Network Emulation

To connect users to their applications, various aspects such as the Internet, private wide area networks, and cloud services are used. As users require faster response times and more complex data, the networks carrying this data are under increasing pressure to meet their demands. To ensure that applications are thoroughly tested before they are released to users, WAN emulation or network emulation/simulation must be utilized.
WAN emulation is commonly used by service providers, manufacturers, and application developers to verify the resilience of their network products or applications. By recreating real-world network effects, WAN emulators help to identify potential problems before they occur. WAN emulation typically involves filtering, impairments, modifiers, and routing.
WAN emulation allows researchers to replicate real-world wide area network conditions in a laboratory setting. Filtering allows the WAN emulator to divide traffic into different groups to represent different networks, while impairments simulate common network issues such as delay, packet loss, and bandwidth restrictions. Modifiers are used to corrupt certain field values or change packet delivery information, which helps to stress test applications. Finally, routing allows the WAN emulator to forward packets out of the emulator using techniques such as Ethernet bridging, interface mapping, and IP routing.
Overall, WAN emulation is an essential tool for testing applications before deployment. It allows researchers to perform “what-if” testing in a controlled environment and creates consistent and repeatable test configurations for development and manufacturing environments.

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