Create SIP load test scenarios the easy way

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Sippy Cup


The Problem

Load testing voice systems, and voice applications in particular, is tricky. While several commercial tools exist, there is really only one tool in the Open Source world that is good at efficiently generating SIP load: SIPp. While SIPp does a good job of generating load, it is somewhat clumsy to use, due to a verbose XML format for scenarios, a confusing set of command line parameters, and worst of all, a lack of tools to create media needed to interact with voice applications.

The last problem is especially tricky: Imagine you want to load test an IVR. Testing requires:

  • calling a test number
  • waiting a certain amount of time
  • sending some DTMF
  • waiting some more
  • sending more DTMF
  • etc….

To test this with SIPp you need a PCAP file that contains the properly timed DTMF interactions. Since there is no tool to create this media, it is usually necessary to call into the system and record the PCAP, isolate the RTP from the captured packets with something like Wireshark, then connect the pcap file into the SIPp scenario. This process is time consuming and error prone, meaning that testing isn’t done as often as it should.

SippyCup aims to help solve these problems.

The Solution

Sippy Cup is a tool to generate SIPp load test profiles and the corresponding media in PCAP format. The goal is to take an input document that describes a load test in a very simple way (call this number, wait this many seconds, send this digit, wait a few more seconds, etc). The ideas are taken from LoadBot, but the goal is for a more performant load generating tool with no dependency on Asterisk.


SippyCup relies on the following to generate scenarios and the associated media PCAP files:

  • Ruby 2.3.0 or later
  • SIPp latest master branch - Download from - NOTE: Version SIPp version 3.4 may work, but will be missing certain new Sippy Cup features, such as rate scaling
  • “root” user access via sudo: needed to run SIPp so it can bind to raw network sockets


If you do not have Ruby 2.3.0 available (check using ruby --version), we recommend installing Ruby with RVM

Install via gem (production)

Once Ruby is installed, install SippyCup:

gem install sippy_cup

Now you can start creating scenario files like in the examples below.

Install from repository (development)

You use bundle command (from the “bundler” package) to install from the source directly. First, clone the repository into a working directory.

Install bundle via gem:

gem install bundler --no-ri --no-rdoc

Then build the sippy_cup application with bundle.

bundle install

Using bundle will then install the gem dependencies and allow you to run sippy_cup from your working directory.


Simple Example

max_concurrent: 10
calls_per_second: 5
number_of_calls: 20
  - invite
  - wait_for_answer
  - ack_answer
  - sleep 3
  - send_digits '3125551234'
  - sleep 5
  - send_digits '#'
  - wait_for_hangup

Both source and destination above may be optionally supplied with a port number, eg.

Next, execute the scenario:

$ sippy_cup -r my_test_scenario.yml
I, [2013-09-30T14:48:08.388106 #9883]  INFO -- : Preparing to run SIPp command: sudo sipp -i -p 8836 -sf /var/folders/n4/dpzsp6_95tb3c4sp12xj5wdr0000gn/T/scenario20130930-9883-1crejcw -l 10 -m 20 -r 5 -s 1


I, [2013-09-30T14:48:16.728712 #9883]  INFO -- : Test completed successfully.

Example embedding SIPp in another Ruby process

require 'sippy_cup'

scenario = 'Sippy Cup', source: '', destination: '' do |s|

  s.sleep 3
  s.send_digits '3125551234'
  s.sleep 5
  s.send_digits '#'


# Create the scenario XML and PCAP media. File will be named after the scenario name, in our case:
# * sippy_cup.xml
# * sippy_cup.pcap

The above code can be executed as a standalone Ruby script and the resulting scenario file run with SIPp.

Customize Your Scenarios

Available Scenario Steps

Each command below can take SIPp attributes as optional arguments. For a full list of available steps, see the API documentation.

  • sleep <seconds> Wait a specified number of seconds
  • invite Send a SIP INVITE to the specified target
  • register <username> [password] Register the specified user to the target with an optional password
  • receive_trying Expect to receive a 100 Trying response from the target
  • receive_ringing Expect to receive a 180 Ringing response from the target
  • receive_progress Expect to receive a 183 Progress response from the target
  • receive_answer Expect to receive a 200 OK (answering the call) response from the target
  • wait_for_answer Convenient shortcut for receive_trying; receive_ringing; receive_progress; receive_answer, with all but the answer marked as optional
  • ack_answer Send an ACK in response to a 200 OK
  • send_digits <string> Send a DTMF string. May send one or many digits, including 0-9, *, #, and A-D
  • receive_ok Expect to receive a 200 OK
  • receive_message [regex] Expect to receive a SIP MESSAGE, optionally matching a regex
  • send_bye Send a BYE (hangup request)
  • receive_bye Expect to receive a BYE from the target
  • ack_bye Send a 200 OK response to a BYE
  • wait_for_hangup Convenient shortcut for receive_bye; ack_bye

Alternate Output File Path

Don’t want your scenario to end up in the same directory as your script? Need the filename to be different than the scenario name? No problem!

