In the latest TechTuesday blog, SCALABLE Network Technologies discusses the possibilities, advantages, and benefits of Real-Time Network Simulation. The following is an excerpt from this blog, to read it in full visit the SCALABLE website.

Network Digitial Twins offer an efficient, cost-effective way to assess how a network will behave under different operating conditions. For example, consider the enterprise network for a bank which consists of manned teller stations, ATMs, web-portal for customer access on the frontend and a network of primary and backup servers at the backend which process a large volume of transactions 24 hours a day. These networks are prime targets for increasingly sophisticated cyber-attacks. Given the mission-critical nature of these networks, it is of paramount importance that the networks be cyber resilient, i.e., the network should be able to thwart cyber-attacks, protect the confidentiality of data, and continue to provide service even when it is under attack. Launching cyber-attacks against a live network to evaluate its cyber resilience is clearly not an option. Network digital twins or network simulations provide a convenient, cost-effective method to evaluate cyber resilience in a safe, controlled environment without the danger of causing harm to the network itself, under a large number of operational conditions. Similarly, other network performance criteria besides cyber resilience can also be evaluated using network simulation.

But simulation of networks, with a large number of mobile and stationary devices communicating with each other to transmit all the control and data traffic can be very computation intensive.  Additionally, to generate data for meaningful “what-if” analysis, a large number of simulation runs are required. Hence, to be of practical use to planners and sysadmins, the digital twins must be able to produce actionable reports rapidly – this directly requires that the underlying network simulation models can be used to rapidly evaluate a number of alternatives and assess the most suitable network setup to meet given requirements.

How SCALABLE Achieves Speed, Fidelity and Scalability

SCALABLE’s network simulators, EXata and QualNet, use state-of-the art techniques to run simulations of large networks at a fast speed without compromising accuracy.[1] EXata and QualNet are based on a highly specialized kernel and efficient memory management techniques which result in very high simulation speeds. Furthermore, our simulators exploit the computing power available on multi-processor platforms by employing efficient parallel discrete event simulation techniques and smart partitioning, i.e., dividing the workload optimally among the processors. As a result, EXata and QualNet can run on laptops and desktop computers to simulate large networks fast, without compromising the accuracy of simulation results. SCALABLE’s technology creates a network digital twin, representing the entire system network, the various protocol layers, application layer, physical layer, and devices. EXata also includes a low-skew synchronization kernel to connect with live applications, which run on the network digital twin just as they would run on real networks.

In summary, network digital twins created using SCALABLE’s technology can be used to simulate very large networks under realistic operational conditions to produce actionable results on a continuous basis. Analysts no longer need to compromise on model fidelity (and hence accuracy of the generated results), but now have access to network simulation tools that can provide model accuracy and scalability without compromising on execution speed!

For details of EXata’s and QualNet’s performance, refer to SCALABLE’s white paper, Fast and Accurate Simulation of Scalable Networks.

To read the full blog, visit the SCALABLE Networks blog page.