Sunday, September 26, 2010

Glassfish Enterprise Server What Is Diameter Protocol?

Way back years ago, most Internet users rely on the use of dialup connections in order to access the Internet. Some parts of the globe are still using this form of connection even with the existence of a faster and more reliable connection, the broadband connection. Do you know how your ISP provides you your Internet connection? Well, your ISP uses the standard Authentication, Authorization, and Accounting (AAA) before allowing you to connect to the network by using their services.

So what is AAA and how does it affects you as a network user? AAA is simply a process inside an application that filters information before granting any access. It is where applications are based in order to provide a secure and reliable output. This is where diameter protocol and RADUIS gateway takes place. There are plenty of AAA applications that we are using right now. This includes the one used when connecting for a wireless network and on some mobile phone features.

Remote Authentication Dial In User Service (RADUIS) was an older protocol used in implementing AAA standards. The protocol was also named as radius gateway for a clearer and easy to remember term. Despite its popularity and availability, radius gateway had some complications and limitations that need to be addressed. Applications relying on radius gateway were immensely limited to performing a more secured and reliable process. Thus, it gave birth to a new form of protocol widely used in modern applications.

Diameter protocol came as a result of developments to eliminate limitations with the radius gateway. It serves similar purpose in AAA applications however, advanced processes and operations were added to the protocol to make it reliable. This included the addition of attribute value pairs (AVPs) and error notification which was not present on older protocols such as TACACS and RADIUS.

As a result, older applications designed to run on older protocols including those that were designed in conformity to radius gateway had to adapt the changes brought by the newer diameter protocol. In addition, diameter was designed to support backwards compatibility so migrating applications from radius gateway were easy. Necessary steps were done on most application to have it run with diameter protocol, without changing the entire structure of these applications.

The design of the diameter protocol was initiated by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) to be used for their IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS). By using the diameter protocol, applications are able to support interfaces such as Cx, CCA, Dx, Rf, Ro, and Sh, but it should be incompliance with the 3GPP or 3GPP2 standards.

Among the big companies relying on diameter protocol stack is Sun Microsystems. Their applications GlassFish and SailFin are using diameter protocol as the standard. The SailFin project is a joint venture with Traffix System, a leader in developing diameter based applications. The SailFin project will be embedded with Traffix’s OpenBloX(TM) Diameter which is also used by more than a hundred vendors. In addition to the project, OpenBloX was designed for Java which made it the best alternative.


Post a Comment