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ABot is a Cloud native 4G/5G and ORAN Network Protocol Tester

The ABot test orchestration solution validates 4G and 5G network functions as per 3GPP Specifications. ABot also supports 7.2 3GPP split RAN architecture. It includes a plethora of canned plug-and-play test templates for functionalconformanceinterop, performance benchmark, and load testing. ABot tests both control and user planes by simulating network functions in a containerized cloud-native, virtualized, or bare metal environment. ABot can be scaled horizontally to enable performance benchmarking at carrier-grade scale. Logs, events, KPIs, and traces from different layers of the NFV platform are captured during test execution and analyzed by the ABot Analytic engine for anomaly detection and data insight.

ABot can simulate any 4G EPC nodes (MME, SGW, PGW, HSS, PCRF, OCS, OFCS) and the eNodeB S1-MME interface with the capability of supporting large number of subscribers. ABot supports use cases specified in 3GPP 23.401. ABot can also support 5G Non-Standalone test cases, thus supporting a Master eNodeB and Secondary gNodeB configuration and the scenarios specified in 3GPP 38.401. In the 5G world ABot has the capability of supporting the 5G SBA Core Network Functions like AMF, AUSF, UDM, SMF, NSSF, UPF, NEF, NRF, PCF, and AF and the gNodeB N1/N2 interface. ABot supports use cases specified in 3GPP 23.501 & 23.502. ABot simulated nodes can work alongside real nodes to emulate incomplete functions of the call flow and can be managed through an orchestrator. ABot REST API can be used to integrate with any CI engine and can be part of a CI-CT-CD solution.

ABot can be used for testing the 7.2 3GPP split RAN architecture by validating the F1 and E1 interface. It can emulate the gnb-DU and gnb-CU components of the split RAN architecture. It has the capability to test functional requirements using F1AP and E1AP protocols on the F1-C and E1 interface respectively along with NR-U capability on the F1-U interface. ABot also supports the encapsulated RRC/NAS payloads that are encapsulated by the F1AP protocol. ABot has the capability of supporting the scenarios specified in 3GPP 38.401 (NR-RAN Architecture)

ABot can be used to validate the various MEC exemplary reference architecture deployment models by running use case specific scenarios. It provides the ability to select a particular 5G slice and generate traffic required to test the application use case on a MEC platform. Its emulated protocol stacks are very lightweight and versatile to fit various architectures of the MEC solution for the different verticals. ABot currently supports 4G, 5G, and hybrid test cases, hence it can facilitate the integration of multi-vendor solutions within the RAN and the Mobile Core. ABot can support any TCP/IP traffic and we can be extended to support other IP-based protocols. ABot framework enables rapid development of new protocols and interfaces required to support different NF needed to support MEC application use cases.

Validate performance of VNF/CNF/PNF solutions before deployment

Service operators can use ABot’s 4G/5G simulated nodes and canned end-to-end call flows to validate 4G/5GCIoT and Open RAN scenarios during system integration and interop testing prior to network deployment and production. ABot can simulate both data plane and control plane traffic at carrier-grade scale for performance benchmarking of NFs. Apart from functional testing, ABot is capable of testing the robustness of a telecom node, its capacity, and performance by simulating Gbps level traffic with millions of simulated devices across the network. ABot being a cloud-native test tool, seamlessly integrates with any cloud orchestrator like Juju, Cloudify, ONAP, Kubernetes, etc. ABot being complete cloud-native, it can be deployed on a production system to validate a solution, and then removed making the solution live, all through an Orchestrator.

ABot can generate traffic specific to each type of network slice (SST 1,2,3)  and interoperates with PCF, NRF, NSSF, and UPF accordingly. It can help validate:
  1. Whether NSSF is selecting the correct node for a particular network slice-based on NSSAI
  2. The network slice meets the required QoS/QoE, latency, throughput, and data transmission frequency
  3. The network slice is delivering required latency and throughput under a heavily loaded condition
  4. Dynamic creation, modification, and management of network slices
  5. Simultaneous access of multiple slices by an ABot simulated 5G UE
  6. Isolation of services in each slice without impacting the services of other slices
  7. Network behavior of 5G Slice use cases for different types of traffic, including video
and several others ….

ABot test tool can support interoperability testing, unit testingdevelopment testing, and system integration testing. The test cases in ABot implement call flows and end-to-end use cases as per the latest 3GPP specification. These test cases validate 4G / 5G SA-NSA and ORAN use cases and can certify real telecom nodes. ABot is capable of simulating any 4G or 5G network function along with ORAN CU /DU. Apart from functional testing, ABot is capable of testing the robustness of a telecom node and its stress-bearing capacity by simulating Gbps level traffic with millions of simulated devices across the network.

