A Comparative Study of Network Link Emulators

Lucas Nussbaum 1 Olivier Richard 1
1 MESCAL - Middleware efficiently scalable
Inria Grenoble - Rhône-Alpes, LIG - Laboratoire d'Informatique de Grenoble
Abstract : Between discrete event simulation and evaluation within real networks, network emulation is a useful tool to study and evaluate the behaviour of applications. Using a real network as a basis to simulate another network's characteristics, it enables researchers to perform experiments in a wide range of conditions. After an overview of the various available network emulators, this paper focuses on three freely available and widely used network link emulators: Dummynet, NISTNet, and the Linux Traffic Control subsystem. We start by comparing their features, then focus on the accuracy of their latency and bandwidth emulation, and discuss the way they are affected by the time source of the system. We expose several problems that cannot be ignored when using such tools. We also outline differences in their user interfaces, such as the interception point, and discuss possible solutions. This work aims at providing a complete overview of the different solutions for network emulation.
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Lucas Nussbaum, Olivier Richard. A Comparative Study of Network Link Emulators. Communications and Networking Simulation Symposium (CNS'09), Mar 2009, San Diego, United States. ⟨inria-00425613⟩

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