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O'Reilly Network: NISTNet: Emulating Networks on Your Own LAN

Jun 24, 2000, 20:42 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Terry Dawson)

"One of the more interesting and rewarding activities of the network administrator involves the planning and design of a brand-new network and the selection and configuration of network applications to run across it. Network design inevitably involves compromise, trading off one characteristic against another. Common trade-offs are link bandwidth against cost, or latency against loss, or bandwidth against latency."

"NISTNet is a software package developed by Mark Carson of the North American National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) that allows network designers, application developers, and network researchers to pretty accurately emulate the performance conditions presented by a variety of TCP/IP networks and network paths."

"NISTNet replaces the normal Linux IP forwarding mechanism with one that allows the network administrator to set and control the levels of each of a number of key network behaviors. These behaviors include datagram loss, datagram delay, delay variation, and the maximum available bandwidth in the forward and backward directions. Real networks display each of these characteristics." ... NISTNet allows each of these conditions to be intentionally introduced into an otherwise healthy network connection to allow administrators to emulate larger, more complex networks and observe the resulting behavior of network protocols and applications."

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