsson Ab, Finland • Supervisor: Professor Jorma Jormakka • Instructors: M.Sc. Juha Eloranta

  3. Contents • Background • Problem Description • Objectives • Scope • UMTS Release 5 Network • H.248 Gateway Control Protocol • H.248 Protocol Traffic Analysis • Protocol Traffic Analyzers • Conclusion and Future Work

  4. Background (1/3) • The Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) is a third generation mobile network standard specified by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) • UMTS network is developed from the GSM and GPRS • UMTS specifications and features grouped into releases • Each release contains specific functionalities and advancements • Releases enable vendors to make interoperable networks

  5. Background (2/3) • The UMTS Release 4 network architecture introduced the layered network architecture • Call control is separated from the media and bearer control • H.248 Gateway Control Protocol framework (GCP) is used in the UMTS core network between the Media Gateway Controller (MGC) and the Media Gateway (MGW) and between the Media Resource Function Controller (MRFC) and Media Resource Function Processor (MRFP).

  6. Background (3/3) • This means: • The MGC and the MRFC handles the call control while the MGW and the MRFP handles the media and the bearer control. • The MGC and MRFC steer and control the calls through the MGW and the MRFP with help of the GCP

  7. Problem Description • The GCP traffic analysis has an essential role in troubleshooting the network anomalies • By analyzing the GCP traffic, the past status and the prevailing operations of the network node can be revealed • However, the GCP messages are big and frequent. Thus, the protocol traffic analysis is a heavy process. • The research problem of this thesis is to find out an efficient method to analyze the GCP protocol traffic to troubleshoot the network nodes

  8. Objectives • The objective of this study is to find out efficient methods to analyze the H.248 Gateway Control Protocol signaling traffic to be able to troubleshoot the network nodes efficiently.

  9. Scope • Different methods to efficiently analyze the H.248 protocol traffic are explored. Those methods are mapped to protocol traffic analyzer requirements. • Only open source analyzers are explored • The source code is available => modifications to the analyzer can be done to meet the requirements better • No license fees • Commercial products do not distribute fully functional demo versions => no real evaluation can be done • An protocol traffic analyzer is selected as a recommendation for the H.248 protocol traffic analysis

  10. AuC BSC BSS BTS CN CS EIR GGSN GMSC HLR ME MGW MS MSC PS PSTN RNC RNS SGSN SIM USIM VLR Authentication Centre Base Station Controller Base Station System Base Transceiver Station Core Network Circuit Switched Equipment Identity Register Gateway GPRS Support Node Gateway Mobile Switching Centre Home Location Register Mobile Equipment Media Gateway Mobile Station Mobile Switching Centre Packet Switched Public Switched Telephone Network Radio Network Controller Radio Network Subsystem Serving GPRS Support Node Subscriber Identity Module User Services Identity Module Visitor Location Register UMTSRelease 5Network

  11. H.248 Gateway Control Protocol (1/5) • Connection model • The most important abstractions are the Contexts, Terminations and Streams = the direction of a media flow Tx = termination x = a stream MGW Context1 Context2 Context3 T2 T2 T2 T1 T3 T1 T3 T1 T3

  12. GCP message Transaction2 Action1 Action1 Command4 Command3 Command2 Command2 Command1 Command1 Command1 TopologyDescriptor Action2 Transaction1 Action3 MediaDescriptor H.248 Gateway Control Protocol (2/5) • Message structure • GCP message has a modular structure

  13. H.248 Gateway Control Protocol (3/5) • Messages • Large when presented in human readable form • Transaction request (easily >100 lines)bigger than transaction replies • Replies do not usually contain descriptors • Signaling traffic asymmetric • Treelike hierarchy • Transactions • Actions • Commands • Descriptors

  14. H.248 Gateway Control Protocol (4/5) • Possible errors situations • H.248.8 packet defines 60 different error descriptor • e.g. “Unknown TerminationID”, error code 430 or “insufficient bandwidth”, error code 526. • Network node might end up to an unspecified state (the failed command remains half executed) • Must be taken into account when searching reasons for network node anomalies

  15. H.248 Gateway Control Protocol (5/5) • Possible errors situations (cont.) • Unclosed transactions • May realize in case of unreliable signaling connection • GCP specifies the three timers to prevent this but they are not 100% sure

  16. H.248 Protocol Traffic Analysis (1/3) • Data Presentation Format • “Overview first, zoom and filter, then details-on-demand”, Ben Shneiderman • The call related parameters should be shown in their own columns in the overview part: • transactionId, contextId, command type, terminationID and wildcard • Scroll bars, colored messages (e.g. error messages), colored barplots and tool tips

  17. H.248 Protocol Traffic Analysis (2/3) • Filtering Functions • One of the most important features needed in troubleshooting • Sorting Functions • Basic function • Implemented in every analyzer • Monitoring Functions • Error descriptors in messages • Unclosed transactions

  18. H.248 Protocol Traffic Analysis (3/3) • Summary Function • Shows the key information about the traffic, e.g. • The number of transaction requests, replies and pendings • The number of errored messages • The number of completed and uncompleted transactions

  19. H.248 Protocol Traffic Analyzers (1/2) • Only open source analyzers explored • Examined analyzers: • TcpDump & WinDump • Ethereal • Analyzer • Packetyzer

  20. H.248 Protocol Traffic Analyzers (2/2) • Recommendation: • Ethereal • Meets the requirements of the H.248 protocol traffic analysis best • Actively developed • Missing features: H.248 specific columns, monitoring functions, summary function, colored barplots

  21. Conclusion and Future Work • Topics for future work: • Implement the missing requirements to Ethereal • Explore the commercial analyzers if they are even more suitable for the H.248 traffic analysis

  22. Thank you! Questions or comments?