GTP Load Balancing

The Challenge

Today’s networks require an ever increasing number of tools for monitoring such as Application/Network performance, IDS/IPS, Sniffers, VoIP analysers, Data Recorders, DLP, Compliance monitors etc. All these tools require actual packet data to perform their analysis. The challenges to supplying data to these tools are a lack of tool access points, limited network visibility, network bandwidth exceeding support from existing tools, and increasing costs. Escalating bandwidth demands have made monitoring costly; it is challenging to reduce the costs associated with monitoring tools without compromising complete visibility.

The Solution From Cubro

GTP load balancing is a common application in 3G/4G mobile networks. Load balancing is needed because the amount of traffic is massive while the performance of the probes is limited. The relevant interfaces are GN (3G) and S1-U&S5/S8 (LTE). Cubro’s products provide load balancing for both 3G/4G in the same application.

STEP 1:

Optical TAP 2 x 100 Gbit links (one live, one stand by)

Product: Cubro Optoslim optical TAP

STEP 2:

The 4 x 100 Gbit optical signals are forwarded to the Cubro Packetmaster EX48400 from the monitor ports of the TAP. This unit first performs an initial symmetric load balancing step based on the outer IP address. The load balanced outputs are 8 x 10 Gbit ports.

STEP 3:

The 8 x 10 Gbit GTP streams are sent to 4 Sessionmasters - 2 x 10 Gbit to each.
The Sessionmaster EXA40 load balances the traffic in GTP to 6 streams with 3,5 Gbit to feed the probes, however, it is possible to split the streams into smaller portions.

STEP 4:

(Optional) A Packetmaster EX484-3 can steer the GTP streams to the probing cluster to have more precise and easier control. The Packetmaster can also monitor whether the probes are online or not and reroute the traffic to a spare in the case of a failure.


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