Computer Networking in itself is a domain that requires continuous improvement of technology in various aspects such as security, routing protocols, data transmission speeds, throughput etc. These developments require continuous testing of new concepts developed by researchers of networking environments to understand its feasibility as well as advantages of the same. Such testing cannot always be performed on physical devices or hardware due to constraints of time, cost and resources in organizations. In order to overcome these issues, network simulators are used by various research organizations and institutes to better analyze various concepts developed and achieve better results.
In this post, we will discuss about various Network simulation concepts required to better utilize tools available to perform simulations and analyze scenarios. Network Simulation in itself involves the principal idea of designing a network scenario and implementing it using various tools to understand the impact of various networking paradigms on the network. The main advantage of Network Simulation is that the various parameters in the network can be altered as per need and then successfully tested to analyze its impact on a particular scenario, thereby derive conclusions pertaining to any network. The main motive in most simulation projects is to analyze network throughout and packet drop occurring in various protocols.
Now that we have understood the importance of Network Simulation, it is also important to have knowledge of various tools available to perform such simulations successfully and derive inferences. Although a large variety is available in simulators, the NS2 simulator is one of the most prominent and widely used simulator due to the large variety of protocols it supports and its open-source nature. The other open-source simulators include NS3 (an advanced version of NS2), OMNET++, SSFNet, and J-Sim. There are many in the commercial domain as well such as OPNET, and QualNet. These simulators can also be categorized based on their simplicity and ease of use. Based on the features and interface provided by a simulator it complexity varies. Simple simulators provide features to create selected network topologies and specify restricted set of network parameters whereas the complex ones provide detailed features to provide every minute detail of the network topology ranging from the physical layer protocol to the transport layer technology to be used for simulation.
Networking domain has recently grown to such great heights due to the large contribution of such simulators and the developers behind these simulators. For any updates pertaining to Simulators, feel free to comment here.