Network Emulation

The Internet, private wide area networks, and cloud services represent some of the aspects that connect the user to their application. As users demand faster response and more complex data from their applications, the networks carrying this data are under greater pressure to meet these expectations. To truly test out applications before rolling it out to the users, network emulation must be used. Network emulation is also referred to as wan emulation. 

Network emulation is used by manufacturers, service providers, and applications developers to verify the robustness of their network product or application. A wan emulator recreates the real world effects seen in the network. Standard features of a network emulator include filtering, impairments, modifiers, and routing.

Filtering allows the wan emulator to separate traffic into different groups to represent different networks. Therefore, a network emulator emulates multiple network scenarios between two emulator ports. Even though end devices are only feet apart and connected to the same server through the emulator, device “A” and device “B” could be viewed to be on different sides of the world by the server.  Learn More

 Network Simulation

Network simulation covers a wide range of different concepts. However, there are two main network simulation concepts: a software program simulating the interaction of network devices and equipment to simulate a network with real data.

The network simulation software is to test the end to end application behavior on different network designs. Again the network simulation is done completely in software.

The other network simulation is to test application performance with real data. Even though it is more accurate to call real data testing as network emulation, most people still refer it as network simulation.

Some examples of network simulation include: enterprise networks, satellite networks, networks with remote data centers, service provider networks, networks with cloud based elements, and application based networks such as video delivery services.

Just as testing with actual real data vs. software provides a closer alignment to “real network” testing, testing with live traffic vs. synthesized data gets even closer. Network devices operate differently depending on the interaction with the traffic. It is common to see a router affect live traffic differently than synthesized video traffic and therefore it is best to get as close as possible to the real network to ensure all issues are fully tested and reduce deployment risk.  Learn More