Today, networks are designed to meet a broad range of expectations and deliver an ever expanding range of services. In order to facilitate and manage this breadth of capabilities, unique, highly specialized networks are developed to meet these needs. It is not always feasible to practically build these networks due to their level of complexity. In these cases, network simulation solutions are used to model, test, and validate network design and management.
Network simulation solutions digitally create a network, thereby enabling developers to test and try out strategies or different configurations. In a virtual, isolated environment, network simulators can act as a sandbox and allow for the identification and subsequent analysis of potential problems, without impacting the wider network.
Network simulation solutions are an economical and efficient way to test network setups, routing algorithms, and policies before they’re applied in the real world. Not only does it help to save resources, but it prevents potential network failures and downtime in real, operational situations. These simulations can also act as an isolated environment for education purposes; IT students and trainees can experiment and learn without the risk of affecting active network infrastructure or traffic.
This type of solution is used to optimize networks, evaluate the impact of scaling, and creating playbooks to prepare for potential security threats. Network architects and engineers can intricately model their networks, experimenting with different variables to find the optimal configuration, all while ensuring robust security and high-performance metrics.
Everything You Need To Know About Network Simulation Solutions (FAQs)
What Is A Network Simulation Solution?
Network simulation solutions create a virtual environment that reflects a real or planned network. This allows IT engineers to understand the network’s behavior and operational details.
There are two main types of network simulation, one that is used on existing networks, and the second which is created before a network is built. These methods are both designed to help teams discover problems that may affect regular operations. Through network simulation, IT teams can identify issues, and develop effective solutions. Rather than having to deploy a solution across an entire network to see if it will work, network simulation creates a test environment. Once you are confident that the solution is appropriate, it can be deployed more widely.
For networks that are in the process of being built, problems can be detected before a network is constructed. This reduces any “teething-time”, allowing organizations to benefit from the network as soon as it is live.
How Do Network Simulation Solutions Work?
Network simulators create a digital version of a network. This version is much more adaptable and can be edited quickly, allowing IT teams to experiment with different settings and configurations, without the risk of affecting real operations.
In order to create a realistic and authentic simulated network, this type of solution will analyze the relationships between network entities such as links, routers, nodes, access points, and switches. Many simulation solutions use event simulation that can model changeable variables to understand how they behave over time.
The simulated network’s performance can then be analyzed to inform operation plans and the design of actual networks. This includes monitoring the behavior of third-party applications and services that are affected by the network. Many solutions will come with support for popular technologies, such as mobile networks, IoT devices, various types of networks, and Wireless LANs.
Top Network Simulation Solution Features To Look For
It can be difficult to understand which features are the most important when it comes to a network simulation solution. In this section, we will consider some of the most useful features to look for when considering a network simulation solution.
- Analysis And Reporting: It’s important that your chosen solution delivers robust reports and analysis, giving you in-depth and contextualized analysis of how your simulated network behaves under different conditions.
- Interface: The platform’s interface should be clean, intuitive, and user-friendly, allowing you to build features and make changes efficiently.
- Support: It is key that your chosen solution has strong support for a wide range of multiple operating systems, including the most common and popular systems. It is even better if your solution can include support for native, containerized network operating systems and traditional virtual machine-based routers.
- API: An API will let you automate your simulations and connect to external networks.
- Visibility: Ideally, your chosen solution should have a consolidated view, allowing users to be able to see multiple devices, configurations, and tools from a single pane.
- Control Management: Your solution should permit granular controls allowing you to find the perfect balance for your organization. The more work you are able to achieve through a simulation, the less you need to do to the actual network.