ABot integrates seamlessly with any CI engine like Jenkins. Test cases of ABot can be invoked from the CI engine with the help of keywords or 'Tags' which refer to a single or group of Test Cases. These Tags can be used to identify Protocol, Scenario, Sanity, Smoke, Regression, etc. The ABot Analytics engine processes all test results, Mobility & Infra KPIs and correlates them for Root Cause Analysis, thus providing a framework for Continuous Test Assurance. ABot integrates with other Northbound and Southbound applications using REST API. It can also be used as an orchestrator for all other test frameworks and 3rd party test tools for System Level E2E testing. In order to aid in the CI process, ABot comes built-in with Test Case Teardown and a simple Network Topology Builder.

As test cases are executed, ABot Analytic engine ingests all logs and events generated by the network applications and NFVI layer along with the associated system and infra-level KPIs. These are processed by an ML-based deep neural network to generate test-related data insights. Log messages and PCAP data are automatically parsed and mapped on Call Flow ladder diagrams. These insights and several other ML models facilitate Root Cause detection of test failures. The Analytics module of ABot presents a deeper analysis of the execution data via an interactive dashboard and storyboards.

ABot engages deep learning statistical models to analyze relevant KPIs after every test run. Build-by-build maturity and NF's maturity trend analyses are generated using mobility-related data insights like 3GPP procedures, protocols, interfaces, messages, deployment configuration, system, and infra-level KPIs. Results are presented to help make a conclusive inference, defect tracking, and determining release maturity.

Control and User Plane Separation (CUPS) architecture is required to have the user plane of the packet core to be placed closer to the end-user while the control plane can be placed in a centralized location. The proximity of the user plane reduces latency and ensures high bandwidth. ABot does support CUPS Architecture and simulates 4G-5G Migration-specific use-cases.ABot can simulate hybrid nodes like HSS+UDM, PCF+PCRF, SMF+ PGW-C, UPF+PGW-U to perform 4G-5G migration scenarios with ready-made 4G-5G canned use-cases in a plug and play manner.

ABot supports 7.2 3GPP split RAN (ORAN) architecture by validating the F1 and E1 interface. gnb-DU (PHY high) and gnb-CU (gnb-CU-CP and gnb-CU-UP) can be simulated by ABot. F1AP and E1AP protocols on the F1-C and E1 interfaces respectively along with the scenarios specified in 3GPP 38.401 (NR-RAN Architecture) are supported by ABotInterface Management, Bearer Context Management, RRC Message Transfer and Warning Message Transmission, etc. including Multiple TNL Association support are part of the ABot test suite.

With respect to latency, bandwidth requirement, speed, guaranteed service level agreement, mobility, energy efficiency, data security ABot can simulate use-cases where different types of video traffic would be sliced as per the SSTs. This provides an assessment of the different ways slices will operate. For example, an immersive video will require a slice capable of 1Gbps bandwidth and 10-40ms latency. An automotive slice, meanwhile, will require an extremely versatile network that can simultaneously deliver high throughput of in-car entertainment, ultra-reliability, and low latency for assisted/autonomous driving, data gathering, and analysis from telemetry sensors, device to device communication, and possibly more.

ABot architecture's ability to rapidly implement new network protocol messages makes it an ideal MEC Validation tool for Operators and End Customers with any use case scenario. Its emulated protocol stacks are very lightweight and versatile to fit various architectures of the MEC solution for the different verticals. It can facilitate the integration of multi-vendor solutions within the RAN and the Mobile Core. The MEC components and the http-based communication between them can easily be supported by the ABot framework. ABot test cases, its Analytics engine, and the extensive REST support for integration with any Orchestrator and CI/CT/CD pipeline make it an effective tool for MEC validation solutions.

Validate Network Function by emulating other peer nodes

ABot is a test tool for unit testing, functional and conformance testing, development testing, system integration, and interoperability testing. It is capable of simulating any 4G or 5G telecom network functions along with ORAN CU/DU completely or only certain interfaces/messages. Thus, ABot is capable of testing even a partially implemented telecom node. Its ability to simulate end-to-end 5G Non-standalone and 5G Standalone use cases can accelerate development, integration, and interoperability testing of NFs. ABot can also simulate any protocol and encapsulate it easily in its framework to forward such traffic via 3gpp/LTE data path. ABot test cases can generate various types of traffic, including video. ABot Analytics provides data insights using AI-driven ML mechanisms to help troubleshoot and determine Root Cause Analysis. All this makes ABot an ideal test tool for any mobility OEM

ABot can simulate end-to-end Non-Standalone and Standalone call flows validating any 5G use case-specific implementation. The protocol adapter layer of ABot can be easily extended to validate any protocol enhancement and customization required for supporting Enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB), Ultra-Reliable Low Latency Communications (URLLC) and Massive Machine Type Communication (mMTC) use cases.

