Case Study: Network Emulation “Across the Pond”

Network Emulation is an important technique that service providers, enterprises, and network equipment manufacturers should employ for predeployment testing in a lab environment. By applying proven scientific methodologies, businesses can stand to save a great deal of money and time versus deploying blindly and reacting as problems arise.

A supercomputing research group from the University of Tokyo was recently awarded the SC09 Bandwidth Challenge Impact Award at the Supercomputing 2009 Conference in Portland, OR, USA. The award was in response to their emulation of real world network links between Tokyo and Portland, which were established to test and validate cutting edge, high speed downloads of 6.5Gbps over HTTP.

The University of Tokyo team used Anue emulators to create a real world network in their lab environment, which helped test the difference between their own UsadaFox technology and the existing Firefox technology. The team found that the existing Firefox technology download speeds suffer when introduced to long Round Trip Times (RTT), such as seen between Tokyo and Portland, but UsadaFox is unaffected by these extended RTTs. Emulation technology was able to replicate the long Round Trip Time (RTT) in their lab so that the research team could validate their breakthrough technology in a very precise and repeatable scenario.

This is an ideal type of implementation of network emulation technology. Recent developments have gone beyond just providing the ability to “dial up” the network settings to match your own environment. You can now use the Capture & Replay feature to take a “snapshot” of your network behavior and traffic trends, which can then be used to replicate the real network or WAN in the lab.

What unique applications have you seen for network emulation technology? Have you had any successes? We’d love to hear from you, so please don’t hesitate to comment below if you have anything to add.

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