For the sippy_cup manifest, use filename:

filename: /path/to/somewhere

Or, in Ruby:

s = 'SippyCup', source: '', destination: '', filename: '/path/to/somewhere' do
  # scenario definitions here...

This will create the files somewhere.xml and somewhere.pcap in the /path/to/ directory.

Customizing the Test Run

Each parameter has an impact on the test, and may either be changed once the XML file is generated or specified in the options hash for In addition to the default parameters, some additional parameters can be set:

Path to a file where call statistics will be stored in a CSV format, defaults to not storing stats
Frequency (in seconds) of statistics collections. Defaults to 10. Has no effect unless :stats_file is also specified
SIP user from which traffic should appear. Default: sipp
SIP user to send requests to. Defaults to SIPp's default: `s` (as in `s@`)
Specify the SIP transport. Valid options are `udp` (default) or `tcp`. Default: `udp`
By default, SippyCup will show SIPp's command line output while running a scenario. Set this parameter to `false` to hide full command line output. Default: `true`
Write a summary of the SIPp run to the specified file. This summary is the output from the SIPp `-trace_screen` command. Default: unused
Record SIPp's errors to the specified file. This report is the output from the SIPp `-trace_err` command. Default: unused
A string of SIPp command line options included with the SIPp run. Default: none
By default, SIPp assigns RTP ports dynamically. However, if there is a need for a static RTP port (say, for data collection purposes), it can be done by supplying a port number here. Default: SIPp's default of 6000
Specify the mechanism by which DTMF is signaled. Valid options are `rfc2833` for within the RTP media, or `info` for SIP INFO. Default: rfc2833
If you're using sippy_cup to run a SIPp XML file, there may be CSV fields in the scenario ([field0], [field1], etc.). Specify a path to a CSV file containing the required information using this option. (File is semicolon delimeted, information can be found [here]( Default: unused
The total number of calls permitted for the entire test. When this limit is reached, the test is over. Defaults to none - test will run forever until manually stopped
The total number of calls permitted for the entire test. When this limit is reached, the test is over. Defaults to nil.
The maximum number of calls permitted to be active at any given time. When this limit is reached, SIPp will slow down or stop sending new calls until there it falls below the limit. Defaults to SIPp's default: (3 * call_duration (seconds) * calls_per_second)
The rate at which new calls should be created. Note that SIPp will automatically adjust this downward to stay at or beneath the maximum number of concurrent calls (`concurrent_max`). Defaults to SIP's default of 10</dt>
When used with `calls_per_second_max`, tells SIPp the amount by which `calls_per_second` should be incremented. CPS rate is adjusted each `calls_per_second_interval`. Default: 1.
When used with `calls_per_second_max`, tells SIPp the time interval (in seconds) by which calls-per-second should be incremented. Default: Unset; SIPp's default (60s). NOTE: Requires a development build of SIPp; see
The maximum rate of calls-per-second. Default: unused (`calls_per_second` will not change)
The IP address to advertise in SIP and SDP if different from the bind IP. Default: `source` IP address
</dl> ### Additional SIPp Scenario Attributes With Sippy Cup, you can add additional attributes to each step of the scenario:
# This limits the amount of time the server has to reply to an invite (3 seconds)
s.receive_answer timeout: 3000

# You can override the default 'optional' parameters
s.receive_ringing optional: false
s.receive_answer optional: true

# Let's combine multiple attributes...
s.receive_answer timeout: 3000, crlf: true
For more information on possible attributes, visit the [SIPp Documentation]( ## Credits {#credits} Copyright (C) 2013-2014 [Mojo Lingo LLC]( Sippy Cup is released under the [MIT license]( Please see the [LICENSE]( file for details. Sippy Cup was created by [Ben Klang]( and [Will Drexler]( with support from [Mojo Lingo]( and their clients. "Sippy Cup" name suggested by [Jamey Owens](