ABot Analytics provides a deeper insight into the test cases executed for faster analysis. It analyzes the test results and classifies the failures by - error in test case authoring, configuration error, or application failure. Ladder diagram representation of the test cases is generated for ease of understanding. PCAPs and Logs are parsed using ML techniques and presented in the ladder diagram for debugging.

ABot supports Config files that enable one to define a Lab configuration in a simple textual manner. Besides network configuration, specific IE values, and other variables related to the Node or test scenario can also be defined. These Config files are hierarchical in nature to facilitate maximum reusability. The Config files representing the Lab setup are referenced In the test cases, thus eliminating configuration related challenges for the testers.

ABot Analytics engine is capable of identifying 3GPP scenarios, procedures, protocols, interfaces, and messages. After each test execution, deep learning statistical models analyses this information along with associated mobility statistics like latency, bearer connection, and session performance indicatorssystem-level KPIs, logs of the system under tests, and PCAP data. Comparisons with similar test execution data from prior test data are used to make build quality inferences.  Build-by-build maturity analysis is generated along with trends to help determine release maturity.  A graphical representation of the node maturity is provided with maturity scores based on the pass/fail analysis of the messages and their criticality based on the use cases verified.

The ABot analytic engine correlates data from NFVIInfrastructure, and VNFs in a data lake for failure analysis. Data correlation is done after every call model test execution from several dimensions - the mobility statistics of the nodes, system KPI of the infrastructure involved, time-series data of log messages & PCAP data of the various nodes, etc. ABot Analytics compares test execution data from prior test data to determine anomalous behavior. The result is presented in an easy to understand dashboard for deeper analysis.

Control and User Plane Separation (CUPS) architecture is required to have the user plane of the packet core to be placed closer to the end-user while the control plane can be placed in a centralized location. The proximity of the user plane reduces latency and ensures high bandwidth. ABot does support CUPS Architecture and simulates 4G-5G Migration-specific use-cases.ABot can simulate hybrid nodes like HSS+UDM, PCF+PCRF, SMF+ PGW-C, UPF+PGW-U to perform 4G-5G migration scenarios with ready-made 4G-5G canned use-cases in a plug and play manner.

For validating 5G Non-Standalone scenarios and an EPC’s capability supporting dual connectivity is a must-have.  ABot has Dual Connectivity Support.  It can simulate a group of eNodeBs and gNodeBs split data packets as per the guidelines laid down by different options of 5G NSA and in accordance with 3GPP Release 15. Support for NSA Option -3NSA Option -3aNSA Option -3x is also there.

ABot supports 7.2 3GPP split RAN (ORAN) architecture by validating the F1 and E1 interface. gnb-DU (PHY high) and gnb-CU (gnb-CU-CP and gnb-CU-UP) can be simulated by ABot. F1AP and E1AP protocols on the F1-C and E1 interfaces respectively along with the scenarios specified in 3GPP 38.401 (NR-RAN Architecture) are supported by ABotInterface Management, Bearer Context Management, RRC Message Transfer and Warning Message Transmission, etc. including Multiple TNL Association support are part of the ABot test suite.

With respect to latency, bandwidth requirement, speed, guaranteed service level agreement, mobility, energy efficiency, data security ABot can simulate use-cases where different types of video traffic would be sliced as per the SSTs. This provides an assessment of the different ways slices will operate. For example, an immersive video will require a slice capable of 1Gbps bandwidth and 10-40ms latency. An automotive slice, meanwhile, will require an extremely versatile network that can simultaneously deliver high throughput of in-car entertainment, ultra-reliability, and low latency for assisted/autonomous driving, data gathering, and analysis from telemetry sensors, device to device communication, and possibly more.

Integrate complex Virtualized Network Functions

ABot can simulate eNodeB and gNodeB (along with 100Ks of 4G/5G UEs), 4G EPC (MME, SGW, PGW, HSS, PCRF, OCS, OFCS), Service Control Exposure Function (SCEF)Services Capabilities Server (SCS). It can also simulate 5G SBA Core Network Functions like AMF, AUSF, UDM, SMF, NSSF, UPF, NEF, NRF, PCF, and AF along with ORAN CU/DU. ABot simulated nodes can work alongside real nodes (Device Under Test) to emulate a network solution. Real nodes and emulated nodes can be switched using easy to use Config file with no changes to the ABot test cases.

