One of the biggest challenges of an NMS application is its ability to scale huge networks with different type of devices. Scalability testing helps to determine whether your management application scales with the workload growth as the managed network grew in numbers and complexity. Hence, scalability testing forms an essential part of the entire development and testing process of NMS.

To achieve the goals of scalability testing, a unique test bed for scalability would need to be built. Inorder to assure that the NMS could find the 1000s of devices typically installed across a customer’s enterprise, engineers would need to spend massive amounts of time and capital to build a hardware lab just for testing the scalability of the new software.

Simulation Toolkit Solution

Simulation Toolkit's Network Simulator helps to create a virtual lab populated with devices like routers, switches, printers, workstations, and more that are managed using the SNMP, Cisco IOS, Telnet, TFTP, FTP and TL1 protocols. IPv4 or IPv6 Address can be assigned to the devices. In addition to providing hundreds of thousands of simulated devices for scalability testing, the Network Simulator can easily record service providers’ networks, bringing that environment directly to the lab. Not only does Simulation Toolkit simulate the network, but it also simulates loads of traffic just like a busy, service provider network.

Specialized functionalities provided by Simulation Toolkit for testing management application scalability:

Simulation Toolkit's Network Recorder records real customer networks. The recorded network can be saved and replayed instantly in the Network Designer, thus enabling the management applications to be tested in huge customer networks. The ability to capture information on real networked devices, enables developers and test engineers to determine the impact of additional hardware by creating "what if" scenarios using the simulations and thus support their customers with a higher level of efficiancy.

Integrated Network Designer to create a large network with multiple devices at the shortest possible time. The Network Simulator's had demonstrated support for upto 10,000 device simulation on a Windows platform and 100,000 device simulation on a Linux platform, providing the opportunity to create network environments that would be impractical to create in a physical lab environment.

The Network Simulator provides the facility to add devices in bulk at one shot with unique IPv4 or IPv6 Address and port number combination. With option to add devices of the same type or different type of devices at random, you can create the desired network with ease. The virtual IPv4 or IPv6 Address is dynamically configured in the system, when starting each agent instance in the network.

The Network Simulator is designed to support any SNMP, Cisco IOS, Telnet, TFTP, FTP and TL1 managebale devices and lets the user run a variety of device configurations and scenarios with the management application. The in-built library of pre-configured devices like host, printers, cisco routers, cisco switches, pix firewall etc. can be directly used to create the network.

Bulk Modification of IPv4 or IPv6 Address and port number facilitates testing the same network configuration with different IPv4 or IPv6 Address range or with different port numbers.

The Network Simulator is designed to provide enhanced network performance for large networks. As per the Performance Metric test taken for 50,000 nodes created for our customer test-bed, the simulator was successfully started with 50,000 nodes and the response time of 1804 ms was recorded when 250 nodes were queried simultaneously by the NMS.

Runtime configurations like start/stop of individual devices, up/down of device interface, delay responses, addition of new devices through scripts and RMI enable the management software to be validated aganist large networks with real-time crtitical scenarios.

The Network Simulator also demonstrated that it could quickly respond to dynamic changes in configuration, such as generating problem notifications. Quick and easy to install and use, WebNMS Simulation Toolkit provides a scalable, flexible and extensible network simulation environment and is an ideal tool for simulating very large networks.