I have come across this term recently "protocol testing".I would like to know about it. What skills are needed in protocol testing.

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To test that the protocols are working as expected or not is Protocol Testing. Now testing tool will depend upon the protocol which is under test. I'll share the one on which I was working on. You might have heard about RADIUS, DIAMETER etc. which are kind of protocols which enforces rules to the technology which is being used.

How data is getting transferred , How sessions are getting Authorized or Authenticated between different network interfaces, how bandwidth is allocated is covered under testing of such protocols. For Eg. We were using the tool named Wireshark which will capture the packets being transferred between two systems. You need to simulate the traffic generation in this case. So the traffic captured by Wireshark will explain when the session is getting established, when exact data travel has started and how much data is send each time etc. Which protocol comes into picture when some threshold is breached, when consumption is over, when additional bandwidth is required will depend upon the protocol you are working on.

The messages are transferred between different systems/interfaces which will adhere to the rules defined by protocols and whether they are working as expected or not will be covered as a part of testing. This is just an overview and hopefully it will clear the picture.


Protocol testing is a generic term used by companies working in communication industry for testing of different protocols in domains of Routing, Switching ,Wireless,VoIP,Security,Telecom etc... Product companies like Cisco,Nortel,Juniper,Alcatel,Huawei... etc have networking devices like routers,switches,modems,wireless access-points,firewalls.. These devices uses different protocols to communicate ,for eg Cisco routers uses EIGRP,OSPF etc to exchange routing information ,so here protocol testing means checking whether EIGRP protocol and OSPF protocol are working fine as mentioned in the respective standards. Communication protocols or Datacom protocol are different terms used for the protocol working in networking domain ,which are mentioned in TCP/IP stack (main purpose is for routing and switching information exchange.

Usually protocol testing is done by connecting a DUT (device under test) to other devices like routers/switches and conifiguring the protocol in it, then checking the packet structure of the packets send by the devices, checking , protocol algorithm ,their performance,scalability etc using tools like wireshark,IxNetworks,Spir

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