ABot comes with 100s of re-usable test templates, written in high-level English like Domain Specific Language that is easy to comprehend and modify. Using these test templates one can validate and certify a network function right out of the box. AI-based Smart Editor for suggesting appropriate Protocol, Interface, Message, and Node names relevant to the Test Scenario makes editing a child's play.  

ABot Analytics is based on a Deep Learning engine that has the ability to remember Call Flow executions along with all the correlated collected test data. Both pass and fail test data are ingested into the ABot machine learning engine for analysis. ABot Analytics compares each test run with all previous execution of similar call flows to identify the anomaly. Thus ABot is able to identify failure by analyzing the holistic view of the test run, generate build-by-build analytics and maturity trends.

ABot is cloud-native, platform-agnostic and can be used as a Test tool-as-a-Service. Its 4G/5G protocol stacks are containerized to meet the need of multi-cloud decentralized deployment configuration of NFs. Its infrastructure components like GUI, test execution engine, analytics module, etc. can be deployed as micro-services and integrated with other orchestration functions and CI/CD engine. The emulated stacks of ABot are extremely lightweight hence deployable across Edge networksTelco and Cloud Operator's network. These stacks can be deployed as Work Loads in Pods across the network and orchestrated to simulate any topology.

ABot can be seamlessly integrated into a CI-CD pipeline like Jenkins to provide a Continous Test Assurance framework. Using Jenkins ABot test framework and its emulated nodes can be deployed along with other real nodes and the System Under Test. The pre-packaged test cases of ABot can be deployed and invoked using the CI-CD engine for validation of the SUT. ABot offers a mechanism for easy configuration of testbed and selection of test suite. ABot integrates with other Northbound and Southbound applications using REST API.

Control and User Plane Separation (CUPS) architecture is required to have the user plane of the packet core to be placed closer to the end-user while the control plane can be placed in a centralized location. The proximity of the user plane reduces latency and ensures high bandwidth. ABot does support CUPS Architecture and simulates 4G-5G Migration-specific use-cases.ABot can simulate hybrid nodes like HSS+UDM, PCF+PCRF, SMF+ PGW-C, UPF+PGW-U to perform 4G-5G migration scenarios with ready-made 4G-5G canned use-cases in a plug and play manner.

For validating 5G Non-Standalone scenarios and an EPC’s capability supporting dual connectivity is a must-have.  ABot has Dual Connectivity Support.  It can simulate a group of eNodeBs and gNodeBs split data packets as per the guidelines laid down by different options of 5G NSA and in accordance with 3GPP Release 15. Support for NSA Option -3NSA Option -3aNSA Option -3x is also there.

ABot supports 7.2 3GPP split RAN (ORAN) architecture by validating the F1 and E1 interface. gnb-DU (PHY high) and gnb-CU (gnb-CU-CP and gnb-CU-UP) can be simulated by ABot. F1AP and E1AP protocols on the F1-C and E1 interfaces respectively along with the scenarios specified in 3GPP 38.401 (NR-RAN Architecture) are supported by ABotInterface Management, Bearer Context Management, RRC Message Transfer and Warning Message Transmission, etc. including Multiple TNL Association support are part of the ABot test suite.

With respect to latency, bandwidth requirement, speed, guaranteed service level agreement, mobility, energy efficiency, data security ABot can simulate use-cases where different types of video traffic would be sliced as per the SSTs. This provides an assessment of the different ways slices will operate. For example, an immersive video will require a slice capable of 1Gbps bandwidth and 10-40ms latency. An automotive slice, meanwhile, will require an extremely versatile network that can simultaneously deliver high throughput of in-car entertainment, ultra-reliability, and low latency for assisted/autonomous driving, data gathering, and analysis from telemetry sensors, device to device communication, and possibly more.

ABot architecture's ability to rapidly implement new network protocol messages makes it an ideal MEC Validation tool for Operators and End Customers with any use case scenario. Its emulated protocol stacks are very lightweight and versatile to fit various architectures of the MEC solution for the different verticals. It can facilitate the integration of multi-vendor solutions within the RAN and the Mobile Core. The MEC components and the http-based communication between them can easily be supported by the ABot framework. ABot test cases, its Analytics engine, and the extensive REST support for integration with any Orchestrator and CI/CT/CD pipeline make it an effective tool for MEC validation solutions.

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