Fundamentals of Protocol Testing in software industry

There is a certain common set of rules that computers have to follow while communicating with each other. So, it is the protocols that determine the process of data transmission in case of computer devices over networks.

There are two types of categories of protocols, and that are- routed protocols and routing protocols. This is the fundamentals of protocol testing that one has to keep in the mind before getting the knowledge of protocol testing.

Protocol Testing

It is nothing but a widely used generic term and most of the companies in communication industry utilize this term while testing diverse protocol types in diverse domains, such as- Switching, Routing, Wireless, VoIP and many others.

Many illustrious giants, such as- Alcatel, CISCO, etc. use diverse protocols for effective communication and this they manufacture innovative devices, for examples- modems, routers, and wireless access points, like- CISCO mainly prefers OSPF and EIGRP.

Here, EIGRP stands for Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol, and OSPF signifies Open Shortest Path First. Protocol testing is a process by following which checking whether the protocols EIGRP and OSPF are working according to the relevant standards or not.

The process of protocol testing

Two things are necessary for a protocol testing, the first one is a protocol analyzer and the second one is a simulator.

  • The first one makes sure about the appropriate kind of decoding as well as proper session analysis.
  • Whereas, the second one the stimulator is utilized for the simulation of different units of networking components.

With the help of DUT otherwise known as Device Under Test, execution of protocol testing is done in the case of different devices, such as- switches as well as the routers. The configuration of the protocol is a very imperative part here in the testing part. Afterward, the devices send the packets that test the packet structure.

Certain attributes of the device, like- scalability, protocol algorithm, and performance are the main concern here and by utilizing various tools, like- Wireshark, IxNetworks and Scapy checking of all these attributes is possible.

Different Protocol Testing Types

Testing of several aspects like- interoperability, functionality, protocol stack and performance are the core motive in the case of protocol testing. While following the protocol testing for correctness, latency and bandwidth, three fundamental checking was done. Measuring of correctness based on the receiving of the packet X as per expectations. Latency testing, based on the time taken for the system transit, and bandwidth checking means the capacity of sending packets per second.

There are two different categories of protocol testing while segregating the process.

  • First one is about the Functional tests and
  • The second one is Stress along with Reliability tests.

Several testing based on load, stress and performance come under Stress and Reliability and on the other hand, negative testing, interoperability testing, conformance testing and many others fall under the Functional testing.

Choosing some of the most important tools for testing is based on the verification of protocols. For packet crafting, protocol testing needs Scapy. Likewise, Wireshark does the analysis part, and TTCN is the language that is obligatory for defining the scenario of the test and the protocol testing related implementation. So these tools are used for Protocol Testing which is very much needed.

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